Fun Facts about Toy Story
In 1995 Toy Story was a game changer for many people involved in the rising Pixar Company. It was the first animated long feature they've ever made and was instantly a hit, leading in the Box Office. Before the next sequel is released in 2019, here are a few fun facts about the beloved Pixar franchise.
Have you met my brother?
Tom Hank doesn't always do the dubbing for Woody the cowboy. In fact, many times is his brother Jim who gives his voice so the character can be alive and entertain families.
That’s not my voice!
This secret was exposed at The Graham Norton Show when the host confronted Hanks with a Woody doll, pulled the string and asked if it was actually his voice coming out of the doll. Many video games have Jim voice instead.
Thanks to Tim Burton
If Nightmare before Christmas wasn't released, there would be no Toy Story since it was an inspiration for all the team behind Pixar's very first big movie hit the cinemas.
Prior to Tim Burton's film, no animated film with Disney's sponsor had ever made outside of its Studios. Nightmare before Christmas opened the studio's minds and they started receiving collaboration. In fact, Lasseter and Burton were classmates at CalArts.
We want no fairytales
Pixar didn't want to produce a fairy tale. This was confirmed by John Lasseter at the anniversary panel. "We didn't want it to be a fairytale. We didn't want a film where the bad guy grows bigger in the third act."
In fact, Lasseter and the crew were tired of boring protagonists and too perfect protagonists. People from Pixar thought that flaws made interesting characters and that was proved in all their movies.
Why do you keep drawing humans?
Craig Good, a supervising layout artist told that Walt Disney Studios hired more writers in order to give the script a nice plot twist that would make it a success.
The problem was that they only added human characters to a toys movie, and it wasn't until the company hired Joss Whedon that the problem was fixed. The young Whedon actually saved the movie!
A lame title
The original idea of Pixar to give the movie its name was actually quoting a dialogue of its script. In fact, the first title that was in the drafts was "You are a toy", but they changed to Toy Story.
The evil Woody
In the first drafts of the story, the idea of Pixar's writers was that Woody was a despicable doll popularly known for being mean to other toys in Andy's room.
A good boy
However, they changed this idea and made him more of a strong leader kind of character. In fact, his most important thing was that the toy was a really friendly one. Do you think the movie would've succeeded if they hadn't changed this?.
Tempest the toy
In early scripts, there was no Buzz Lightyear. The first idea for the main character's name was Tempest, after an animator's obsession with an Atari game called the same.
To Infinity and Beyond
Besides the name, writers always had his catchy line in mind. "To infinity and beyond" was part of the short pitch video that they made so Disney would approve the project.
A red space suit
The first storyboards for this amazing g rated movie showed a Buzz Lightyear with a red suit. In fact it was only 6-inch tall instead of his normal 12.
White and Green
Eventually, the producers decided to model the character according to real spacesuits, an ended up coloring the toy in white with lime green and purple details.
A Scary Woody
The original script didn't have a cowboy on the lead. In fact, Woody was supposed to be a large ventriloquist dummy, very different to the design that ended up in the movie.
The reason was that according to Disney consultants, Woody was too creepy for a family movie so Lasseter to make Woody a pull-string toy inspired for his own love of one as a child.
How does it feel to be a toy soldier?
In order to animate correctly the movements of the tiny green toy soldiers, the animators turned themselves into them for one day. In spite of sounding crazy, this isn't an uncommon MO for animators.
For that reason, Pete Docter nailed his shoes to a wooden board and then made prototypes for the whole crew in the animators' room. They spent an entire day moving around like this.
There’s Easter Eggs all over the place
It's a very popular practice to place Easter eggs in movies. In fact, many of the books on the shelf in Andy's room are names of Pixar's short films.
Did you regret it?
Prior hiring Tim Allen as the voice actor for Buzz Lightyear, Billy Crystal was the first choice for the studio. "It's the only regret I have in the business" he later told ABC News.
Thanks for the line
John Lasseter was so impressed by the work that Joss Whedon did in a never released Buffy the vampire movie script, that he hired him to join the Toy Story room.
In fact, Whedon was responsible of one of the greatest lines from Pixar movies universe that Buzz Lightyear said to Woody: "You're a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity".
What else did he do?
Even though he was only 31 years old, and didn't have a lot of experience, Joss Whedon was extremely creative. In fact, he was responsible for the creation of the neurotic dinosaur Rex.
That would’ve been odd
One of the main Buzz Lightyear's things is that he isn't aware of his toy condition. However, in the early drafts of the story, he did know about his own TV show.
Tom, a master of improvisation
Usually, the voice recording is done before the animation so it would give the animators ideas and inspiration for their work. In fact, this was confirmed by John Lasseter a few years ago.
Give him credit
Imagine what would it be to work with the amazing Tom Hanks. In fact, the actor gave such an amazing amount of lines that they are still using them for the movies that Pixar is working on.
The reason for Andy’s dad absence
Despite all the theories that internet has about the missing dad, Lee Unkrich assured to MSN Movies back in 2010 that Andy's dad has "never been relevant to the story."
However, the supervising layout artist Craig Good explained that "Human characters were just hideously expensive and difficult to do in those days and, as Lee mentioned, Andy's dad wasn't necessary for the story."
A toy saved by the movie
Back in those days, Ohio Art Company was about to declare bankruptcy. Thanks to the portrayal of Etch A Sketch in Toy Story, company's sales increase 20-percent and saved the company.
Disney wanted a musical
When the Pixar crew led by John Lasseter met with Disney producers, the studio wanted to make a musical story for Toy Story, with six or seven songs for its plot.
However, Lasseter didn't want it to be a musical but he knew that the movie needed a song. That was the time when Randy Newman joined the team and gave birth to You've Got A Friend in Me.
An amazing Box Office Success
Toy Story was such a great movie that became the highest grossing film of 1995. It grossed nearly $191 million at the box office, giving Billy Crystal another reason to regret his decision.
Did Mattel regret it?
When Joss Whedon joined the writing team, he wanted to include a really bad-ass Barbie with things of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day but Mattel didn't agree to the terms.
The same old Barbie
According to Whedon's idea, Barbie would rescue Woody and Buzz from Sid's house in a red tiny Corvette toy car. But Mattel didn't want that Barbie had that image because they wanted her to remain neutral for the girls.
The first name for the cowgirl that Woody met in Toy Story 2 was actually supposed to be called Señorita Cactus but this never came true and the production called her Jessie.
Thank you, ma’m
John Lasseter's wife was responsible for the idea of the character. She convinced her husband that the animated sequel needed a female character of more substance than the first Toy Story Bo Peep.
They wanted a Direct to video sequel
The first idea for Toy Story 2 was to run directly into the shelves of the family and become a direct-to-video sequel, bypassing the theatrical release that came in 1999.
To the CInema!
However, during production, they realized that the movie was too good to throw that business away and also cost a lot of money. For that reason, the Toy Story 2 team had to edit their story to add an extra 12 minutes of footage.
You did what!?
During the process of post-production, an anonymous person entered a wrong computer code and deleted almost the 90% of the movie. However, the technical director had a backup copy and avoid any major consequences.
Extra work for Randy Newman
If you watched Toy Story 2 in 1999 on American soil, you remember a scene where Buzz gives an amazing speech in front of an American flag and the American anthem as background.
In the Toy Story movie that was released in the rest of the world, that scene is a little different. Instead of the flag is a globe and The Star-Spangled Banner was replaced by the instrumental track of One World Anthem.
The first drafts of the Toy Story movie showed a really different Buzz Lightyear. In fact, he wasn't a spaceman but actually a tin tiny tin soldier originally from the short that was kind of the movie's prequel.
Since it was a really old-fashioned toy, the production decided to change him thinking of what would catch a little boy's attraction. First, it was changed for a G.I. Joe and then into a spaceman.
We need merchandise!
Even though it was an instant success, Pixar had a lot of trouble taking the characters to the toy store's shelves. Hasbro and Mattel both turned down the toy license.
According to those brands, they wouldn't have enough time to create all the toys in the 11 months they had before the film came out. That was how a small Canadian company called Thinkway got the license.
Let’s do something crazy
In order to get an inspiration vibe for the new story they were creating, the whole Toy Story 3 animation team decided to go crazy and completely shaved their heads.
According to the animator Victor Navone, they did this to get a "clean start on the film". They even convinced Lee Unkrich to join in. What did their families say to this?
Despite the fact that Toy Story 3 was released almost 15 years after the first film debuted in the movie theaters, they didn't lose the chance to put a lot of easter eggs on it.
If you pay attention, Sid actually showed up in Toy Story 3. You can see him almost at the end of the movie, as a garbage man that you can recognize thanks to his skull shirt.