Ever wonder what toys do when people aren't around? Toy Story answers that question with a fantastic fun-filled journey, viewed mostly through the eyes of two rival toys – Woody, the lanky, likable cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear, the fearless space ranger. Led by Woody, Andy's toys live happily in his room until Andy's birthday brings Buzz Lightyear onto the scene. Afraid of losing his place in Andy's heart, Woody plots against Buzz.
But when circumstances separate Buzz and Woody from their owner, the comically-mismatched duo eventually learn to put aside their differences, and they find themselves on a hilarious adventure-filled mission where the only way they can survive is to form an uneasy alliance.
Pixar’s creative team turned to the experienced hands at Disney to help create a feature-length film with broad appeal. Disney executives wanted to ensure Toy Story had an edge, and the Pixar team pushed the edge until one Friday—a year into production—when they showed a rough cut to Disney. It wasn’t the film John Lasseter and Pixar wanted to make. It wasn’t the film Disney wanted, either, and the studio ordered the production shut down. It was up to the Pixar team to trust its instincts and save the movie.
The filmmakers assembled the Toy Story cast from a wealth of childhood memories. But for the story to work, the two main characters needed to have their own chemistry. Early versions of Woody included a ventriloquist's dummy and an ill-tempered cowboy before he became the affable hero seen on screen. Buzz Lightyear offered a different challenge: inventing a brand-new toy that instantly felt familiar.
Woody is a traditional kind of toy, with his pull-string voice box and cowboy detailing. He has long enjoyed a place of honor as the favorite among six-year-old Andy's toys—until Buzz Lightyear crash-lands and shakes up his world.
This space ranger action figure has it all: a laser beam, karate-chop action, pop-out wings, and a belief that he's on a secret mission for Star Command. Much to Woody's chagrin, Buzz monopolizes Andy's attention and becomes an instant favorite with his toymates.
The piggy bank in the window knows everything. Or at least that's what Hamm would have everyone believe when he's sticking his snout into the day's affairs.
Mr. Potato Head has a chip on his shoulder, but you would too if your face kept falling off. His cynical take on life makes him the toy to question Woody's authority.
Rex is a neurotic and insecure 12-inch plastic dinosaur with a small-roar complex and limited upper-arm movement. With his tender heart and weak spine, this Tyrannosaurus is one of the most lovable toys of the bunch.
A dog is man's best friend, and the saying rings true for those of the vinyl variety, too. Slinky is Woody's trusted friend and partner in playing checkers—and the one who "stretches" the most in the friendship.
The toys next door to Andy are an odd-looking bunch of hybrids that are the product of Sid's twisted sense of playtime. Despite their shocking outward appearances, the creations are truly selfless and gentle at the core, helping each other to survive and hopefully outgrow Sid.
Every neighborhood has a bully, and Sid's it on Andy's block. He's a malicious and overactive kid who loves to torture, torment, and blow up toys all in the name of fun.
Andy’s room was a world of its own, home to most of Toy Story’s characters and a place that immediately conveyed comfort and safety. That sense of safety provided the conflict as the characters faced new anxieties like leaving the house and welcoming a new toy.
Every set offered an opportunity and a challenge. The test for the neighborhood Dinoco station was to replicate the style and sheen of the classic 1950s gas station, while adding just the right touch of harsh light, oil stains, and cement texture to make it believable.
In an early version of the film, the pizza parlor had a miniature golf theme. When Buzz Lightyear entered the picture, the Pixar designers turned it into Pizza Planet, an elaborate space-themed drive-in that Buzz could mistake for a spaceport and his ticket home. It also supplied the name and logo for the Pizza Planet delivery truck, which went on to make cameos in several Pixar films.
Movie villains are often more fun than the straight guy, and many on the Pixar team found they related to the mutant impulses of Sid, the bad boy next door. “I think Sid is normal,” says Andrew Stanton. “I think Andy is the weird one, this boy who takes care of his toys.” Coming up with disturbing new creations to populate Sid’s room became one of the most popular tasks in Toy Story.