It appears that you found (accidentally or not) the one-paged shrine to the bravest cowboy toy you've ever seen; Sheriff Woody from Disney's Toy Story movies. Here you can find a quick, but concrete analysis on Woody's character, his relevance, and the lessons he has managed to teach us, and specially the children that accompanied him through around seven years in the big screens, through the three movies that marked a generation. I hope this quick shrine doesn't go too nostalgic in just a few paragraphs, but in either way, I hope to bring, with this shrine, at least some entertainment and information (and maybe even a little bit of the nostalgy I'm not trying so hard to avoid). So let us all laugh and cry again, as this courageous cowboy risks his life to protect his friends and all of which he believes in and is devoted to.
YOU GOT A FRIEND IN ME.
boundless: a short shrine for sheriff woody
THE BOUNDLESS SHERIFF.
sheriff woody: the famous cowboy toy
The Sheriff Woody once was a worldwidely famous toy and a part of a huge collection of items with the same far west themes. The toy became so incredibly popular that it even had a show that used to go on TV and featured Sheriff Woody himself as the protagonist, sided by his friends Jessie and the horse Bullseye, who were antagonized by the figure of the greedy but unlucky Stinky Pete. However, after man first travelled to space, a new line of toys was subsequently produced, and so was originated the Buzz Lightyear toy, along with a flood of new toys with space themes. Woody and it's whole far west collection decreased in popularity as every child became increasingly interested in the new ones. The aforementioned TV show, for example, was called off because of the lack of audience.
Woody is a very simple toy, which explains the children's reactions when the new line of space themed toys arrive. The two lines are actually contrastant: while Woody is made of fabric, Buzz is completely plastic; Woody has no special features like Buzz does, except for the string on his back, which can be pulled in order to make him say one of his famous phrases such as "There is a snake in my boot!" He is often described as brave, as any cowboy should be, and strong; Andy, before handing Woody to Bonnie along with the rest of his toys in Toy Story 3 says that what really makes Woody special is that he never, never gives up on you.
PROTECTING EACH OTHER.
his family: more than just friends.
In the first movie, we are able to meet a very large variety of toys, living together at Andy's house. In Toy Story 2, this number increased. Seven years later though, in the thrid movie, Andy had grown and no longer plays with his toys; besides, seven years of yard sales and recycling made it so that the number of toys inside Andy's toy trunk became surprisingly small -- only Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Hamm, Slink, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and Molly's Barbie doll have remained after those long seven years. I believe that saying "you only know how much something is valuable for you after you lost it" is more than applying to this case. As dear toys such as Wheezy, Bo Peep and Etch were lost, among those that remained grew a feeling of protection and dependence.
Each of them feared being the next toy to be given away, and each of them also feared that the toy beside them would be the next one to be given away. The feared not only for themselves, but for each other.
SOMEONE WE CAN RELY ON.
leadership: why is woody always the leader?
Woody is constantly seen leading the group of toys in various occasions, while Buzz stands in a secondary position, only actually leading if Woody is absent. But what makes Woody their leader? At first, one would say it's his position as Andy's favorite toy that automatically and consequently places him in the leading role, but I don't see it like that -- the hierarchy within them is very subtle and almost completely transparent, in a way that even if Woody is a leader, it doesn't make him any better than the other toys and deserves no special treatment. They're all alike and the "hierarchy" is merely symbolic in a way that Woody gets nothing from standing in his current position, except for the affection and respect, which is not only directed to him, but distributed equally from and to all of the toys.
What makes him the leader in fact is in his very essence, and it is Andy who reveals it to us in Toy Story 3. Andy hands Woody over to Bonnie along with all of his other toys reluctantly, after saying that among all of them, Woody was the most special; he would be your friend no matter what happened. He is brave as the sheriff must be. But what really makes him unique is the fact he will never give up on you. Woody fights for all of those surrounding him; he protects each and every toy and gives them hope when they think they've lost it. He tries his best to always be Andy's toy, showing incomparable loyalty.
In my opinion, that is what makes Woody special, and that's what makes him a symbolic leader to the other toys. It's not because he's a famous toy, a rare toy, or the favorite toy. It's because all of them know that Woody will always be there, and that they can rely on him.
ANDY'S FAVORITE TOY.
owner & partner: about woody and andy.
Andy Davis is the owner of an incredible amount of toys in the first Toy Story, and among these are some notable ones such as Woody, Buzz and Jessie. He treats his toys as real friends and is careful with them, preserving them for a long time; Woody, for instance, is aproximately ten years-old and has received little damage. Andy's toys are happy to be so, and they admire him, always trying their best to please him and make him happy. But Woody is special; he is Andy's favorite toy and certainly his best "inanimate" friend.
Woody answers to the love he receives with more love, respect, and the partnership feeling that is specific of a cowboy. And, as said before, Woody never gives up; even when everything seems to be lost, Woody still tries hard to get Andy's attention and trigger him to play with his old toys, that have been abandoned for years. In fact, nothing is more important to Woody than Andy. Of course, he cares deepely about his family of toys, but he will always be fighting in order to be by Andy's side; when Buzz and the others decide to stay at Sunnyside, in Toy Story 3, Woody is the only one who tries to go back to Andy, partly because he knows that he didn't truly intend to get rid of them, but mostly because there is nothing more important to Woody than being Andy's toy.
THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP.
responsability: the ultimate lesson woody teaches us
As it's usual in children's movies, the leading character in Toy Story teaches us a valuable lesson by showing us the incredible virtue that friendship is. Three movies have successively shown us how friendship can break bounds and change lives. In this case, Woody does so along with Buzz and Andy. Buzz is Woody's best friend among the toys, and the only one he can be totally sincere with; to all of the other toys, Woody is the solid figure, the one who will support all of them, but to Buzz, Woody is just Woody. After their attempt in getting Andy's attention and their failure in doing so, in the beginning of the third movie, Woody tries to calm everyone down, but after he's found alone with Buzz, he shows he is also worried. That is just a small sign of their friendship; the biggest of them is shown when they're apart. Whenever Woody and Buzz are far from each other, which has happened in every movie at least once, they simply don't work properly.
When they're apart, we can see how they grow weaker and weaker. Only when they are reunited, usually because of a sudden and exciting twist of events, they can do something in fact.
And he goes further in his attempt to show us how strong friendships can be. As has been said in this shrine a million times, Woody and Andy had such a special relationship that makes it hard to stress enough. They lived through long years together happily and they develop a deep, strong and true bond. When Andy grows up, it's expected that this bond would end, that it would be broken and forgotten. However, their friendship is so strong it allows them to say goodbye, accepting the painful and cruel, but unavoidable reality. Woody, and the other toys too, but specially Woody leaves knowing that he was once Andy's toy, and that he will always be Andy's toy, because they're partners, and the true frienship is the one in which the two can be always together, even if separated by long distances.
ALL DREAMS FLOW TO THE OCEAN.
conclusion: how i relate to children's movies
Sided with our everyday Comedy in my favorite movie genres is, certainly, Animation. I don't really understand what's about children's movies that draw me to them in such a weird way. Maybe it's the familiar storyline development that always lead to a happy ending for most of the good guys; maybe the characters are just easy to get related to; or maybe it's just the comfortable feeling this dreamy reality has. In either case, aging didn't turn me into a teenager that doesn't want to be seen watching The Lion King or Pocahontas for the 100th time. I'm still a good apreciator of this kind of movie, specially Disney, tough the way this industry has been directed lately have forced me into migrating to other companies too. However, these eternal titles that live on and that I'm certainly saving to show to my own children in the future have grown on me in a very strong manner, and they have marked me.
Maybe the magic in children's movie, for those who have left their childhood behind, is reminding us that we once were children. Filling me with such nostalgy is both a venom and a bliss for me. How many of us will ever forget that life shouldn't be taken so seriously; that, some things, we just have to let happen and Carpe Diem or, as these movies have teached us, Hakuna Matata? Or that we can fight for whatever we believe in if we only believe in ourselves? That it doesn't matter who you are, where you come from or how do you look like, you're a living being and, therefore, are worthy of respect? And how can we forget how strong true friendship can be, as so many characters, Woody and Buzz being only two of them, have shown us in the most various ways? Maybe I'm starting to sound a little like Andy shortly before handing over his last toys to Bonnie, though with these amazing characters that have filled many childhoods instead of the toys.
So, when the One Page, One Month marathon subscriptions began at Amassment, I decided to leave the gaming themes I'm used to have in my shrines in order to dedicate it to this amazing series of movies and this amazing character. I guess my true intention with this shrine is saying thanks to the people who provided me and a million of other people with such an incredible childhood, and not only in order to show my love for Woody, but for this entire set of characters that marked me -- from Lumière, the friendly candlestick in The Beauty and The Beast, to Hades, the evil ruler of the underworld in Hercules.
LET'S BEGIN A NEW STORY...
farewell: where we finally say goodbye...
Whew, wasn't that fun! Sad thing it's over... But now I guess it's time for me to say some little things about this site's creation... Boundless was created for Amassment's One Page, One Month marathon in July 2011. The layout was designed with Photoshop CS3 and coded through Notepad; it features, as expected, Woody in Toy Story 3 and... well, it's a pretty simple layout that didn't take too long to be made actually, but I liked the process of creating it, even when it became extremely frustrating to code. I hope you'll enjoy your time here! :) And if you feel like this shrine is worth linking, you can do so with the button below; just be sure to not direct hotlink! Grab a button, save it to your server and link it to receive my sincere thankfulness. Also, donations are accepted and encouraged! You can send them through email.