Toy Story 3

toy story 3

Toy Story 3
Rating: G
Released: 2014
Run Time: 103 minutes
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

Cultural Rating: paw

The film is fun and promotes positive messages regarding friendship and loyalty but tends to reinforce traditional gender roles and engages very little with other cultural identities.


When Andy heads off to college, his toys are accidentally sent to a daycare and taken hostage by the ruthless teddy bear Lotso.


Language: poo

  • Demeaning language- “idiot,” “dummies,” “pea brain,” “doofus,” “moron,” “monster,” “junk,” “toots,” “temptress”
  • Threatening language- “I’ll kill you”

Violence: poo

  • Fighting- kicking, tossing
  • Weapons- dynamite, laser beam, nunchucks, toys are bound with rope and tape

Sex: poo

  • Minimal sexual content
  • Kissing
  • Hugging

Drugs and Alcohol: 0 poos

Cultural Analysis



  • Jessie defies traditional gender roles regarding femininity by being active as she rides horses, helps plan to save the toys, and rescues Buzz Lightyear. Andy also refers to her as the “roughest toughest cowgirl in the west.”
  • Barbie is traditionally feminine (wears pink, loves clothes and high heels, wears makeup) but is also active as she talks back to the villain and helps the toys escape. This is important because it shows that the two characteristics (femininity and activeness) are not mutually exclusive.
  • Ken challenges traditional gender roles regarding masculinity. For example, he cares about clothing, wears ascots and shiny materials, and wears an article of Barbie’s clothing (a scarf).


  • There are a few minor characters of color at the daycare.

Sexual Orientation: N/A

Disability: N/A

Body: N/A



  • Ken’s “femininity” (his love of clothing, nice handwriting) is considered comedic. Additionally, it is considered comedic when Barbie disguises herself as Ken and it is believed that Ken is cross-dressing in Barbie’s high heels. This is problematic because it reinforces traditional gender roles regarding masculinity and does not allow for other types of masculine gender expression.
  • All of the adult human women in the film reinforce traditional gender roles regarding femininity, especially those concerning motherhood and being the caretaker. Andy’s mom (her character is not given a name) constantly cleans up after Andy, and the other adult women work at the daycare.


  • There are no major characters of color.
  • At one point Buzz is reset to the Spanish speaking setting. In this “setting” Buzz reinforces the “charming Latino lover” stereotype as he speaks Spanish, constantly flirts with Jessie, moves around gracefully, and dances the salsa.

Sexual Orientation:


  • Lotso walks with a cane and is depicted as evil and manipulative. This is problematic because visible disabilities are often used as signifiers or immoral character.


  • Big Baby is dirty, has one working eye, and has scribbles drawn on his body with markers that can be read as tattoo-like. Oftentimes, in media, tattoos and dirtiness are signifiers of immoral character.
  • Potato squeezes the muscles of another toy and likes when Mr. Potato Head momentarily becomes Mr. Cucumber Head because he is thinner and taller. This reinforces the desire for masculine body ideals.

Suggested talking points

  • Woody and his toy friends must learn to come to terms with being “replaced” by their owner Andy. Even though the toys are upset that Andy is going away to college, by the end of the film they do not let that hinder their own personal growth.
  • Barbie and Ken fall in love at first sight and end up living happily ever after. A common theme in films is romantic love between a man and a woman. Although this was not the main focus of the film, romantic love is depicted as important for overall happiness.
  • When Mrs. Potato Head is talking to Lotso, he takes her removable lips to quiet her. This is problematic because silencing is often used as a tactic to intimidate or discourage people from speaking out.


Keywords: toy story 3, disney, pixar, woody, buzz lightyear, family, animated, adventure, comedy, one paw, 1 paw, gender