Home Sweet Home: The Cautionary Prison/Fairy Tale

Paul Tremblay


The author contends that the first two installments of the Toy Story franchise are very much prison narratives, or indeed traditional fairy tales (cautionary tale) using prison film genre characteristics (social control, fear, etc) and character identification concepts (the toys themselves as opposed to human characters) in order to imply an acceptance of the notion of conformity and subjugation or submissiveness as preferred forms of socialization. Toy Story 3 (2010) is barely an obvious but elaborate sequel/remake of the same concept. The author argues that the film emulated previous Pixar productions and outdid earlier Disney movies in terms of social imagery. He brings into focus the conventional institutionalized meaning of “home” in prison films, as opposed to the traditional fairy tale safe haven of “home.” As mainstream prison movies inmates, the toy characters in Toy Story (1995) are reminiscent of institutionalized inmates as they struggle to remain in, or return to, captivity. In the first two films, the characters limit themselves to choosing their prisons.


Animation;Fairy Tales;Pixar;prison genre

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