When in whatever-it-takes-to-survive mode, we often find ourselves loosening our usual restrictions on how much screentime the kids get. So the little guy and little girl watched quite a bit of Disney Junior the other morning, including an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where the gang goes on a long strange trip.
To Mars, that is. But the show on the television merely formed the backdrop for an elaborately expanded narrative masterminded by the little guy and expressed in the form of running and jumping all around the den, where he and his sister joined Mickey and company on the interplanetary voyage, along with Buzz Lightyear and Jessie the cowgirl as represented by the trusty deluxe doll versions thereof (in case you were wondering if Buzz III were still in one piece - yup, so far, knock on plastic). I overheard only bits and pieces of it, but I did laugh at one point as my children had to debate whether or not Jessie could survive in outerspace since she lacks a pressure suit and breathing helmet and whatnot. I think they ended up agreeing to pretend she had one of Buzz’s spare helmets so her eyeballs wouldn’t be sucked out of their sockets.
Anyway, cute is cute and all but the thought of Jessie in outer space also provided me with an epiphany that I can’t believe it took me this long to realize:
FACT: Toy Story is essentially the tale of how a spaceman and a cowboy find common ground.
FACT: Joss Whedon is one of the credited screenwriters for Toy Story.
FACT: Whedon + outer space + cowboys =
FACT: Firefly is a direct spiritual descendant of Toy Story.
Man, if Toy Story didn’t have a prominent place of honor in the ol’ personal pop culture library before (NB: it totally did) you best believe it does now.