He’s not a nasty child, but he is an obnoxious twerp and a bit of a pyromaniac.
With the release of Lightyear, it’s appropriate to reflect on what made Toy Story a classic. Toy Story was the first animated film to use CGI. Toy Story was the first full-length CGI picture in 1995. Story concept helps its success. Audiences were more interested in CGI when talking toys were animated. Sid Phillips (Erik von Detten), a rough-playing kid, is the perfect enemy for a band of toys. Sid never did anything evil, though.
The punk next door who straps rockets on toys is a nightmare for toys. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) see Sid as a crazed psychopath as they face being blown apart, melted, decapitated, or otherwise dismembered. Is it right to judge Sid so harshly? Sid didn’t aware the toys were alive.
I did it as a kid. My brother and I made “battle-damaged” Stormtrooper toys with firecrackers. That’s like Sid blowing up a Combat Carl in his first scene.
Who hasn’t ripped a doll’s arm or head off to test if it would? Sid’s atrocities are well-planned, but is he sadistic or bored? His use of tortured toys reflects a creative mind with few outlets.
Let’s clarify. Sid is a bad boy. He’s mean to his sister Hannah (Sarah Freeman) and broke Pizza Planet’s Whack-a-Alien machine. Still, he’s young. He dreams about riding ponies and is upset when it’s too stormy to play outside. His joy when his mom tells him Pop-Tarts are ready? That’s cute. They bully and annoy their siblings, misbehave in public, and break items for fun. Enjoy! For Sid, that’s everything.
Sid doesn’t smash up Hannah’s doll Janie when he steals it to anger her. He pretends. He plays doctor when he replaces the doll’s head with a pterodactyl’s. He’s active in a make-believe world, delivering dialogue and embodying characters. The next morning, he’s an actor playing an imperial officer interrogating a rebel when he burns Woody’s forehead with a magnifying glass. These games inspire his creativity. Sid acts out stories with his toys.
He makes a pageant out of receiving his fireworks rocket. The Big One requires the perfect toy for the story, not just any toy. Sid chooses Buzz Lightyear to travel to the stars. Creating a launchpad in his backyard and counting down a rocket is cool to a kid. Sid’s a pyromaniac, but he’s not lazy. When Woody turns up unexpectedly, he grills him for a “cookout” later. Sid adapts his games to his toys’ aesthetics. That’s commitment!
Sid’s room toys are noteworthy. Frankenstein’s creatures, mismatched plastic body horror. Sid is realistic and resourceful, not sick and twisted like Woody. Sid uses old toys to make new ones. He makes doll legs from Erector sets. He makes a walking fishing rod with Barbie legs. He glues a toy’s torso on an old skateboard. Sid doesn’t think he’s torturing living things; he’s creating something new.
Toy Story’s creators wanted to use Sid to surprise the viewer. In The Making of Toy Story, director John Lasseter says of Tin Toy, one of Toy Story’s progenitors, “I first started building this notion of a juxtaposition with the audience.” You show them something familiar and then make them see it differently. From a toy’s perspective, a cute baby. That’s a scary toy! We were inspired by Tin Toy’s “living toys” concept.
Co-writer Andrew Stanton says, “A lot of us played hard with our toys, so even though Sid is a nasty person in the movie, he’s more like us.” “We all agreed Sid would be an animator,” Lasseter says.
Sid’s creators know he’s a natural storyteller. Sid’s severe delight in destruction is frightening. He laughs as his dog Skud eats the Little Green Man, and his lava lamp has severed heads. Sid sees these things as inanimate objects. Unthinking, emotionless They’re his art canvas. His ghastly taste is a niche artistic choice.
Sid wouldn’t use toys if he knew better. Sid is scared when Woody’s effort to save Buzz ends in all his toys moving and talking. Immediate regret. After Woody’s threat, Sid may never look at another toy again. If the kid tells his parents, he may need counselling. Woody’s caution is crucial because he tells Andy to take care of his toys. After Sid accepts his encounter as real or crazy, he heeds the warning.
Sid’s warning: Sid makes a brief appearance in Toy Story 3 as a garbage collector. Internet fan theories portray older Sid as a toy savior. Sid follows Woody’s instructions by saving toys from the trash, according to legend. There’s no on-screen evidence to show how Sid now respects toys, but maybe he collects ruined toys because he knows they need him.
Sid is a terrific villain in a story about toys attempting to come home. Is he really a villain? He’s a lively child with a vivid imagination. He’s creative and uses what he has to express himself artistically and tell stories. Visual thinker and mechanical problem-solver. Is he good company? No. Are his toys’ fears justified? Yes. Absolutely. Sid is just playing with toys like every other kid.