To some, his actions remain unforgivable. But, for me, Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, the antagonist of Toy Story 3, deserves a second chance: a chance to make it all right in the eyes of the public. Though he has committed grave atrocities—atrocities that may be difficult for many to excuse — I believe his heart is pure. Though he perhaps does not deserve to be forgiven, he does deserve a second chance.
In order to fully understand Lotso’s motives, it is critical to be familiar with his troubled past. As many know, Lotso’s first owner was Daisy. Daisy took excellent care of Lotso and his buddies, providing them with all of the tea parties and outings they could ever desire. Unfortunately, Daisy’s parents were not as kindhearted as Daisy was. One fateful day, Lotso and his friends were out with Daisy, when Daisy fell asleep. When it was time to go home, Daisy’s parents displayed extreme negligence when they brought Daisy back to their car: they neglected to take Lotso et. al. along with them, leaving them, lying dejected and disgraced on the cold dirt ground. As we all know, this was only the beginning of Lotso’s growing distrust for humans. Lotso and his pals hitchhiked back home in the pouring rain, only to discover that Daisy had replaced Lotso with a different Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. At this moment, Lotso felt a devastation no toy should ever feel. This abandonment was too much for him to handle, effectively transforming Lotso into the villain we tend to see him as.
It is my belief that this strawberry-scented bear warrants a second chance at love; it is my belief that this old soul has been through too many struggles to have his actions attributed to the alleged pure evil inside of him. First, Lotso was betrayed by Daisy’s parents, and not Daisy, which Lotso could not have been aware of. It was Daisy’s parents who neglected to collect Lotso and his buds from the outing on that fateful day, and it was also Daisy’s parents, presumably, who bought Daisy the “replacement” While Lotso knew that it was the parents who forgot them on that outing, he could not have known that it was her parents who bought the replacement toy. When I was little, I lost my beloved stuffed baby named Pink Baby. After I lost her, my parents suggested I replace her with an identical Pink Baby that I already had. However, this replacement never held the same place in my heart, and I refused to let her truly take the place of the OG Pink Baby. Luckily, I eventually found her stuffed inside a sleeping bag months later and tossed the replacement out the door. I can only imagine that Daisy honestly mourns the loss of the OG Lotso, and that his replacement will never mean as much to her as the original Lotso did. Unfortunately, Lotso does not see this, and thinks that Daisy has fully replaced him and tossed him to the curb. The level of betrayal and disloyalty that Lotso has mistakenly been the victim of became the downfall that crushed Lotso and his happy-go-lucky attitude.
Lotso is bitter that he was rejected and treated like garbage. As a result of this, he attempts to even things out by becoming the evil overlord that we all saw at Sunnyside Daycare. But everything that he does is out of absolute distrust and wariness he harbors toward humans as a result of his troubled past with humans. It was Lotso’s unfair upbringing that caused him to have these outbreaks against all of the other donated toys at Sunnyside. He had no control when Daisy’s parents replaced him, so he tried to regain that control by being the dictator he is at Sunnyside. However, if given a wholesome, fruitful, and caring relationship with a human, he may learn to trust again. But we can only know this if we give him that second chance. I think it is time we pull him out of the pile of trash he has been rotting in and let him prove to us that he is ready to be loved and to love us back.