Warning: spoilers ahead for the series premiere of Loki on Disney+.
The long-awaited return of Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief for the Loki TV show got off to an intriguing start, with Loki under the control of the Time Variance Authority, stuck in a place where his magic doesn't work, reeling from revelations about his original timeline, and facing a possible battle with another version of himself. At first glance, Loki is heavy on time travel and sci-fi and comic book-esque storytelling at its best, but it turns out that one inspiration for the show was a funny Toy Story moment, as creator/producer/head writer Michael Waldron has revealed.
Loki's Michael Waldron spoke with CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg for Marvel Studio's newest Disney+ TV show, and Waldron revealed some of the cinematic influences for the series (seen in full above). Although he first mentioned Blade Runner and Catch Me If You Can, Waldron went on to explain how the classic kids' movie inspired the handling of Loki's character:
Toy Story, that was a big one. Because Toy Story, that great moment when Buzz realizes he's just a toy, that was something that on day one in the writers' room, we realized that we wanted to have Loki encounter in the first episode, where the TVA basically say, 'Here's your life.' And him realizing, 'Wow, I was never the God of Chaos or the God of Mischief. I am just a toy.' There were a lot of different influences, but we had a picture of Buzz Lightyear with his arm knocked off on the writers' room wall for a long time.
As Toy Story fans will undoubtedly remember, the iconic Buzz Lightyear goes through a bit of an existential crisis when he finally realizes that he's just a toy, along with the likes of Woody and Rex and the rest. It was a funny moment of realization in the movie, but Loki certainly wasn't laughing with glee when he faced a similar twist in the Loki premiere, particularly coupled with the discovery that his magic wouldn't work. Loki didn't reach the villainous heights that he did in the MCU just because of his magic, of course, and his wiles were sufficient enough that he got his hands back on the Tesseract, but ultimately didn't escape the TVA.
Loki's own Buzz Lightyear-esque realization was exactly what Loki really needed to sell that the character who was still in full villain mode when he escaped his original timeline at the end of The Avengers would become somebody more heroic, akin to who he was after Thor: Ragnarok and at the time of his death in Avengers: Infinity War. Who can blame the guy for taking a good hard look at himself after watching what his original self went through over those in-between years, including the death of his mother?
Now Loki is set up to help Owen Wilson's Mobius catch the villain who is wreaking havoc on history and seems to be another version of Loki himself, although viewers can probably confident that there's a lot more to the new baddie than Loki revealed in the premiere. See what happens next with new episodes of Loki releasing on Disney+, on Wednesdays at 12 a.m. PT.