- “This is what happens when you dummies try to think. We're all just trash, waiting to be thrown away! That's all a toy is!”
Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear (or Lotso for short) is the main antagonist of the 2010 Disney•Pixar animated film Toy Story 3. He is a large, pink strawberry-scented teddy bear who once ruled Sunnyside Daycare with the iron fist of a prison warden.
Lotso started his life as a Christmas present for a little girl named Daisy and instantly became her favorite toy. Lotso seemed to have enjoyed every moment of the time spent at Daisy's house. However, there was a time when Daisy took Lotso and her two other toys, a baby doll named Big Baby, and a clown named Chuckles, out for a drive with her parents and stopped at a rest stop for a little bit of playtime. After lunch, Daisy fell asleep and her parents took her back into the car, accidentally leaving the toys behind. The three waited for a long time, but Daisy never returned for them. Refusing to give up, Lotso, followed by Chuckles and Big Baby, headed off into the wilderness and finally returned to Daisy's house, only to discover that Daisy had acquired another Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear toy, leaving Lotso greatly heartbroken.
He allowed his negative feelings to consume him, and he forcibly ordered Chuckles and Big Baby to leave Daisy and follow him, telling them Daisey replaced them all and she no longer cares for them. Chuckles tried to explain that Daisy only replaced him because she missed him so much, but there was nothing he could do. The three hitched a ride on a Pizza Planet delivery truck's rear bumper until the truck hit a bump in the road, knocking them off in front of Sunnyside Daycare, where Lotso took over and turned it into a prison for toys, with Big Baby as his enforcer. Chuckles had no part of Lotso's rule, and one day he was broken. He was found by Bonnie Anderson, who found him and took him home.
- "Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear is a jumbo, extra-soft teddy bear with a pink and white plush body and a velvety purple nose. This lovable bear stands fuzzy heads and shoulders above other teddy bears because he smells like sweet strawberries! With a smile that will light up your child's face and a belly just asking to be hugged, Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear is sure to become a bedtime necessity. Stain-resistant. Spot clean plush surface with a damp cloth."
At first, Lotso seemed like a caring, welcoming, friendly individual, and possessed all of the good qualities of the typical soft teddy bear character. This was further emphasized by his strawberry aroma and his hugging of Buzz Lightyear (hence his name Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear) when the toys first arrived at Sunnyside Daycare. He made a false promise to the toys that different kids at the daycare center would continue to play with them and they would never feel unloved or rejected.
However, this facade merely concealed his true nature later in the film. Lotso was eventually revealed to be a sadistic, conniving, rage-driven dictator and prison warden, ruling Sunnyside with an iron fist and imprisoning new toys in the Caterpillar Room to test their ability to experience the abuse of the reckless and destructive children there, while he sits comfortably in the Butterfly Room. This nature was mostly brought about by his perceived betrayal from Daisy. However, he was considered to be a kind-hearted friend to Chuckles and Big Baby before they were accidentally abandoned and Lotso found himself subsequently replaced. Now, Lotso lives by having others feel his pain by telling them that toys are unspecial and destined to be discarded with no redemption. For example, as the gang run into him during their escape, he tries to convince Woody because Andy is leaving for college without taking them, he no longer cares for them.
While in power as the head toy at Sunnyside, he displayed no mercy to toys that resisted, opposed, and helped other toys escape. This includes his own gang who starts to while Woody reveals why Lotso is how he is now and tosses Big Baby's pendant to him with, making him miss his former owner. Enraged by the loss of power Lotso's receiving, he destroys Big Baby's old pendant, Lotso showed that he not only wanted to forget his relationship with Daisy, he also wanted to destroy all of Big Baby's connections to Daisy and essentially all toys' connections to their owners. This would imply he did not really care about Daisy herself, but only the attention she gave him.
At the landfill, despite seemingly showing grateful feelings toward Woody and Buzz for saving him from the shredders, Lotso still held on to his dark side, as evidenced when he refused to press the emergency stop button that, had he pressed it, would have supposedly led to his redemption by sparing Woody and his friends from their fiery death in the incinerator.
Lotso is an elderly, purplish-pink stuffed teddy bear with a strawberry scent and a soft New Orleans accent. He uses a toy wooden mallet as a makeshift cane.
He is first introduced riding over to Woody, Buzz, and the other toys in his dump truck. He greets them in a friendly manner and tours them around Sunnyside. He assigns the new toys in the Caterpillar Room, knowing the toys there are treated riotously by the younger kids. However, unknown to Lotso, Woody escapes to go home to Andy - in the process, he gets stuck on a tree and is found by Bonnie.
That night, after the toys experience a rather rough playtime with the toddlers in the room, Buzz decides to go find Lotso to ask for his friends to be moved to the Butterfly Room. After being discovered by Lotso's gang as an eavesdropper and forced into their "Time-Out Chair" in the library for interrogation, Buzz requests a transfer for him and his friends, to which Lotso agrees, but only to Buzz's moving, knowing Buzz might be useful to him.
However, he refuses to listen to Buzz's plea to relocate his friends, convincing Buzz that they have the newer, stronger toys be in the Caterpillar room so the older toys won't have to go through those "hardships". But Buzz is still unwilling to abandon his friends. Realising Buzz can't be talked out of his loyalty, Lotso orders Big Baby to put Buzz back in the Time-Out Chair. He then uses a Buzz Lightyear action figure manual, which is given to him by the Bookworm, to reset Buzz to his demo mode. This mode reverts Buzz to a mindset that makes him think he is a real Space Ranger again (similar to how Buzz originally believed so in the first film as well as Utility Belt Buzz from the previous film) and brainwashes him into thinking his friends are helpers of Emperor Zurg. Lotso then makes Buzz imprison the toys inside cubbies (which act as cells), with Mr. Potato Head being put in "The Box" after talking back to him. As a way to make sure the toys obey his many rules, Lotso gives them Woody's hat, which he left behind in his escape, making the toys think Lotso killed Woody.
The next day, unbeknownst to Lotso, Woody returns to rescue his imprisoned friends after learning Lotso's true character from Chuckles and Bonnie's other toys. Woody's friends are relieved to see he is still alive and together, they formulate a plan to escape Sunnyside, including the attempt to get Buzz back on their side.
During that night, the toys attempt to flee Sunnyside through the garbage chute that the Chatter Telephone had told Woody about earlier. They nearly succeed, but Lotso and his gang confront them on the other side of a dumpster, blocking their route of escape and revealing that they've tortured Chatter Telephone until he told them about their whereabouts. Lotso tries to coax the toys about Andy that doesn't wanted them anymore. However, Woody rebuffs that statement. Lotso then tells Woody that he's a piece of plastic who was only made to be thrown away. Right after, Lotso hears and notices an approaching garbage truck arriving any minute. He tries coaxing the toys into coming back to the Caterpillar Room to avoid an approaching garbage truck nearby. But Jessie refuses, stating she would rather rot in the dumpster than join his "family". This makes Lotso signal to Stretch to push the toys into a dumpster, thinking that disposing of them as the trash will be better anyway.
Then Ken appears, having come for Barbie, and begs Lotso to spare her. Lotso becomes angry at Ken's act of redemption and attachment to Barbie and teases him by telling him there are millions of dolls like her, with which Ken disagrees and romantically glances at her. Enraged at Ken's redemption, Lotso throws Ken across the dumpster to Andy's toys so he can join Barbie. Ken then speaks out, explaining that what Lotso has done to Sunnyside is terrible and that he's been lying the entire time, and Lotso then asks his cohorts if anyone concurs with Ken. When no one answers, Lotso continues with his lecture, trying to deceive the toys into thinking that no kid has or will ever truly love a toy. Woody then reminds Lotso of his old life with his former owner Daisy, rightfully telling him that her losing and replacing him does not justify his actions. However, Lotso immediately becomes angry as he wants nothing to do with Daisy and tries to ignore him, wanting to completely forget about his ties to her had ever existed. Woody then pulls out Big Baby's old pendant (received from Chuckles during his stay at Bonnie's house earlier) and after unsuccessfully telling Lotso how she has loved him, Woody tosses the pendant to Big Baby, who picks it up, and looks at the token of his long lost owner before sniffling "Mama."
Outraged at how Big Baby is still emotionally attached to their former owner, Lotso snaps at Big Baby and says that she never loved him as he snatches the pendant from him and smashes it to pieces with his mallet, making Big Baby cry. Lotso then orders a now reluctant Stretch to push all the toys into the dumpster, and jabs the doll with his mallet, desperately trying to re convince the "dummies" that all toys are merely trash awaiting disposal. Suddenly, Big Baby, fed up with Lotso's deceit and abuse, throws the wicked bear into the dumpster and slams the lid on him, much to everyone's surprise. Big Baby then blows a raspberry directly at Lotso and allows the toys to escape.
As the toys quickly try to leave Sunnyside from across the closed dumpster, however, one of the Aliens becomes stuck by the dumpster lid, prompting Woody to hurry back and free the alien by slightly opening the lid. However, Lotso, having caught sight of Woody through the opening somehow climbs up, grabs Woody by the ankle, and pulls him into the dumpster, prompting Andy's other toys (excluding Barbie) to hurry to his rescue just as the garbage truck arrives to pour the garbage from the dumpster and the toys into the truck.
The truck takes Andy's toys and Lotso to Tri-County Landfill, where they are pushed onto a conveyor belt leading to a shredder (except the three aliens, who get swept away by a vehicle). After the toys grab onto a metal object so that they hang from the magnetic ceiling, safe from the shredder, Lotso calls for help from under a golf bag. Woody and Buzz drop down from the ceiling to free Lotso using one of the golf clubs to pry up the bag to let Lotso crawl out. The bear takes the cowboys hand as the club rises to the magnet, split-seconds before the shredder chews up the golf bag. They then drop down and land on another conveyor belt. After realizing the conveyor belt is leading them to an incinerator, Lotso and the toys try to run for it, but the conveyor belt pushes them closer and closer to the furnace. Lotso then notices an emergency stop button and hurries over to grab hold on the lower lung of a ladder leading to the button.
Lotso calls Woody to help him and Woody and Buzz hurry over to boost him up, allowing him to climb up the ladder and access the button. Woody and Buzz then call to Lotso to push the button, but Lotso had tricked them; he gives the helpless toys a menacing grin, shouts a final insult directly at Woody, and runs out of the scene to leave Andy's toys to die in the incinerator. Unfortunately, Woody and his friends were not so lucky; they all plunge down into the fiery pit, where they bind their hands awaiting the fire. Suddenly, the toys are rescued by the giant crane that the Aliens have commandeered at the last moment. After the toys emerge out of the furnace, Hamm and Slinky express their desire to get back at Lotso for leaving them, but Woody convinces them to forget about it, believing the former Sunnyside dictator is not worth it.
Meanwhile, Lotso tries to find his way out of the dump, he turns to see another garbage truck pulling up toward him, forcing him to go limp. As the truck stops next to him, a garbage man steps out of the truck and is surprised upon discovering Lotso, remembering he once owned a Lots-o'-Huggin'-Bear during his childhood. Sticking to his cherished memories of the pink bear (as well as his strawberry scent), the garbage man decides to take him along and then straps him onto his truck.
Lotso is last seen tied up on the truck's front grille by his wrists and ankles with a few other toys the same garbage man had collected sometime earlier before. Lotso panics and gasps as he wakes up to find himself in this predicament, but then one of the toys, a frog, advises him to keep his mouth shut to prevent mud and insects from getting in and Lotso does so right away, ending with the other toys laughing at him as the truck drove away.
Lotso makes a small cameo appearance in Up, which was released a year before Toy Story 3. Lotso is in the scene when Carl flies his house over an apartment building where he is laying against a wall in a little girl's room.
Lotso makes an appearance in the video game as a non-playable character, where he greets the toys when they arrive at Sunnyside.
Lotso makes meet and greet appearances at Disney's Hollywood Studios and is part of the then Toy Story Block Party Bash Parade (Now Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun) and at Disney's California Adventure. Despite being one of Disney's most hated villains, Lotso is a very popular character at Hollywood Studios and California Adventure.
- In a viral marketing campaign, Pixar posted two commercials, for a "real" Lotso teddy bear manufactured in 1983 (perhaps even longer) on YouTube. One was a typical American toy commercial from the 1980s and the other was done in Japanese. Both feature the "Toy Story Collection" edition of Lotso, that comes with the Certificate of Authenticity. This toy is a much nicer version of him and speaks to the owner in a friendly way.
- When Lotso is helped to the Emergency Stop button on the trash conveyor belt, rather than pressing the button to stop the belt and save the other toys, he glares at them and yells, "Where's your kid now, Sheriff?!" This is a wink to the Internet meme "Where is your God now?", a sarcastic way of inducing fear in a victim, which was based on the 1956 film The Ten Commandments, where Edward G. Robinson remarked to Charlton Heston "Where's your Messiah now?"
- Lotso shares a lot of character traits with Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2. They both seemed to be loving at first but were eventually revealed to be bad. This is mainly due to a sense of feeling rejected or unloved, which were seen in both.
- Coincidentally, the music that played during Lotso's defeat was the same music heard during Stinky Pete's defeat.
- However, Lotso is more malicious than Stinky Pete (who has redeeming qualities), as while Stinky Pete only wants to be appreciated and loved, Lotso simply wants other toys to feel his pain and tries to get Woody and his friends killed in the incinerator.
- Lotso's fate of having to live on a truck's grille mirrored Stinky Pete ending up in a backpack, although Stinky Pete's was happier in a sense, now being owned by Amy.
- His thick Southern accent, initially soft-spoken demeanor, and many of his iron fist policies as "Warden" ― including throwing uncooperative prisoners into "the box" ― are clear references to "The Captain", Strother Martin's character from Cool Hand Luke (as well as Lotso's voice actor Ned Beatty's previous character, Sheriff J.C. Conners, from White Lightning).
- According to the official movie magazine for Toy Story 3, Lotso was created for A Tin Toy Christmas (which later became Toy Story).
- Lotso was originally conceived as a teddy bear from the early 1980s Care Bears toy line. This idea was not dropped until after the storyboard was completed and can be seen in the tie-in book The Art of Toy Story 3.
- In the PS3 version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game, Lotso has a silent appearance, and his fate is never revealed.
- Test audiences who had sympathized with Lotso due to his backstory wanted him to push the button in the incinerator scene to redeem himself, but according to the DVD commentary, director Lee Unkrich explained that Lotso chose not to save the other toys so that audiences who had gotten to know them for three films could care about them, even more, when it looked like the end. Thus, Lotso's redemption was dropped. Another reason is that they did not want Lotso to get off so easily.
- An advertisement for a Lotso bear appears in Tokyo in Cars 2.
- Lotso was originally supposed to appear in the first film, but the technology needed to create his fur had not existed until the third film. A pink teddy bear that appears to be an early prototype of Lotso makes a brief appearance in Toy Story.
- Hades mentions Lotso in the Disney Cruise Line show Villains Tonight when he is looking for villains to call. However, he doesn't call Lotso as he "always brings that baby with him".
- Lotso is the only Toy Story 3 main character not to appear in the film's epilogue during the end credits.
- Lotso's persona was very similar to that of Woody's original rendition in Toy Story, specifically his characterization in the Black Friday show. Also by coincidence, both characters ended up toned up/toned down for the final version due to unexpected events during a test screening (Woody was originally an immense jerk and lacking compassion, buttoned-down after the Black Friday reel nearly shut down production of Toy Story; Lotso, likewise, had his cruelty amplified after test audiences sympathized with Lotso and wanted him to push the button to show that he got exactly what he deserved).
- In the Read-Along version of Toy Story 3, Lotso's final scene on the garbage truck is never shown.