'Toy Story' is a 1995 computer generated, Family Film. It it the first film ever to be made entirely of CGI, and the first Disney/Pixar film. Including the voice talents of Tom Hanks, and Tim Allen.
Old-fashioned cowboy pull-string toy Woody coordinates a reconnaissance mission in the days before his 6-year-old owner Andy , his mother, and his sister, Molly , move to their new house. On his birthday, to Woody 's dismay, Andy receives a new action figure, space ranger Buzz Lightyear , whose impressive features soon see Buzz replacing Woody as Andy's favorite toy. Woody, the former de facto leader of Andy's toys, is disappointed and resentful at his replacement. Meanwhile, Buzz does not understand that he is a toy, and believes himself to be an actual space ranger, seeing Woody as an interference in his "mission" to return to his home planet.
Later, Andy prepares to go to a family outing at Pizza Planet with Buzz. Woody, jealous, attempts to have Buzz "misplaced", but ends up accidentally knocking him out the window. The other toys think that Woody, in his envy, tried to murder Buzz. Andy, seeing Buzz is missing, instead takes Woody with him to the space-themed Pizza Planet restaurant. Buzz sees Andy getting into his mother's car with Woody and manages to climb aboard, seeking revenge. At a gas station, while Andy's mother refuels the car, Woody ponders how he can return to Andy's room alone. Buzz suddenly appears, and angrily argues about what Woody did to him. The two fight and accidentally land outside the car, which drives off and leaves the two stranded.
Woody spots a truck bound for Pizza Planet and plans to rendezvous with Andy there. Realizing that he will face the wrath of the other toys if he returns alone, Woody convinces Buzz that the truck will take them to a spaceship. Once at Pizza Planet, Buzz makes his way into a claw game machine shaped like a spaceship, thinking it to be the ship Woody promised him. While Woody clambers in to try and rescue him, Buzz and Woody are captured by Andy's next-door neighbor, the toy-destroying Sid Phillips.
The two desperately attempt to escape from Sid's house before Andy's family's moving day. There they encounter nightmarish mutant toys inhabiting his room, as well as Sid's vicious dog Scud. Buzz sees a commercial for Buzz Lightyear toys just like himself. Crestfallen and in denial that he is a toy, Buzz desperately attempts one last time to fly out of the window but falls and literally breaks his arm off. Woody is unable to get a depressed Buzz to participate in his escape plan, even when the mutant toys show their true colors and repair Buzz's arm. Sid prepares to destroy Buzz by strapping a firework rocket to him, but is delayed by a thunderstorm. Woody convinces Buzz that life is worth living even if he is not a space ranger because of the joy he can bring to children, but despairs that he himself stands no chance of being Andy's favorite. Buzz regains his spirit, but Sid wakes up before they can escape and takes Buzz (still strapped to the rocket), to his backyard launchpad. In cooperation with Sid's mutant toys, Woody stages a rescue of Buzz and terrifies Sid by coming to life when in front of him. But even after their efforts, the two miss Andy's car as it drives away to his new house.
Climbing onto the moving truck, they attract the attention of Scud, and Buzz gives up himself to save Woody by tackling the dog. Woody attempts to rescue Buzz with Andy's RC, but the other toys in the moving van don't trust him, and he is tossed onto the road with Buzz. However, the toys realize their misjudgment when they spot Woody riding on RC with Buzz and try to help them back into the truck, but RC's batteries become depleted, and Woody and Buzz are left behind. Woody then realizes that he can ignite the rocket Sid put on Buzz's back, and manages to toss RC into the moving truck just as Woody and Buzz go soaring into the air. Buzz then opens his wings to cut himself free of the rocket moments before it explodes, and he and Woody glide in the air until they land safely inside Andy's car.
On Christmas Eve at the new house, a reconciled Buzz and Woody stage another reconnaissance mission to prepare for the new toy arrivals. As Woody wonders what gift may be worse than Buzz, a bark is heard downstairs; Andy has received a puppy, something which leaves Woody and Buzz feeling uneasy.
- 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
- Erik von Detten as Sid Phillips
- R. Lee Ermey as Sarge
- Laurie Metcalf as Mom
- Sarah Freeman as Hannah Phillips
- Joe Ranft as Lenny
- Jeff Pidgeon as Squeeze Toy Aliens/Mr. Spell/Robot
- Jack Angel as Shark/Rocky Gibraltar
- Debi Derryberry as Troll/Squeeze Toy Aliens/Pizza Planet Intercom
- Penn Jillette as a TV announcer
- Mickie McGowan as Mrs. Phillips
- Andrew Stanton as one of the voices in the Commercial Chorus
- Spencer Aste, Cody Dorkin, Gregory Grudt, Sam Lasseter, Scott McAffe, and Ryan O'Donohue play six of Andy's friends.
- Phil Proctor as Bowling Announcer/Pizza Planet Guard #1
- Patrick Pinney as Pizza Planet Guard #2
- Brittany Levenbrown as Girl
- Greg Berg as Green Soldier
- Additional Voices are Lisa Bradley, Kendall Cunningham, Bill Farmer, Craig Good, Danielle Judovits, Sherry Lynn, Jan Rabson, and Shane Sweet.
Script and DevelopmentEdit
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 lightcycle 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 (directed by Lasseter) 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. 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.
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 and Hooch, convinced Hanks to sign on to the film.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.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. It presented Woody as a "sarcastic jerk" because Katzenberg kept sending notes that he wanted more edge. Katzenberg took Schneider in the hall during the screening and asked him why it was bad, Schneider responded that it "wasn't their's anymore." 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 sequels, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. 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.
Toy Story was completed on a $30 million budget, and a $20 million advertising budget, using a staff of 110; in comparison, The Lion King, released in 1994, 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.
Theatrical Release Edit
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?"
3-D Re-releaseEditOn 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 which was extended due to its success.
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", which 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 $12,500,000 in its opening weekend, placing at the third position after Zombieland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The double feature grossed $30,714,027 in its five-week release
Toy Story has received universal acclaim since its release in 1995. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 73 reviews, with an average score of 9/10. The critical consensus is: As entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story kicked off Pixar's unprecedented run of quality pictures, reinvigorating animated film in the process. The film is Certified Fresh. 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.
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 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.
Director Terry Gilliam would praise the film as "a work of genius. It got people to understand what toys are about. They're true to their own character. And that's just brilliant. It's got a shot that's always stuck with me, when Buzz Lightyear discovers he's a toy. He's sitting on this landing at the top of the staircase and the camera pulls back and he's this tiny little figure. He was this guy with a massive ego two seconds before... and it's stunning. I'd put that as one of my top ten films, period."
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 Disney's Who Framed Roger Rabbit 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."
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, beating Batman Forever and Apollo 13 (also starring Tom Hanks). At the time of its release, it was the third highest grossing animated film after The Lion King (1994) and Aladdin (1992). When not considering inflation, Toy Story is 96th on the list of the highest grossing domestic films of all time. 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"
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.
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 "10th Anniversary Edition" 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 which included two discs, one Blu-Ray copy of the movie, and another DVD copy of the movie. This combo-edition was released on March 23, 2010, along with its sequel. There was a DVD-only re-release on May 11, 2010.