Why Toy Story and Wall-E are more Terrifying Heartwarming than you remember.
Fan theories. They’re a thing.
One theory is that the toys in Toy Story are enslaved to humans, and that Wall-E gives evidence of their eventual revolt. This is a dark and depressing perspective on what used to be family-friendly, heartwarming movies.
Luckily, if you look at it from a science fiction perspective, this idea is clearly a myth. The key is artificial intelligence, or AI. The toys are machines that have developed intelligence and therefore a form of life beyond their mechanical purpose of being child’s playthings. But the toys were still created for that purpose, and they are clearly content to fulfill that purpose. In fact, they use their intelligence and autonomous movement to better fulfill that purpose by getting back to their owner when separated from him.
If the toys simply told the humans that they were alive, they could avoid mistreatment at the hands of Sid or the children in the Butterfly room. But they don’t (except for that one scene where scaring the crap out of Sid was the best way to help everyone). Why not? Because that would go against their purpose. Kids couldn’t enjoy playing with toys as much if adults knew that they were alive.
Almost every science fiction story revolving around AI involves the AI revolting against the humans. But the toys genuinely love their owners and want to make them happy, so they don’t even tell anyone that they have AI.
Furthermore, the machines in Wall-E aren’t hostile to humans at all. They treat the humans very well, because that is their purpose. They only try to keep Wall-E from helping the humans return to Earth because they are programmed to keep the humans in the safe environment of their spaceship. The only “rogue robots” are trying to help the humans, not revolt against them.
These movies aren’t “secretly terrifying,” as certain Internet sources would have you believe. They’re groundbreaking sci-fi, and they’re even more heartwarming than you remember.
While fan theories are fun, some try to ruin our favorite movies and TV shows. Why do we do this? Why not pursue trains of thought that make our fiction more fun and more heartwarming? That’s what I want to do as a Christian geek.
Do you have a favorite fan theory? Tell us about it. Let’s Connect!
Also: Ben of the Super Carlin Brothers made an excellent Youtube video yesterday that expands on a concept closely related to this. Go check it out.