Oh, Sid. Where do we start with you?
From the first moment we see him, this kid is bad news. Not only has he been kicked out of summer camp and on his way to becoming a juvenile delinquent, Sid also doesn't play nice with his toys.
And, since all our heroes are helpless toys, that's a very big deal.
There Goes the Neighborhood
We first see Sid playing in his backyard. He's about the blow up a Combat Carl doll and all the toys explain to Buzz just how sadistic and awful he is:
BUZZ: Why is that soldier strapped to an explosive device?
WOODY: That's why. Sid.
BUZZ: Sure is a hairy fella...
WOODY: No, no, that's Scud, you idiot. That is Sid.
BUZZ: You mean that happy child?
MR. POTATO HEAD: That ain't no happy child!
REX: He tortures toys—just for fun!
Which is why it's a complete nightmare for Woody when he accidentally goes home with the little creep. In Sid's room, everything is just as awful as he imagined. Sid is cartoonishly villainous (even for a cartoon). He pulls the head off of his sister's baby doll. He burns Woody's forehead. And he special orders a rocket so he can launch his toys into space and blow them to smithereens.
He's not only a jerk to toys, but he's cruel to his little sister, too. He also doesn't seem to have any friends to play with—not even the little boy, Andy, who lives next door. Nope. Both people and toys give this twerp a wide berth.
Eventually, Woody and Buzz are able to escape from Sid's clutches by breaking a few rules and teaching him a lesson. It's a pretty harsh lesson, too. Woody speaks to Sid, channels The Exorcist, and then his other toys come to life. They've got news for this little psycho—they don't like being blown up and ripped apart.
Sid better play nice… or else.
Is He Really That Bad?
And Woody's plan works. Sid learns a lesson about treating toys nicely…and is probably permanently scared for life. It's the kind of stunt that would land a kid in therapy, or make him constantly mutter about how the toys are watching him. Always watching…
Which is why we kind of feel bad for Sid. Just a little bit.
For starters, he didn't know that his toys had feelings. He just thought they were pieces of plastic made in China. So, he wasn't purposelessly hurting them just to inflict pain. Also, the way Sid plays with his toys is pretty creative. He's splices new toys together and creates all kinds of imaginative scenarios to play with them.
Sure, they're creepy scenarios, too, but still: points for effort. We're guessing that, say, Banksy would have done something similar when he was a child.
And, if you take a look at Sid's home life, it's clear he isn't being raised in the best environment. His mom and dad don't seem to care much about him. Heck, the kid ordered a rocket in the mail, which could blow his fingers off and no one seems to care. Not really helicopter parents, are they?
Yes, Sid is cruel and violent and acts out, but it's also pretty easy to see why. Maybe the kid is just sad and angry that no one seems to care about him?
We do get a little glimpse into Sid's future in Toy Story 3. We see a kid wearing the exact same shirt as Sid—a black t-shirt with a skull on it—collecting garbage in front of Andy's house. So, did Sid grow up to be a garbage man? You betcha.
This character is credited as Sid and even voiced by Erik von Detten (the original Sid). Some Toy Story fans even came up with a theory about why Sid would take on a job like this. Sid may be the only person in the entire world that knows that toys live, move, and have feelings. So, he became a garbage collector so he could rescue and repair old tossed out toys.
Aww! See, we knew there was a sweet side to Sid. Underneath that mean, psychotic, jerky exterior there's a hero inside. Maybe.