The Hysteric' s Guide to Pixar: On Voice and Gaze in Toy Story 1-2

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The article presents a Lacanian analysis of two animated films from Pixar Studio: Toy Story 1 & 2. The analysis is, as revealed by the title of the article, very much inspired by Sophie Fiennes’ film The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema starring Slavoj Zizek. In the vein of Zizek’s film analysis it has the double aim of exemplifying important psychoanalytic concepts (the voice, the gaze, partial object, the Other, the primal father, the name-of-the-father, symbolic castration) and analyzing two films of a new and influential genre. The genre of computer animated films seems to carry within it, as a kind of meta-reflection, the very philosophical problem of “animation” – what does it take to “animate” a thing or an animal? That is, what is “a soul” (Latin: “animus”)? How is something “humanized?” Or, psychoanalytically speaking, how is the subject constituted? Pixar’s animated universe seems to me not only to present its creators with this problem, but also to thematize it. Or, put in another way: the problem of “animation” seems to expand from being a problem of production to defining to a large degree the themes and stories of the films. The article inquires into the “animation” of the heroes of Toy Story: the cowboy doll Woody and his seemingly psychotic pal, the space toy Buzz Lightyear. The analysis of Toy Story 1 takes its point of departure in the dimension of the voice, where as the dimension of the gaze is central for the analysis of Toy Story 2.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Žižek Studies
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 19 dec. 2011


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - psykoanalytisk filmanalyse , Blikket, stemme, animationsfilm, Lacan (Jacques), Pixar

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