“You’ve Got A Friend In Me”

The other day I completed a marathon of watching the entire Toy Story trilogy. It was a remarkable experience, full of childhood flashbacks, nostalgic yearnings for simplicity, and other sentimental emotions like that. This franchise holds a dear place in my heart, considering the length span of this series parallels my very own childhood. When Toy Story came out in 1995, I was only 3 three years old. By the time Toy Story 3 was released last year, I was about to experience my very last summer before high school ended. Connecting the dots between Toy Story and my own life has been surreal, simply because the major theme of the last film touches on an upcoming dilemma of my own:  How to prepare to move on from the past and learn how to embrace the future. Let’s think about it for a second here; in about one month the very first wave of high school graduates prepare to move out of state and begin school. Hell even the WSU kids start in flipping early August! Matter of fact, our very own blogger Dylan V is leaving for USC (WOOT WOOT!) in early August too. Before I dwell on the prospect of one of my closest friends leaving, I better return back to the music of Toy Story. You see here, despite the changes in the franchise, the iconic theme song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” remains in place, tugging at the hearts of the audience. In Toy Story, it began with the original Randy Newman, by the time Toy Story 3 rolled around, there’s a Spanish twist to it performed by the Gypsy Kings. The evolution / modification of the original track is symbolic of the transformation of our very own lives and circumstances. Come on, there’s got to be more reason to why there was a Spanish version of  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” simply to tie up the plot item about Buzz Lightyear’s flamboyant Spanish mode right? I may be over-analyzing it, but I take it as a reflection of the society we live in today, where the growing Hispanic population in the US can’t be ignored. There are even more evidence of this change in the community I live in, where my former elementary school now offers a dual language class in kindergarten to simultaneously accommodate the Spanish speaking students and to expose the other students to another foreign language. That statement there isn’t designed to spark any political debate, but rather point out the changes that have occurred over the years in the span between the first Toy Story and the last installment. Likewise, there’s been a great deal of change in the music scene from 1995 to today, Seattle music is just now finally starting to break away from that national perception of the grunge city. Artists like Macklemore, Fleet Foxes, and Shabazz Palaces are leading the way in fighting against the stereotype of the flannel shirt that Seattle music has been known for. Despite all these changes, it’s still a comfort in knowing that no matter how things may changed on the surface, there are many familiar aspects left behind. In the end, both versions of  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” say the same thing: Here is the most comforting song to listen to when growing up….Jesus Christ, someone call Hallmark, I can work for them right now with these sappy words. I’ve jumped all over the place in this rambling post, so I might as well end it now. To childhood.

Randy Newman – You’ve Got A Friend In Me [iTunes]

The Gipsy Kings – “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”

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