Crazy Leader: Lotso
Of all the plush, purple, huggable and irredeemable villains in all of movie history, Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear is the plushest, purplest, most huggable. And the one most clearly without any hope of redemption. As voiced by the great Ned Beatty, Lotso is, at first, a mellow, comforting presence: a strawberry-scented guide for Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys as they navigate their confusing new home at the Sunnyside Daycare Center. Before long, though, Lotso’s true colors come through. Untrustworthy and ruthless, the bear has a tragic back story — he was (he believes) heartlessly abandoned by the little girl who once owned him — but even the cruelest personal history can’t mitigate his level of malice. With his coterie of sycophants and his deceptively easy-going Southern accent, Lotso brings to mind Strother Martin’s sadistic Captain in Cool Hand Luke: a jailer and leader who pretends he wants to be loved, but is far happier being feared.