SALT LAKE CITY — Megaplex Theatres hosted a four-film, six-hour-long "Toy Story" marathon ahead of the release of "Toy Story 4," and I attended it.
I kept track of my eating habits, my soda intake and, most importantly, my thoughts about the films and what they meant for me. You can check a full list of up-to-date coverage on Twitter and the hashtag #HerbScribnerAndBeyond.
For now, here's a look at the coverage. Scroll to the bottom to read from the beginning.
"Toy Story 4"
7:51 p.m. — So I don't want to spoil anything for this movie — but I cried. There, I said it. I cried. The ending was top notch, it hit home, it got me. Totally, totally got me.
I wasn't the only one. Sniffles galore. People were tearing up like it was THAT moment in "Avengers: Endgame." Beautiful ending scene for sure.
"Toy Story 4" is an interesting film. I suggest you read my colleague Court Mann's review over at the Deseret News. We didn't need it. "Toy Story 3" could have been the ending to the franchise. But still, Pixar found a way to make "Toy Story 4" super relevant.
This idea of fulfilling your purpose and then trying to find another purpose is super strong in the film. It's something we're all thinking about in our own lives. We reach our professional goals, our relationship goals, spiritual goals — whatever it is. So, what's next? I've talked with friends about this before. What do you do when you accomplish your dream? How do you find purpose when you've already fulfilled your purpose? It's such an interesting concept that the film brilliantly explores.
Even more, "Toy Story 4" — and all the other "Toy Story" films — tell us a lot about the idea of letting go. You have to let go of your past. You have to let go of the things that hold you back. You have to let go of everything you know so you can grow and find a new path.
So, that's that. The quick marathon is over. I will say that this marathon left little time between films so it definitely felt rushed and like you had to move quickly to see all the movies. That's one big takeaway. There was little time for the movies, which required some hustle from everyone who attended.
"Toy Story 3"
5:01 p.m. — I am an emotional wreck after watching the last movie. Watching "Toy Story 3" after seeing the other two films back-to-back just raises the stakes of the third film. You feel the love and care and friendship shared between the toys, which makes for such a tear-jerking ending. The marathon really helps in that regard.
There are a few takeaways from the film. One thing — the villain Lots-O actually has a really good point about the way he runs Sunnyside Daycare. He asks that everyone start from the bottom and work their way up to the top. Though he's a villain, there is a good lesson there about starting from the bottom and grinding your way through the work to reach the top. We should all pay attention to that as a way to grow and understand the world. We shouldn't be just given everything — we should learn to grow through the troubling times.
Moving on is hard to do, and the toys in "Toy Story 3" learn to do it as well. We read the movie as a guide for moving on past childhood. But it's really moving on past anything. It's about growing past the ways of old — your old habits, your old ideas, your old way of thinking. It's about growth and becoming who you really are.
"Toy Story 2"
3:05 p.m. — Just got out of "Toy Story 2" and I have a lot of thoughts.
First, the man sitting in front of me brought a pillow. Respect the game. Smart move, my man. Second, the girl sitting next to me took her shoes off and it DIDN'T smell like bad feet. Respect the game.
OK, but seriously. The major moment from this film that's sitting with me — especially after the Deseret News covered anxiety in such great detail — is how much Jessie's trauma affected her personality and emotions. She's angry, frustrated, sad and totally anxious over what happened to her. You see her have quite near a panic attack when she learns Woody doesn't want to go with them, for example. It shows how problematic anxiety and trauma can be for someone. I'm glad to see Pixar brought this attention to the forefront of this film. It shows us all that anxiety is a very real issue, one that can affect anyone, even toys.
I also want to call attention to Andy's mom, who makes a number of mistakes in this movie. She throws out Andy's toys into a yard sale without even consulting him since he's away at camp. And she straight up leaves her daughter Molly (who can barely walk) in the van, in her car seat, alone and then heads back upstairs to talk to Andy. Yikes. Not a good look. You hate to see it.
But there's a lesson there, too. Andy's mom was trying her best, of course. And even then, she failed. She tried to keep the Chicken Man, Al of Al's Toy Barn, from stealing Woody. She did her best. But Woody was still snagged. So it just goes to show you that no matter how hard you try to stay perfect, mistakes can be made.
1 p.m. — This isn't a Marvel marathon, let me tell you.
The "Toy Story" marathon kicked off with its typical flavor. Butter, strawberry cream soda and salt. All the surroundings seemed the same, too. Swag, popcorn tins and a schedule to follow for the day's events.
But it doesn't smell like feet. There are many more families than there were at the Marvel movie marathon. And the movies are way shorter. "Toy Story" felt like watching a long TV show episode on Netflix or HBO — not a full movie.
But the "Toy Story" film still offered me some interesting lessons and some principles to follow. I noticed that Andy has a wide range of toys. None of them are the same. He has Bo Peep, a cowboy, a space ranger, a dinosaur and a slinky-dog, among several others. None of them are the same. And that tells me something important about Andy: He has an open mind. He's ready to embrace people (and toys) from all walks of life. His community is large, his mind searching for answers to how to solve the problem of life. There's a lesson there about meeting people from all cultures and embracing different environments.
It's a lesson that typically goes unnoticed in the film. Themes of friendship, surviving the odds, working together and embracing people new to your world are easy ones to see in the film. But the fact that Andy has such a wide range of toys should be a signal to all of us all to embrace people from different worlds, too.
There's also a lesson to learn about how life constantly changes on us. There's always something new coming our way. In "Toy Story," Buzz's arrival throws Woody for a loop — a sign that life will throw changes at you and you can either accept them or try to fight them. But in the end, you need the changes. You need to accept the new way of life and figure out how to adapt.
OK. Enough for now. Going to grab some Pizza Planet pizza.