Sure, he wears a black T-shirt with a skull on it, terrorizes his little sister, and deconstructs his toys. But does any of this actually make Sid from Pixar’s original Toy Story in 1995 a full-fledged villain? In a new video on the Super Carlin Brothers YouTube channel, Jonathan Carlin makes a compelling case for Sid. At worst, Carlin argues, he’s just a neglected child with no possible way of knowing that his toys are sentient and capable of feeling pain. At best, he’s actually a creative artist and much closer in personality to a real child than goody-goody Andy Davis, who seems to be a stand-in for Pixar honcho John Lasseter. Let’s give the kid a break, huh?
Carlin argues that audiences are conditioned to think of Sid as a villain because he’s depicted as the opposite of Andy. If Andy is good, therefore, Sid must be evil. But hold on, says Carlin. The characters of Leslie and Ron on Parks And Recreation are opposites (Poehler opposites, one might say), and yet they’re not enemies, and neither one is “bad.” What’s the real evidence against Sid, anyway? He teases his little sister and breaks his toys? All kids do that stuff. Even some of the Pixar creative team members thought Sid was more relatable than Andy. Besides, Sid does seem to treat his dog pretty well. And it’s key to point out that Sid has no way of knowing that his toys come to life once they’re out of his sight. As far as he knows, he’s just inflicting some damage on lifeless pieces of plastic and metal. Besides, Carlin notes, Sid doesn’t exactly have the greatest home life. Dad’s a boozehound, and Mom is AWOL. Sid’s basically raising himself. Under the circumstances, Sid could be a lot worse. Good on him for landing that sweet trash collecting gig in Toy Story 3.