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.