- “The adventure takes off!”
Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-adventure smash hit directed by John Lasseter, and features the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. The film was co-produced by Ralph Guggenheim and Bonnie Arnold and was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, and Alec Sokolow, and featured music by Randy Newman. It was the very first feature film released to use only computer-generated imagery and the first film released by Pixar Animation Studios. Toy Story follows a group of toys who come to life whenever humans are not present, focusing on Sheriff Woody, an old-fashioned pullstring toy cowboy (Hanks), and Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut action figure (Allen). The movie was released in theatres November 22, 1995. The computer animation was also designed by Silicon Graphics, the same company that did computer graphics in movies like The Abyss, Jurassic Park, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
The top-grossing film on its opening weekend, Toy Story went on to earn over $191 million in the United States and Canada during its initial theatrical release and took in more than $361 million worldwide. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, praising both the technical innovation of the animation and the wit and sophistication of the screenplay.
In addition to DVD releases, Toy Story-inspired material has run the gamut from toys, video games, spin-offs, and merchandise. The film was so successful it prompted two sequels, Toy Story 2, which was released November 24, 1999 and became an even bigger hit than the original (Toy Story was re-released on a double feature with Toy Story 2 in 3D on October 2, 2009) and Toy Story 3, which was released June 18, 2010. It was selected into the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" on its first year of eligibility.
The film begins with a young boy named Andy Davis playing with his toys; a Mr. Potato Head toy, Slinky Dog, a plastic T-Rex dinosaur toy named Rex, a porcelain sheep lady named Bo Peep, Bo Peep's sheep, and his favorite toy, Woody, a cowboy doll. He pretends Mr. Potato Head is a one eyed villain robbing money whom Woody must try to defeat. He takes Woody into the living room and plays with him some more, with a short interruption talking to his mother about his birthday party later that day and the upcoming move to a new house. After playing with Woody, Andy starts helping his mother by taking his baby sister, Molly, to her. While he's away, all of the toys come to life.
The party makes all the toys extremely nervous, wondering if Andy will get a toy that will replace them. Woody sends the small green soldiers led by Sarge downstairs to spy on the party. At the end of the party, his mother pulls out a surprise gift from behind her, which turns out to be a Buzz Lightyear action figure in spaceship packaging. Andy and his friends run upstairs to open him and in his hurry, Andy knocks Woody off the bed. They quickly leave after Andy's mother calls Andy and his friends back downstairs, and the other toys welcome the newcomer. Buzz, however, doesn't seem to be aware that he is a piece of plastic, believing himself to be the actual Buzz Lightyear on a mission to save the universe from Evil Emperor Zurg. The other toys take to him immediately, impressed by his many features. Only Woody is unconvinced, showing jealousy towards Buzz, who might replace him as Andy's favorite toy. As time passes, Andy replaces many of his cowboy themed room decorations with space ones, causing Woody's resentment to rise while Buzz attempts to fix his "damaged spaceship" (in reality, a piece of the packaging that had been torn).
Some time later, Mrs. Davis takes Andy and Molly on a trip to the space-themed Pizza Planet restaurant. Andy asks if he can bring any toys, and she agrees to let him take only one. Woody, knowing Andy will choose Buzz, plans to trap him in a gap behind Andy's desk by using RC so Andy won't find him and choose him instead. However, the plan goes badly wrong and instead Woody knocks him out the window by accident after RC misses its mark. When the other toys, especially Mr. Potato Head except for Rex, Slinky Dog, and Bo Peep had learned of Woody's actions, most of them think Woody tried to kill Buzz out of jealousy. They then try to attack him, but Woody is rescued when Andy, unable to find Buzz, takes Woody on the trip instead. At a stop at a Dinoco gas station to refuel the car, Woody (after pondering how he's going to convince the toys that the whole thing was an accident) finds that Buzz grabbed ahold of the family's minivan and is with them. After a conversation, they begin to fight, knocking each other out of the minivan, and are left behind when it drives away which leads to an argument with Woody becoming fed up with Buzz's delusion of being a real space ranger. Woody convinces Buzz to hitch a lift on a Pizza Planet truck in order to return to Andy after Woody realizes that Andy is at Pizza Planet, but realizes that he can't face the toys without Buzz.
Woody finds Andy there, but Buzz, still thinking he's a real space ranger, climbs into a toy crane game, thinking that it's a spaceship that will take him to Emperor Zurg's location. Woody goes in after him, but they eventually are found by Sid Phillips, who lives next door to Andy and is known to torture and destroy toys just for fun.
Left alone in Sid's room, Woody and Buzz come upon a group of mis-matched toys, the results of Sid's many "experiments". Woody and Buzz react in fear, thinking that the mismatched toys are cannibals. Meanwhile, at Andy's house, the toys continue to look for Buzz in the bushes. But when Andy and his mother come home, Andy notices that Woody's gone. The other toys wonder what has become of the two. Some are worried for both Buzz and Woody, while others express their hope that Woody has met a bad end. The next day, at Sid's house, Woody and Buzz, having been mistreated by Sid (Sid burned Woody's forehead with a magnifying glass), try to escape, only to run into Sid's crazy Bull Terrier, Scud. Eventually getting out of Sid's room, Buzz comes upon a TV where he sees a commercial for the Buzz Lightyear line of toys. Watching it and reading the "MADE IN TAIWAN" on the inside of his wrist communicator, he realizes that Woody was right about him: He was a toy this whole time, not a real space ranger. However, in denial (and one last desperate attempt to prove he's not a toy), he tries to fly out of a window by jumping off the guardrail of the stairs on the second floor, only to fall to the floor, losing his arm in the process. He is found by Sid's little sister, Hannah, who takes him away to put him in her tea party.
Woody finally finds Buzz in Hannah's room, dressed as "Mrs. Nesbit" and attending a tea party with a few of Hannah's dolls. While Woody formulates a plan of escape, Buzz is too depressed to care. When Woody throws a string of Christmas lights across the way to the toys in Andy's room and Mr. Potato Head refuses to let Woody return to Andy's room as he still believes that Woody got rid of Buzz after telling the other toys have they forgot of what he did to Buzz, Buzz refuses to back him up as he is depressed that he is a toy and only throws his detached arm at Woody instead; Woody tries to use Buzz's detached arm in a desperate attempt to convince Andy's toys that Buzz is with him, but when they see through this act, they take it as evidence that Woody truly did murder Buzz and leave him in disgust with Mr. Potato Head telling Woody that he hopes Sid rips his voice box out. The Mutant Toys then return and swarm over Buzz, and, despite his attempts to repel them, Woody finds that they have repaired him and reconnected his arm back in place. However, before Woody can make friends with them, Sid returns with his new acquisition: a firework rocket. He decides to blow up Woody with it, but cannot find him as Woody hides in a milk crate. Sid then decides to blow up Buzz instead but is stymied by rainfall. He unknowingly traps Woody in the crate by putting a heavy toolbox on top, a plans to go ahead in the morning.
Overnight, Woody tries to get Buzz to help him escape however Buzz is still depressed that he's only a toy. Woody tries to convince him that being a toy is much better than being a Space Ranger, and Andy still thinks he's the best thing in the world. Buzz doesn't know why Andy would want him, and Woody explains while coming to terms with his own feelings of resentment:
Why would Andy want you?! Look at you! You're a Buzz Lightyear. Any other toy would give up his moving parts just to be you. You've got wings, you glow in the dark, you talk, your helmet does that... that whoosh thing. You are a COOL toy... as a matter of fact, you're too cool. I mean -- I mean what chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure?
As Woody sadly states that he should be the one taped to the rocket (thinking Andy won't love him anymore), Buzz looks at his boot where Andy has signed his name, helping his realize how much Andy loves him and how being a toy isn't too bad. They try to escape (although Buzz accidentally knocks the toolbox on Woody when trying to get the milk crate off of him). Unfortunately, Sid wakes up and takes Buzz out to blow him up, leaving Woody alone in the room. Even worse, Andy and his family are getting ready to move, with Andy depressed over having seemingly lost Woody and Buzz having only been able to find Buzz's cardboard spaceship and his cowboy hat. Woody calls out to the Mutant Toys to tell them a plan to escape. After a daring escape through the house and past Scud, Woody and the mutants end up in the yard with Sid. They decide to break the rules and allow him to see that they can move on their own. Woody even speaks to him through his voice box, telling him that his toys are sick of being tortured and tells Sid that he must take good care of his toys, because if he doesn't, they'll find out, then with his own voice tells him (in a sinister way) to play nice. This freaks him out and he runs into the house screaming, where Hannah frightens him with her new doll, Sally (a possible replacement for her original doll, Janie, which was destroyed by him).
Now finally free from Sid, Woody and Buzz try to catch the moving van just as it is pulling away from the house. After saying farewell to the Mutant Toys, a harrowing chase follows, with Scud chasing them and Andy's toys not helping, since they still think that Woody intentionally got rid of Buzz. Luckily, Woody and Buzz get rid of Scud and the other toys, realizing their mistake, finally, see that Woody was telling the truth and try to help them get in, but fail when RC's batteries run out (becoming depleted).
Eventually, with the help of RC, Andy's remote control car, strategic use of the rocket, and use of Buzz's plastic wings, Woody and Buzz return to Andy, whose mom assumes they were in the car all along.
At Christmas, we see a scene similar to the birthday party, with the toys less worried about the new ones. Mr. Potato Head is pleased to find out that Molly has been given a new Mrs. Potato Head. When discussing being replaced by a new toy (like Woody was almost replaced by Buzz), Woody poses the question to Buzz, "What could Andy possibly get that is worse than you?" The answer comes in the form of Andy's first present, a puppy (which makes Woody and Buzz feel quite uneasy with the new addition).
- Tom Hanks as Woody
- Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear
- Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head
- Jim Varney as Slinky Dog
- Wallace Shawn as Rex
- John Ratzenberger as Hamm
- Annie Potts as Bo Peep
- John Morris as Andy Davis
- Hannah Unkrich as Molly Davis
- Erik von Detten as Sid Phillips
- R. Lee Ermey as Sarge
- Laurie Metcalf as Andy's Mom
- Sarah Freeman as Hannah Phillips
- Joe Ranft as Lenny
- Jeff Pidgeon as Little Green Men / Mr. Spell / Robot
- Jack Angel as Mr. Shark / Rocky Gibraltar
- Debi Derryberry as Troll / Pizza Planet Intercom
- Penn Jillette as TV Announcer
- Mickie McGowan as Grace Phillips / Various Toys
- Andrew Stanton as Commercial Chorus
- Phil Proctor as Bowling Announcer / Pizza Planet Guard 2
- Frank Welker as RC / Scud (uncredited)
- Brittany Levenbrown as Girl 1
- Cody Dorkin as Boy 1
- Greg Berg as Minesweeper Soldier / Pizza Planet Guard 1 / Local Announcer
- Bill Farmer as Mission Control Announcer
- Sherry Lynn
- Shane Sweet
- Scott McAfee
- Lisa Bradley
- Spencer Aste
- Craig Good
- Ryan O'Donohue
- Jan Rabson
- Patrick Pinney
- Sam Lasseter
- Debi Derryberry
- Danielle Judovits
- It seems the "comatose" state the toys enter when being observed by people is instinctive as Buzz (despite his delusion) always freezes up when Andy plays with him.
- This is the only Pixar movie to have only the Walt Disney Pictures logo at the beginning, full opening and closing credits, the Pixar logo first and then the Walt Disney Pictures logo at the ending.
- though when it was re-relased in 2009 in 3D (along side with it's sequel), the Pixar logo appears along with the the Pixar-exclusive Walt Disney Pictures logo being replaced with the 2006 version.
- This is also the only Pixar movie where the Pixar-exclusive Walt Disney Pictures logo and it's fanfare composed by Randy Newman fades in the opening scene. The standard logo and fanfare debuted on A Bug's Life.
- This is Pixar's very first feature film.
- This is also the first Pixar movie to use the Pixar variant of the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo, which would last all the way to Ratatouille and the first Pixar movie to use the 1995 Pixar logo.
- This is the first Pixar film to be released with a short film not made by Pixar, but instead with the Roger Rabbit short film, Roller Coaster Rabbit, , even though in various home video releases (starting with the 1999 re-release), it was accompanied by the 1988 Pixar short, Tin Toy.
- This is the first movie where Tom Hanks and Tim Allen do voice acting in an animated film.
- In the scene where Woody tries to convince Buzz to help him escape, Woody was afraid Andy wouldn't love him anymore, but just like in VeggieTales, love goes on forever, no matter what, you can always come back home.
Script and development
John Lasseter's first experience with computer animation was during his work as an animator at Disney when two of his friends showed him the light cycle scene from TRON. It was an eye-opening experience which awakened Lasseter to the possibilities offered by the new medium of computer-generated animation. Lasseter went on to work at Lucasfilm and later as a founding member of Pixar.
Pixar's Oscar-winning short film Tin Toy and its CAPS project were among works that gained Disney's attention and, after meetings in 1990 with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Pixar pitched a television special called A Tin Toy Christmas. By July 1991, Disney and Pixar signed an agreement to work on a film, based on the Tin Toy characters, called Toy Story. The deal gave Pixar a three-film deal (with Toy Story being the first) as well as 10% of the films' profits.
Toy Story's script was strongly influenced by the ideas of screenwriter Robert McKee. The script went through many changes before the final version. Lasseter decided Tinny was "too antiquated", and the character was changed to a military action figure, and then given a space theme. Tinny's name changed to Lunar Larry, then Tempus from Morph, and eventually Buzz Lightyear (after astronaut Buzz Aldrin). Lightyear's design was modeled on the suits worn by Apollo astronauts as well as G.I. Joe action figures along with the green and purple color scheme. A second character, originally a ventriloquist's dummy, was changed to a stuffed cowboy doll with a pull-string and named Woody for Western actor Woody Strode. The difference between the old and new toy led to a conflict between their personalities. Lasseter wanted the film to not be a musical, but a buddy film, with the story department drawing inspiration from films such as 48 Hrs. and The Defiant Ones. Joss Whedon claimed "It would have been a really bad musical because it's a buddy movie. It's about people who won't admit what they want, much less sing about it. ... Buddy movies are about sublimating, punching an arm, 'I hate you.' It's not about open emotion." Disney also appointed Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow and, later, Whedon to help develop the script. In addition, Disney wanted the film to appeal to both children and adults and asked for adult references to be added to the film. Disney gave approval for the film on January 19, 1993, at which point voice casting could begin. In addition, Katzenberg also made repeated demands that they make the film more adult, cynical, and edgy, resulting in Woody being made into a sarcastic jerk with little redeeming value. Rejected titles for Toy Story included: The New Toy, The Cowboy & the Spaceman, The Favorite, and Toyz in the Hood.
Lasseter always wanted Tom Hanks to play the character of Woody. Lasseter claimed Hanks "... has the ability to take emotions and make them appealing. Even if the character, like the one in A League of Their Own, is down-and-out and despicable." Early test footage, using Hanks' voice from Turner & Hooch, convinced Hanks to sign on to the film. Paul Newman also auditioned for the role of Woody, but turned down the role, although he would voice Doc Hudson in Pixar's later success, Cars. Billy Crystal was approached to play Buzz, but turned down the role, which he later regretted, although he would voice Mike Wazowski in Pixar's later success, Monsters, Inc. In addition to Crystal, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Gene Wilder, and Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of Buzz. Katzenberg took the role to Tim Allen, who was appearing in Disney's Home Improvement, and he accepted. Toy Story was both Hanks and Allen's first animated film role.
Pixar presented an early draft of the film to Disney on November 19, 1993. The result was disastrous: Walt Disney Feature Animation president Peter Schneider immediately shut down production pending a new script approved by Disney. Pixar survived the shutdown by falling back on its existing television commercial business while the script was rewritten. The new script made Woody a more likable character, instead of the "sarcastic jerk" he had been. Katzenberg restarted production in February 1994. The voice actors returned in March to record their new lines.
It was Whedon's idea to incorporate Barbie as a character who would rescue Woody and Buzz in the film's final act. The idea was dropped after Mattel objected and refused to license the toy. Producer Ralph Guggenheim claimed that Mattel did not allow the use of the toy as "They [Mattel] philosophically felt girls who play with Barbie dolls are projecting their personalities onto the doll. If you give the doll a voice and animate it, you're creating a persona for it that might not be every little girl's dream and desire." Barbies did, however, appear in the film's sequel, Toy Story 2. Hasbro likewise refused to license G.I. Joe but did license Mr. Potato Head. The film's related toys were produced by Thinkway Toys, who secured the worldwide master toy license in 1995.
|"We couldn't have made this movie in traditional animation. This is a story that can only really be told with three-dimensional toy characters. ... Some of the shots in this film are so beautiful."|
Toy Story was completed on a $30 million budget using a staff of 110, in comparison The Lion King, released in 1994, which required a budget of $45 million and a staff of 800. Lasseter spoke on the challenges of the computer animation in the film: "We had to make things look more organic. Every leaf and blade of grass had to be created. We had to give the world a sense of history. So the doors are banged up, the floors have scuffs."
The film began with animated storyboards to guide the animators in developing the characters. 27 animators worked on the film, using 400 computer models to animate the characters. Each character was either created out of clay or was first modeled off of a computer-drawn diagram before reaching the computer animated design. Once the animators had a model, articulation and motion controls were coded, allowing each character to move in a variety of ways, such as talking, walking, or jumping. Of all of the characters, Woody was the most complex as he required 723 motion controls, including 212 for his face and 58 for his mouth. To sync the actors' voices with the characters, animators spent a week per 8-second frame detailing the characters' mouths and expressions. After this, the animators would compile the scenes, and develop a new storyboard with the computer animated characters. Animators then added shading, lighting, visual effects, and finally used 300 computer processors to render the film to its final design. During post-production, the film was sent to Skywalker Sound where sound effects were mixed with the music score. In total, the film required 800,000 machine hours and 114,240 frames of animation, with 2–15 hours spent per frame.
- The song "Hakuna Matata" sung by Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King is being played in the car when Molly is looking through the mirror seeing Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the road with RC.
- A113 appears on Andy's mother's number plate on her car. A nod to the art classroom.
- When Woody is talking through the Microphone during the Toy Meeting, behind him are books with the titles of several Pixar Shorts, like "Tin Toy" by John Lasseter, "Knick Knack", "Red's Dream", and "The Adventures of André and Wally B.". "Grimm's Fairy Tales" is another title.
- Luxo Sr, the Pixar animated lamp, sits on Andy's desk.
- Neighbor Sid's toolbox is "Binford" brand; a reference to Tim Allen's television show, Home Improvement.
- While driving, Andy's mom passes a "Dinoco" gas station - a company that would later regularly appear in the Cars franchise.
Toy Story premiered on November 19, 1995, in Hollywood, California. For its theater run, it was released on November 22, 1995, at the beginning of a 5-day Thanksgiving weekend. The film opened in 2,281 theaters (before later expanding to 2,574 theaters). The film remained in theaters for 37 weeks. The film was also shown at the Berlin Film Festival out of competition from February 15 to 26, 1996. Pixar's first ever short film, "The Adventures of Andre and Wally B" played before the film was shown in theaters.
Upon its release, Toy Story was the only Pixar film that was branded with only the Disney logo above its title despite the film's dual collaboration. However, after the complete acquisition of Pixar by the Walt Disney Company in 2006, the film along with the rest of the films produced by Pixar now feature the Disney·Pixar brand.
Prior to the film's release, executive producer Steve Jobs stated "If Toy Story is a modest hit–say $75 million at the box office–we'll [Pixar and Disney] both break even. If it gets $100 million, we'll both make money. But if it's a real blockbuster and earns $200 million or so at the box office, we'll make good money, and Disney will make a lot of money." Disney chairman Michael Eisner stated "I don't think either side thought Toy Story would turn out as well as it has. The technology is brilliant, the casting is inspired, and I think the story will touch a nerve. Believe me, when we first agreed to work together, we never thought their first movie would be our 1995 holiday feature, or that they could go public on the strength of it." Marketing for the film includes $20 million spent by Disney for advertising as well as advertisers such as Burger King, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, and Payless ShoeSource paying $125 million in tied promotions for the film. A marketing consultant reflected on the promotion: "This will be a killer deal. How can a kid, sitting through a one-and-a-half-hour movie with an army of recognizable toy characters, not want to own one?"
On October 2, 2009, the film was re-released in Disney Digital 3-D. The film was also released with Toy Story 2 as a double feature for a two-week run. In addition, the film's second sequel, Toy Story 3, will also be released in the 3-D format. Lasseter commented on the new 3-D re-release:
"The Toy Story films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we're so excited to be bringing this landmark film back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3-D technology. With Toy Story 3 shaping up to be another great adventure for Buzz, Woody, and the gang from Andy's room, we thought it would be great to let audiences experience the first two films all over again and in a brand new way." Translating the film into 3-D involved revisiting the original computer data and virtually placing a second camera into each scene, creating left eye and right eye views needed to achieve the perception of depth. Unique to computer animation, Lasseter referred to this process as "digital archaeology." The process took four months, as well as an additional six months for the two films to add the 3-D. The lead stereographer Bob Whitehill oversaw this process and sought to achieve an effect that impacted the emotional storytelling of the film:
"When I would look at the films as a whole, I would search for story reasons to use 3-D in different ways. In Toy Story, for instance, when the toys were alone in their world, I wanted it to feel consistent to a safer world. And when they went out to the human world, that's when I really blew out the 3-D to make it feel dangerous and deep and overwhelming."
Unlike other countries, the UK received the films in 3-D as separate releases. Toy Story was released on October 2, 2009. Toy Story 2 was instead released January 22, 2010. The re-release performed well at the box office, opening with $12,491,789 in its opening weekend, placing at the third position after Zombieland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The double feature grossed $30,702,446 in its five-week release.
|"Yes, we worry about what the critics say. Yes, we worry about what the opening box office is going to be. Yes, we worry about what the final box office is going to be. But really, the whole point why we do what we do is to entertain our audiences. The greatest joy I get as a filmmaker is to slip into an audience for one of our movies anonymously and watch people watch our film. Because people are 100 percent honest when they're watching a movie. And to see the joy on people's faces, to see people really get into our films...to me is the greatest reward I could possibly get."|
—John Lasseter, reflecting on the impact of the film
Toy Story has been universally successful ever since its release in 1995. The review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports that the film currently garners 78 positive reviews, as indicated by a 100% "Certified Fresh" approval rating and an average critical score of 9/10. At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a "universal acclaim" level rating of 92/100 based on 16 reviews by mainstream critics. Reviewers hailed the film for its computer animation, voice cast, and ability to appeal to numerous age groups.
Leonard Klady of Variety commended the animation's "... razzle-dazzle technique and unusual look. The camera loops and zooms in a dizzying fashion that fairly takes one's breath away."Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times compared the film's innovative animation to Walt Disney's Peter Pan saying "Both movies take apart the universe of cinematic visuals, and put it back together again, allowing us to see in a new way." Due to the film's animation, Richard Corliss of Time claimed that it was "... the year's most inventive comedy."
The voice cast was also praised by various critics. Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today approved of the selection of Hanks and Allen for the lead roles. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times stated that "Starting with Tom Hanks, who brings an invaluable heft and believability to Woody, Toy Story is one of the best voiced animated features in memory, with all the actors ... making their presences strongly felt."
Several critics also recognized the film's ability to appeal to various age groups, specifically children and adults. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "It has the purity, the ecstatic freedom of imagination, that's the hallmark of the greatest children's films. It also has the kind of spring-loaded allusive prankishness that, at times, will tickle adults even more than it does kids."
In 1995, Time named the film 8th in their list of the best ten films of 1995. In 2003, the Online Film Critics Society ranked the film as the greatest animated film of all time. In 2007, the Visual Effects Society named the film 22nd in its list of the "Top 50 Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time". In 2005 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, one of five films to be selected in its first year of eligibility. The film is ranked ninety-ninth on the AFI's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies list of the hundred greatest American films of all time. It was one of only two animated films on the list, the other being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was also sixth best in the animation genre on AFI's 10 Top 10.
Box office performance
Toy Story's first five days of domestic release (on Thanksgiving weekend), earned the film $39,071,176. The film placed first in the weekend's box office with $29,140,617. The film maintained its number one position at the domestic box office for the following two weekends. Toy Story was the highest grossing domestic film in 1995, besting Batman Forever, Apollo 13, Pocahontas, Casper, Waterworld, GoldenEye, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Die Hard With a Vengeance, and Seven. At the time of its release, it was the third highest grossing animated film after The Lion King (1994) and Aladdin (1992). The film had gross receipts of $191,796,233 in the U.S. and Canada and $170,162,503 in international markets for a total of $361,958,736 worldwide.
The film won and was nominated for various other awards including a Kids' Choice Award, MTV Movie Award, and a BAFTA Award, among others. John Lasseter received an Academy Special Achievement Award in 1996 "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, two to Randy Newman for Best Music—Original Song, for "You've Got a Friend in Me", and Best Music—Original Musical or Comedy Score. It was also nominated for Best Writing—Screenplay Written for the Screen for the work by Joel Cohen, Pete Docter, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton, and Joss Whedon.
Toy Story won eight Annie Awards, including "Best Animated Feature". Animator Pete Docter, director John Lasseter, musician Randy Newman, producers Bonnie Arnold and Ralph Guggenheim, production designer Ralph Eggleston, and writers Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton, and Joss Whedon all won awards for "Best Individual Achievement" in their respective fields for their work on the film. The film also won "Best Individual Achievement" in technical achievement.
Toy Story was nominated for two Golden Globes, one for "Best Motion Picture–Comedy/Musical", and one for "Best Original Song–Motion Picture" for Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me". At both the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the film won "Best Animated Film". Toy Story is also among the top ten in the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14, and the highest placed (at #99) animated film in Empire's list of "500 Greatest Movie of All Time".
|Awards for Toy Story|
|Year||Association||Award Category||Recipient (if any)||Status|
|1995||Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animation||Won|
|1996||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Tox Box Office Films of 1995 Award||Randy Newman|
|Academy Awards||Best Original Musical or Comedy Score||Randy Newman||Nominated|
|Best Original Song|
for "You've Got a Friend in Me"
|Best Original Screenplay||Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, John Lasseter, Pete Docter & Joe Ranft|
|Special Achievement||John Lasseter||Won|
|Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|
|Best Writing||Joss Whedon, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton & Joel Cohen|
|Annie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Best Individual Achievement: Animation||Pete Docter|
|Best Individual Achievement: Directing||John Lasseter|
|Best Individual Achievement: Music||Randy Newman|
|Best Individual Achievement: Producing||Bonnie Arnold & Ralph Guggenheim|
|Best Individual Achievement: Production Design||Ralph Eggleston|
|Best Individual Achievement: Technical Achievement|
|Best Individual Achievement: Writing||Andrew Stanton, Joss Whedon, Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Original Score||Randy Newman|
|Golden Globes||Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical||Nominated|
|Best Original Song - Motion Picture,|
for the song "You've Got a Friend in Me"
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation|
|Kansas City Film Critics Circle||Best Animated Film||Won|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best On-Screen Duo||Tim Allen & Tom Hanks|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Sound Editing - Animated Feature||Gary Rydstrom||Won|
|PGA Awards||Special Award of Merit||Bonnie Arnold & Ralph Guggenheim|
|Sci-Fi Universe Magazine||Universe Reader's Choice Award|
Best Fantasy Film
|Young Artist Awards||Best Family Feature - Musical or Comedy|
|Best Voiceover Performance by a Young Actress||Sarah Freeman|
|1997||BAFTA Awards||Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects||Eben Ostby & William Reeves||Nominated|
|2001||Online Film Critics Society||Best DVD|
(The Ultimate Toy Box Edition)
|Online Film Critics Society||Best DVD Special Features|
(The Ultimate Toy Box Edition)
|2005||National Film Preservation Board||Added to the National Film Registry||Won|
- Main article: Toy Story (video)
Toy Story was released on VHS and Laserdisc on October 29, 1996, with no bonus material. In the first week of release, VHS rentals totaled $5.1 million, debuting Toy Story as the number one video for the week. Over 21.5 million VHS copies were sold in the first year. A Laserdisc re-release as a deluxe edition was released on December 18, 1996. On January 11, 2000, it was released on VHS in the Gold Classic Collection series with the bonus short, Tin Toy, which sold two million copies. Its first DVD release was on October 17, 2000, in a two-pack with Toy Story 2. This release was later available individually. Also on October 17, 2000, a 3-disc "Ultimate Toy Box" set was released, featuring Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and a third disc of bonus materials. On September 6, 2005, a 2-disc Set was released featuring much of the bonus material from the "Ultimate Toy Box", including a retrospective special with John Lasseter, a home theater mix, as well as a new picture. This DVD went back in the Disney Vault on January 31, 2009, along with Toy Story 2. Also on September 6, 2005, a bare-bones UMD of Toy Story was released for the Sony PlayStation Portable.
The film was available on Blu-ray for the first time in a Special Edition Combo Pack that was released on March 23, 2010, along with its sequel. There was a DVD-only re-release on May 11, 2010.
Lasseter was against making the film a musical, similar to prior Disney films such as Aladdin and The Lion King. However, Disney favored the musical format, claiming "Musicals are our orientation. Characters breaking into song is a great shorthand. It takes some of the onus off what they're asking for." However, Disney later agreed with Lasseter and decided to select Randy Newman to score the film, which would be Newman's first animated film. Lasseter claimed, "His songs are touching, witty, and satirical, and he would deliver the emotional underpinning for every scene." Newman developed the film's signature song "You've Got a Friend in Me" in one day.
The soundtrack for Toy Story was produced by Walt Disney Records and was released on November 22, 1995, the week of the film's release. Scored and written by Randy Newman, the soundtrack has received praise for its "sprightly, stirring score". Despite the album's critical success, the soundtrack only peaked at number 94 on the Billboard 200 album chart. A cassette and CD single release of "You've Got a Friend in Me" was released on April 12, 1996, in order to promote the soundtrack's release. The soundtrack was remastered in 2006 and although it is no longer available physically, the album is available for purchase digitally in retailers such as iTunes.
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Toy Story had a large impact on the film industry with its innovative computer animation. After the film's debut, various industries were interested in the technology used for the film. Graphics chip makers desired to compute imagery similar to the film's animation for personal computers; game developers wanted to learn how to replicate the animation for video games, and robotics researchers were interested in building artificial intelligence into their machines that compared to the lifelike characters in the film. Various authors have also compared the film to an interpretation of Don Quixote as well as humanism. In addition, Toy Story left an impact with its catchphrase "To infinity and beyond!", sequels, and software, among others. Toy Story is now on Entertainment Weekly's top 100 movies list setting the rank of 22.
"To infinity and beyond!"
Buzz Lightyear's classic line "To infinity and beyond!" has seen usage not only on T-shirts but among philosophers and mathematical theorists as well. Mathematicians have pointed out that it is not possible to go beyond infinity in mathematics, but instead stating that the phrase is only relevant to "showbiz". Lucia Hall of The Humanist linked the film's plot to an interpretation of humanism. She compared the phrase to "All this and heaven, too!", indicating one who is happy with a life on Earth as well as having an afterlife. In 2008, astronauts took an action figure of Buzz Lightyear into space on the Discovery Space Shuttle as part of an educational experience for students while stressing the catchphrase. The action figure was used for experiments in zero-g. Also in 2008, the phrase made international news when it was reported that a father and son had continually repeated the phrase to help them keep track of each other while treading water for 15 hours in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sequels, shows, and spin-offs
Toy Story has spawned two sequels: Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010). Initially, the first sequel to Toy Story was going to be a direct-to-video release, with development beginning in 1996. However, after the cast from Toy Story returned and the story was considered to be better than that of a direct-to-video release, it was announced in 1998 that the sequel would see a theatrical release.
Toy Story's first sequel, Toy Story 2 was released in theaters November 24th sequel and saw the return of the majority of the voice cast from the original movie. Toy Story 2 focuses on Woody being stolen at a yard sale by a man named Al McWhiggin (played by former Seinfeld star Wayne Knight), who plans to sell him to Japan and Buzz leading Rex, Slinky, Hamm, and Mr. Potato Head on a mission to recuse him. The film was even better received than the original by critics, earning a rare 100% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 125 reviews. At Metacritic, the film earned a favorable rating of 88/100 based on 34 reviews. The film's widest release was 3,257 theaters and it grossed $485,015,179 worldwide, becoming the second-most successful animated film after The Lion King at the time of its release.
Toy Story's second sequel, Toy Story 3 was released in theaters June 18th, 2010. The film centered on the toys being left at a day-care center after Andy goes to college. Again the majority of the cast from the prior two films will return to voice their respective characters, all except Jim Varney and Annie Potts who voiced Slinky Dog and Bo Peep. Varney had died in 2000 and Potts's character was written out of the story. So Blake Clark took over the role of Slinky while Bo made a silent cameo. Unlike the first two films, it was released in 3-D (although the first two films have been re-released in 3-D on October 2, 2009, as a double feature). The film would be the #1 animated film worldwide all-time, but #2 in the U.S, behind Shrek 2 with $415 million to Shrek 2's $441.2 million.
In November 2014, it was officially announced that Toy Story will see a third sequel titled Toy Story 4 which will be released in theaters on June 2019.
Shows and Spin-offs
In November 1996, the Disney on Ice: Toy Story ice show opened which featured the voices of the cast as well as the music by Randy Newman. In April 2008, the Disney Wonder cruise ship launched Toy Story: The Musical, for its passengers.
Toy Story also led to a spin-off direct-to-video animated film, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins as well as the animated television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. The film and series followed Buzz Lightyear and his friends at Star Command as they uphold justice across the galaxy. Although the film was criticized for not using the same animation as in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, it sold three million VHS and DVDs in its first week of release. The series ran for two seasons.
Prior to the release of the movie were Toy Story Treats.
Following the events of Toy Story 3, were new short films called Toy Story Toons: Three have been released so far in front of Disney Movies:
- Hawaiian Vacation (June 24th, 2011 in front of Cars 2)
- Small Fry (November 23rd, 2011 in front of The Muppets)
- Partysaurus Rex (September 14th, 2012 in front of the theatrical 3D re-release of Pixar's later 2003 success Finding Nemo)
Two-holiday specials have also been made.
- A Halloween special called Toy Story of Terror! was released October 16th 2013.
- A Christmas Special called Toy Story That Time Forgot was released December 2nd 2014.
Software and merchandise
Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story and Disney's Activity Center: Toy Story were released for Windows and Mac. Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story was the best selling software title of 1996, selling over 500,000 copies. Two console video games were released for the film: the Toy Story video game, for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and PC as well as Toy Story Racer, for the PlayStation (which contains elements from Toy Story 2). Pixar created original animations for all of the games, including fully animated sequences for the PC titles.
Toy Story had a large promotion prior to its release, leading to numerous tie-ins with the film including images on food packaging. A variety of merchandise was released during the film's theatrical run and its initial VHS release including toys, clothing, and shoes, among other things. When an action figure for Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody was created it was initially ignored by retailers. However, after over 250,000 figures were sold for each character prior to the film's release, demand continued to expand, eventually reaching over 25 million units sold by 2007.
On January 12, 2013, a fan-made live-action version of the film on YouTube called "Live-Action Toy Story" was posted by JP and Beyond. The video has now over 18,000,000 views.
Impact on popular culture
Because of its popularity, Toy Story has been referenced in non-Disney media. RC made 2 cameos in Malcolm in the Middle. Toy Story managed to get parodied on The Simpsons whereas Buzz Lightyear also had a cameo. Toy Story was referenced on the TV sitcom Family Guy. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, who played Woody and Buzz, appeared in some episodes. Woody and Buzz's escape to Pizza Planet was mentioned in a later episode of Full House.
Disney also referenced Toy Story in its media. For example, in the 1998 film A Bug's Life, Woody made a cameo in one of the outtakes.
Game show Wheel of Fortune had Buzz Lightyear be a Bonus Round in a 2005 episode solved by 2 teenagers, who won the show's then-top prize of $100,000, as well as the catchphrase in a later episode.
There was also one YouTube parody with Professor Emelius Browne as Woody.
|Disney theatrical animated features|