The Sociopathy of Toy Story 4 || & The Death Drive of Forky
Forky is dope. Although I’m sure Forky was deliberately designed to be dope. Almost feels like he was the construct of various high-priced focus groups at the behest of the Walt Disney Corporation.
Forky’s signature catch phrase is “I’m trash.”
This is also nihlistic millenial / gen-z slang on the streets right now. It’s motivated in the story because Forky is made from trash elements, and thus feels naturally in tune with the state of “trash.”
This is similar to Freud’s ideas on the death drive, wherein he states because humans started as inorganic cosmic matter, we have an instinctive “drive” inside of us to return to that state of cosmic inorganic matter. He claims this is the reason why people do self-destructive things against their own good. It’s because we have this deeper irrational motivation to return to our original state of nothingness. AKA, “trash.”
Forky has a mean death drive.
He immediately runs into any trash can on site. He feels at home within the trash. He doesn’t want to participate in worldly activities. He doesn’t even care about his sacred toy-human bond. He just wants to be one with the fuggin trash. All the cool kids in the theater were like, “MOOD! SAME!”
In a way, although in a fun & entertaining manner, this affirms a sociopathic value system… which is the one we’re surrounded in anyway. It makes light of our alienation & isolation, and actually encourages it. Nevermind the fact that Forky gets with it & bonds with his human in the end. The source of his spectacle comes from the vast duration of the movie where he keeps throwing out pithy lines about being trash.
I’m not even here to judge that shit. I LOVED IT. I’m fuggin’ trash too, bro (see what I mean! Nice work, Disney Corp!). It’s a meme engineered with such precision, the military may as well be behind it lol :)
But Forky’s ultimate psychological value is in promoting a sociopathic worldview: One that heralds alienation, isolation, self-deprecation.
The same could be argued in regards to the main antagonist — Gabby Gabby.
She’s the greatest example of the sociopathic tendency in Toy Story 4.
The short of her narrative arc — Gabby Gabby kidnaps various members of the Toy Story gang in order to steal the voice box inside of Woody. This is all done in an atmosphere of horror-film like terror. Her voice box is broken, Woody has the same one inside of him, and therefore she wants to surgically remove it and put it inside of her. Until she gets her way, she is holding hostage the entire Toy Story gang.
And in the end… Gabby Gabby gets her way. That’s it. Woody eventually gives up, sees her in a sympathetic light (Stockholm Syndrome), and hands over his voice box. And the movie resolves. Gabby Gabby becomes nice at this point, decides to play ball with the Toy Story gang, and she even helps them get back home to continue their billion-dollar-generating adventures.
Wait. That’s it? YUP! No obvious lesson to be found here except — terrorism works!
You heard it here first: Toy Story 4 promotes terrorism.
Gabby Gabby is a sociopath — possibly even a psychopath — right down to her broken voice box. Her lesson isn’t to not be that way. Instead, it’s… well… no lesson. She continues acting that way and gets what she wants. So the lesson, if any, is “act this way.”
However, “this way” is highly anti-social! Hurting the ones you love, or the ones who show you good grace, in order to violently get what you want… is not good! That’s the stuff that modern CEO’s / the wealthy-elite are made of, and they lack empathy! Scientifically, the rich lack empathy! Don’t be that way!
However, Toy Story 4 thinks you should be that way. Either in the form of Gabby Gabby (the rich person’s way) or like Forky (the poor person’s way). The former’s sociopathy is based on resource accumulation; the latter’s focuses on consumption. Two sides of the same schizophrenic-capitalist psyche.
“…incidences of narcissistic personality disorder are nearly three times as high in 20-somethings than the generation that’s now over 65. In 2009 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale than in 1982.”
We are an expression of past, present, prior things. The way I see it, from where I’m standing, the problem lies within the system. But there’s no true way to alter such a giant enveloping powerful thing (outside of, maybe, bursts of enlightened benign dictatorships).
The best we can do is survive, observe, analyze, offer suggestions, and leave behind examples of how things should be… with the knowledge that these matter, and have rippling effects through society.
After all — If we accept that a single work of high beautiful art can substantially alter the life of a person, or of a nation, or history in general… Then it’s fair to suggest that a lot of bad art, or unconscious art, can have devastating rippling effects as well. It’s not like only good art effects the turn of history but bad art doesn’t effect destiny at all. Bad art can have just as much of an effect on society as good art.
Not sure what to make of all these things. Is Disney subconsciously reflecting America? Is Disney purposefully feeding this engine of narcissism to increase sales? Is something darker happening?
Anyway anyway, the point I’m trying to make is this: I don’t fully think Toy Story 4 is trying to say anything in particular. But if it is, it’s an unfortunate plea for sociopath’s to run amok. And that’s… concerning lol.