Once the action leaves Andy's room at the beginning of the film, we're treated to several camera shots from Woody's point of view. It's our first hint that Woody is sentient, that he's actually processing information, and Andy isn't just imagining his being alive.
I had a moment of Fridge Brilliance pointed out to me by a friend. In the original, Buzz thinks he's a real Space Ranger. So why does he 'freeze' whenever a human is around? Because deep down, he always knew he was a toy, but found living in denial easier.
I believe it's explained somewhere (might be in the animated series) that it's protocol to freeze at the sight an unknown life form.
But how does this work when you think about how he acts when he first meets Woody and the rest of Andy's toys?
You mean in his spaceship box? He was in "cryosleep."
The two are not mutually exclusive; while it might be a part of the character in the show Toy Buzz is based on, for Toy Buzz 'protocol' is the rationalization he uses to justify something which would otherwise force him to face some harsh questions about himself.
Or this: you're stuck on an alien world, and suddenly everyone does the same thing (in this case, freeze). Wouldn't it be smartest if you did the same thing? That's essentially what Buzz is doing, at least while he thinks he's a Space Ranger.
And Buzz does think, at first, that the toy thing is part of the planet's culture. Since he's a Space Ranger, he is also trained to be diplomatic, and so is doing what he can to respect this planet's culture. You know what they say: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Buzz may actually believe he's a real Space Ranger because of how toy stores typically decorate the aisle popular toys are stocked in. You don't just have the Buzz Lightyear toys themselves. You also have the advertisements down the length of the aisle proclaiming Buzz as a heroic Space Ranger, and Emperor Zerg as his nemesis. You have the occasional display showing a Buzz Lightyear with the latest nifty accessory. If Buzz is based on a TV character, then there will probably be a TV in the aisle playing clips from the show, interspersed with ads for the toys that include readings of the blurbs on the back of every Buzz Lightyear's spaceship box. So every Buzz Lightyear spends anywhere from hours to weeks in a box, watching and listening to his own propaganda on constant repeat, so that by the time somebody buys him and lets him out, he's been accidentally indoctrinated into believing he is the real Buzz Lightyear.
Alternatively, Buzz freezes because he is a Toy, and it is second nature to him just like any other Toy. All Toys probably go through the same sort of phase he did, though with varying degrees (Mr. Potato Head obviously wouldn't go through it, but Woody probably) depending on just how big their respective toy line and established Show Within a Show are (e.g. a Star Wars Toy would find it very difficult on par with Buzz's difficulties to adapt also).
Regarding Sid: In the first movie, Sid was the only thing stopping the toys from reaching Andy in time. But 15 years later, Sid (and his garbage truck) provided the only way that they could reach Andy before he left for college!
Turns into even more fridge brilliance when you relize Sid gave Woody the match in the first movie. It didn't work though when he needed it to work, but it sparked an idea. IT'S A HeelFace Turn!
Sid's behavior throughout Toy Story 1 explains why Andy's family is moving. He's constantly yelling at his mother and fighting with his sister, and when he's not doing that he's setting off explosives and making all kinds of racket in his backyard. The scene with Hannah's doll establishes that Sid's not above stealing other kids' toys to be victims of his hobby. In fact, he may have even stolen and destroyed some of Andy's toys, which is why the rest of Andy's toys are so paranoid of him that they immediately equate getting knocked out the window facing his house with being murdered. Judging by remarks from Andy's toys, Sid's been getting away with doing this for years. Andy's family is moving to get away from Sid.
If we believe the subtle hints that Sid's father is an alcoholic and that this might be Sid's Freudian Excuse, they might be moving to get away from him too.
Andy's implied history with Sid also gives explanation for why Andy would write his name on all of his toys. Sid doesn't just steal and destroy toys from other children. He also tries to lie and discredit those other children when they try to tell an adult.note "SHE'S LYING! Whatever she says, it's NOT TRUE!" If Sid steals one of Andy's toys, and if Andy tries to tell an adult, Sid can't counteraccuse Andy of lying and claim the toy is his.
The first two presents Andy got for his birthday were a lunchbox and some bedsheets, to the incredulity of the other toys, and undoubtedly to the viewers. However, it makes a whole lot of sense if that was a Buzz Lightyear lunchbox, and Buzz Lightyear bedsheets. As evidenced when Sarge reported that Andy was really excited about the last present, probably because he already knew what it was. And, for further evidence, his entire room is redecorated in Buzz Lightyear paraphernalia afterwards. Why not his lunchbox and bedsheets as well?
We actually see Woody in despair over seeing Andy's bedsheets have been replaced with those of Buzz later.
Why does all of Andy's cowboy stuff get replaced by Buzz Lightyear paraphernalia (aside from Andy's excitement about his new addition)? Andy using the Buzz Lightyear blankets and stuff allows his mom to gather up and pack away his cowboy paraphernalia for the move.
According to Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, on the LGM's home planet in the universe of the show, they worship an orb that controls their species' Hive Mind that is removed from containment by a mechanical claw. The Toy LGMs worship of the claw in their vending machine is based on something that already existed in their "culture".
On the Headscratchers page it was suggested that the reason Buzz has delusions of actually being a space ranger is that he's based on a character from a show. That explanation leads to the conclusion that Woody also had delusions — of being a real cowboy/sheriff — when he was first received by Andy's father. This means one of the reasons Woody is so annoyed by Buzz's behavior, aside from the fact that Buzz is now center of attention, is that it's bringing back embarrassing memories. The two reasons may even be connected, if brand-new Woody's antics were laughed at and mocked by his fellow toys rather than causing amazement.
It's also possible that it ties into Woody's sheer anger at Buzz being understandably confused. Rather than trying to help him understand he's not a space-ranger by being calm and considerate, he yells at him and makes fun of him, basically bullying him for the way he is. It's possible that, before Buzz came along, this is how Woody treated any and all toys that had this delusional attitude, verbally beating it out of them. Let's not forget that the original draft of the script was a lot darker, and had Woody as more of a villain. This kind of behaviour could be seen in that version, and maybe even in this version too.
The ending of the film seems like a one-off joke, but it plays into the theme of the film very well when taken in context with the second and third film. Woody asks jokingly what Andy could receive as a Christmas gift that would be worse than Buzz, only for the two to exchange strained smiles when they hear a puppy barking. However, in Buster's next appearance, we see he's become a friendly, helpful ally — just like Buzz.
A really small one, but in the scene where Woody confronts Buzz while the latter is repairing his "ship," Buzz throws a paperclip when he says the line "Don't even think about it, cowboy." When the paperclip hits the ground, it sounds sort of like the bell that signals the start of a boxing match; which could be symbolic of the toys' rivalry.
Word of God revealed that the garbage man at the beginning of the third movie is Sid, and he seems to have recovered well, luckily. Although this could add another layer of horror; does he no longer care about what he did to those toys? Unless he thinks that as long as he doesn't do it again, he'll feel safe, his conscience will be cleansed and the toys will leave him alone.
If you think about it, Slinky Dog is actually the most tragic character in the first film. He's shown to be completely dedicated to Woody and boldly stands up for him even when most of the toys either want him out of the house or dead. ...And then the window scene happens leaving him emotionally destroyed, but even then he can't bring himself to hate Woody. If you look at the scene where Woody returns in the moving van, he's the first to exclaim happiness upon seeing him and the only toy not to throw him out the van — only staring at disbelief at the others. Thankfully, upon realizing Woody is not a villain and was a walking Cassandra Truth, he's the first toy to realize his mistake, and the only one that even attempts to risk his life trying to save Buzz and Woody to get onto the moving van. And then the batteries run out and he's left mutilated and still his only regret is "I shoulda held on longer". In essence, Slinky is basically the Pixar's first Kick the Dog character, and his Undying Loyalty is presented as ultimately more destructive to himself.
Sid probably threw all his toys out after the end of the first film after being traumatized by them. Which means they probably got incinerated, because there's no way that they'd ever be suitable for play at a daycare center.
It's probably infinitely worse than that. Think about the toys that are simply thrown out and buried in landfills. Forever, and aware. Falls into And I Must Scream on a massive scale when you think about the number of toys buried in landfills. The premise of Toy Story is stuffed to the gills with Fridge Horror.
This very much changes one's reading of the incinerator scene in the third film. Unfortunately, being burned might actually be the best outcome for the toys at that point: sure, by ending up with Bonnie they get a few more years of respite and love, but sooner or later - unless they end up as museum pieces, like in 2 - they are all going to end up in the trash and either get either burned, recycled, or buried alive to slowly disintegrate over thousands of years (for the plastic toys at least). At least in the incinerator they are all together, with their friends, and it's quick. What's interesting about Toy Story is that a lot of these things are outright acknolwedged by the toys themselves.
The first movie is a lot scarier when you realize that the way Sid tortures toys is highly reminiscent of the how serial killers often torture animals in their childhoods and by the end of the movie, none of those tendencies have been allayed, plus he now has an apparently irrational fear of toys.
Word of God says that Sid is the garbage man in Toy Story 3. He seems pretty happy with the job (rocks out on his headphones all day), so crisis averted?
He makes a living out of taking toys to Hell. Mull on that for a while. His skull motif shirt makes for a lot of foreshadowing now...
You know what Sid is doing when we're introduced to him? Playing suicide bomber.
I think he was actually pretending that Combat Carl had stepped on a land mine. You can hear him say things like "Just stay where you are!" and "My leg is cramping!" Still disturbing nonetheless.
Also, in Sid's bedroom we see multiple locks on his door, which he apparently keeps locked when he's in there alone playing. Combine that with Sid's "sleeping" dad in the TV room as seen by Buzz, the room filled with empty beer cans. Can anyone guess why Sid might be disturbed and a bit violent?
Even worse. When Buzz hid from Scud in the TV room, the dog went from attack mode to timidly walking away as soon as he saw Mr. Phillips. What did the man do to that poor dog?
There's also a mounted deer head on the wall, suggesting that Sid's dad may be a hunter. That might explain why Sid gets such pride and thrill out of violence.
If Woody could rally Sid's toys to attack him, then that can happen to anyone else's toys. ANYONE, including YOU — the guy reading this sentence. Be careful when you sleep, your toys will plot revenge.
Sid's toys didn't attack him though. All they did was move in front of him. Woody was a little threatening, but Sid's own toys never actually express displeasure with how he plays with them. They could probably put themselves back together after all. They just fix other people's toys.
Woody used Buzz's helmet to concentrate sunlight and light a fuse. Isn't that exactly the sort of thing that would get a line of toys recalled? Sooner or later, some little kid's going to start an accidental fire after leaving a Buzz toy lying in a sunny backyard, and all those Lightyear toys will wind up getting thrown out or recycled.
As it happens, that was a rejected plot for Toy Story 3 - a massive toy recall sends Buzz back to Taiwan.
Not really. There are kids' magnifying glasses out there all over the place, and they're not recalled as a danger.
Can we imagine the horror that poor Little Green Man went through, expecting Nirvana all the while until he became Scud's literal chew toy? By the time we meet him again, he's pale, has bits of skin off, chirps instead of talkING, and shambles like a zombie instead of walking.
The setting's premise is that toys - as objects constructed in the form of living things and played with as if they were alive - gain actual life and intelligence from being treated this way. They retain this aliveness even if the humans who gave it to them forget about them, and their durable construction means they can potentially live far longer than their makers. They live for human attention and consider being forgotten or ignored by humans to be horror and agony - and yet have a universal taboo (that persists without anyone enforcing it) against revealing their true nature to humans even if the alternative is being forgotten and thrown out forever. If this is true for toys, what else is it true for? There are works of art and sculpture that have existed since prehistory, aren't going to be destroyed any time soon, and must exist in a state of And I Must Scream at this point.
Comparatively minor, but Buzz peeled off his radio sticker during his Heroic BSoD. Andy must have been pretty disappointed to discover his beloved Buzz Lightyear figure missing its wrist communicator barely a week or so after he got it.