This is the sequel to Toy Story, and thankfully, the theme to the first film carries over to this one (and the third). Essentially, Andy is a wonderful expression of Jesus, and his toys are a wonderful expression of The Church. If you haven’t checked out the Exploration of the first Toy Story, it would be helpful to check it out, because this one builds upon it.

At the start, Woody is frantically looking for his hat. Bo Peep calms him down and says “Look under your boot!” She reminds Woody that his hat doesn’t really matter, what matters is that he belongs to Andy. As Christians, it’s very easy to get caught up with worry about all the details of life and in the process forget that we belong to Jesus, and he’s going to make sure that everything turns out alright.

Woody gets stolen after he accidentally ends up in a yard sale. Al, the owner of Al’s Toy Barn, is the culprit. He sees toys as money money money, and doesn’t play with them at all. He doesn’t care about Woody and he certainly doesn’t want what’s best for Woody. Al has already collected Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete; Woody completes the collection. There, Woody learns that he is a very rare toy, based on a TV show that aired a long time ago. He watches the show and becomes really puffed up with pride for how cool he is. He seems to forget how he’s simply a toy and is one step away from believing he really is the Woody from the show, just as Buzz did in the previous movie. Woody starts to think that he is special because of how rare a toy he is and he forgets that the thing that makes him truly special is Andy’s love for him. Jessie and Stinky Pete also planted seeds of doubt in Woody in regards to Andy’s trustworthiness.

 We see it all the time in entertainment news. Someone professes to be a Christian early on in their career, and then as they grow in fame, they turn their backs on Jesus. I’m biting my lip to keep from naming names, but I really don’t have to, you’ve seen them. This happens out of the lime-light as well. Christians may find success in the world and begin to think that Jesus isn’t a necessary part of who they are. This is the highest form of betrayal. We must all be careful, because we are all susceptible to pride; even the greatest angel fell by this sin. We may also begin to question how much we are able to rely on Jesus to always be there for us. The devil and sometimes our friends may try and plant seeds questioning Jesus in our hearts.

When Woody is telling Jessie how great Andy is, she doesn’t believe him. Her previous owner really broke her heart and Stinky Pete probably spent years rubbing salt in that wound to the point where it was very difficult for Jessie to ever trust in an owner again. No matter what Woody said, she wouldn’t believe in Andy.

We may know this feeling or know someone that’s been in a similar situation when it comes to religion. They may have been burned by a false religion or by people who claim to be Christians but have no relationship with Christ. They have a hard time believing in Jesus, no matter how great we say he is. All we can do is shine the light and share His love and truth, while praying.

 In the end, Jessie and Bullseye both become part of Andy’s toy family. He plays with them and makes them special, they are no longer just museum pieces, they are toys, Andy’s toys. When we become part of God’s family, we become truly special, we aren’t just people, we’re God’s people. That is what we were always meant to be.

Discussion Questions:

  1. At the beginning of the movie, Woody is worried because he can’t find his hat. Bo Peep tells him to stop going crazy and just look under his boot. What does Woody’s boot say? Jesus tells us we do not have to worry when we belong to him. Where can we look for assurance that Jesus loves us?  (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:1, John 15:15)
  2. Al, the man who stole Woody, likes to sell toys to make money. He has a toy store, but never plays with toys. He doesn’t want Woody because he loves him, but only for what Woody can do for him. How is Andy different from Al? (John 10:10)
  3. When Woody meets Jessie and Stinky Pete, the first thing they do is make him question how much Andy cared about him. Stinky Pete says, “You were in a yard sale because Andy broke you and was done with you!” None of it was true, but Woody started to doubt Andy. Sometimes, when people want you to act like them, they might tell you lies about Jesus. Satan will also tell you these kinds of lies to make you wonder if Jesus is really reliable. The Bible tells us that God keeps all of His promises and Jesus is full of Truth; but Satan is a liar and cannot be trusted for anything.  (John 8:44, John 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:19-20,Hebrews 10:23)
  4. Woody became convinced that he was really great on his own. He forgot how silly Buzz looked in the first movie and started acting in a similar way. Woody believed he was so great that he didn’t need Andy to be special anymore. This sometimes happens with Christians who become rich and famous; they forget how much they need Jesus to be really special. When you are rich and famous, remember that without Jesus you are just the same as a lost toy, but when you stay close to Him, you will truly be great!
  5. When Woody tells Jessie about how wonderful Andy is, she doesn’t believe him. Jessie had a girl once, but that girl broke her heart. Some of your friends might have trusted a false religion and been deceived by it, or maybe they were hurt by people who called themselves Christians but really didn’t act like one. They may have a hard time believing that Jesus is really as wonderful as you say He is. Jessie eventually found out how wonderful Andy is, and if you pray for your friend and show them love, while you introduce them to Jesus, they will see how wonderful He is, too. (Matthew 28:19-20)