We once decided not to permit children's cartoons that were not specifically about Sci-Fi: Are children's literature and cartoons for children on-topic?

In the last 24 hours a question on this topic has been closed (quoting the meta question, above) and then re-opened: Why isn't Woody a valuable item anymore?

Have the rules changed? Or do we need clarity on what they are?

  • 3
    I'm in the middle of unpacking my house from the move, and don't have time to dig up the conversation, but I recall the consensus being that if the cartoon had special SF/F elements that enabled plot, it was on-topic. If, however, it was just a caveat of the show/work, it was not. So, for example: TMNT was on topic because of the mutagen. Giant anthropomorphic ninja turtles were not the norm for their universe. However, in Toy Story, all toys are actually just alive. There's no spell or magic tablet. So, it would be off-topic.
    – phantom42
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:11
  • 2
    Similarly, Alvin & The Chipmunks just sing. No one ever seems surprised at this or tries to experiment on them. Talking, singing, and dancing just seems to be the things that chipmunks do in that universe, so it's off-topic.
    – phantom42
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:12
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    In my case it was plain ignorance: I didn't know the Movies and TV site existed. Stackexchange has over 100 sites! In fact, I agreed with the migration. Feb 21, 2016 at 2:10

2 Answers 2


No, they're still not on-topic. I flagged that question for migration to Movies and TV where it belongs.


I disagree. Sid's (extreme) response to the toys talking to him shows that the toys can interact with humans. On top of that we see them periodically coming close to "getting caught out" and yet no-one seems any the wiser that toys can talk. That makes the central conceit a fantasy.

Although we've not been made privy to the secret of why toys can talk and move (magic? alien space rays? something in the water?), it's pretty clear that it's not normal for that universe.

  • It is normal for that universe. Eg all the Buzz Lightyears in the shop talk. Dec 31, 2014 at 17:44
  • @Wikis - In that one shop. But do they talk in every shop, worldwide? That being the case, how come they don't talk until Buzz and Woody arrive?
    – Valorum
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:46
  • Are there non-talking toys then? Even if there were, I don't know how that would lead to the question being on topic. Dec 31, 2014 at 17:47
  • @Wikis - That's my point. If every toy in the world talks, how come no-one knows that toys can talk?
    – Valorum
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:48
  • I don't know that no-one knows. But that is the charm of the story, what if toys really were alive? (And the answer is, they all stand still when people come in :) ) Dec 31, 2014 at 17:49
  • @Wikis - Except that they don't. In TS3, When Woody is in the bathroom with the Janitor, he waits until he's looking away but nearly gets spotted in the mirror. There's also a scene in the first film where they cross a major road under some cones. How has no-one noticed that toys can move?
    – Valorum
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:51
  • The answers are nearly and they're hiding under cones respectively. All the rest is hand-waving, I guess. :) Dec 31, 2014 at 20:08

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