Tuesday 17 September 2019

As Toy Story turns 20, here are 20 things you didn't know about Pixar's hit flick

Toy Story's Andy with his toy Woody.
Toy Story's Andy with his toy Woody.

Eoghan Cassidy

Toy Story turns 20 today. Yes, really! To mark the occasion here's a rundown of 20 things you (probably) didn't know about the Pixar classic...

1.Whenever Tom Hanks is too busy filming movies and chasing Oscars, his brother Jim fills in to voice cowboy Woody. 

"There are so many computer games and video things and Jim just works on those all year long," Hanks told Graham Norton.


2. Pixar didn’t want Toy Story to be a fairytale like the Disney films of the early 90s, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. They wanted their characters to have flaws like real people.  Andrew Stanton, the genius behind Finding Nemo, Wall E, and Toy Story, said that the protagonists of other Disney movies in the 1990s were boring because they were almost too perfect, citing Aladdion as an example.

"Why do they name these movies after the most boring character in the film?" he said.



3. Woody started out life as a very different character to the one we know and love today.  Originally he was a ventriloquist dummy, but not only that he was also creepy and evil.  Wrong, just wrong.



4.  Woody's final incarnation - a pull string figure - was based on a toy owned by animator John Lassater as a child.


5. If you examine any Pixar film you will notice they are filled to the brim with Easter eggs - those inside jokes and references that only the truly dedicated will spot - and Toy Story is no different.  For example, in once scene in Toy Story, a book shelf displays a bundle of books, the titles of which refer to Pixar shorts including Wally B, Tin Toy, and Knick Knack.

Toy Story Easter eggs


6. Joss Whedon created our favourite movie dinosaur REX and co wrote the Toy Story screenplay before going on to create Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and writing and directing the phenomenal Marvel's Avengers Assemble.


7. Woody wasn't the only character to get a major overhaul from his original incarnation.  Buzz was originally very meta, aware he was a character from a TV show, but once Tim Allen came in and read his dialogue the writers re-worked the script so that Buzz would have no idea he comes from a TV show, which is ten times as hilarious.

Buzz Lightyear


8.  Fans have oft pondered the question - where is Andy's dad?  There are several possibilities but the most popular, if the most depressing, is that Andy's dad walked out on the family.  Andy's dad is never mentioned in the film and there are no family photos of him in the Davis house among the other family photos on the wall up the stairs.  Also Andy's mum does not wear a wedding ring at Andy's birthday party.  The family is also moving from a large house to a smaller one.  And the clues go on... take a look!


9.  The company that makes Etch-a-Sketch was almost bankrupt before appearing in the movie in 1995 but the 12 second scene saw a boost in sales.  IN Toy Story 2 the toy featured once again, this time for 45 seconds, and the company enjoyed a 20% boost in sales.


10. It's a laborious process making an animated movie - in their most productive week Pixar completed just 3.5 minutes of animation.


11. The original story focused on Tnny, the title character from Pixar's 1988 short Tin Toy.  Tinny got lost on a family trip and teamed up with a sarcastic dummy to search for a new home.


12. Buzz Lightyear's original name was Lunar Larry.


13. Toy Story 2 was originally planned as an hour long direct-to-video sequel but once Disney execs saw the completed sequences they wanted a theatrical release.  John Lasseter pulled the show together with just nine months to go before release.


14. The original Toy Story was the first movie ever to be fully computer generated and the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award writing category for Best Original Screenplay.


15. Just one second of the movie took about 120 hours to create. It took about 800,000 machine hours to create the final total of 114,240 frames of animation.  It's exhausting just thinking about it!


16. Pixar originally wanted Jim Carrey to voice Buzz but they couldn't afford him.  Billy Crystal, meanwhile, turned down the offer to voice the character and once he'd seen the film he said it was the biggest mistake of his career.  He went on to voice Mike in Monsters Inc in 2001, his favourite ever character.

3 US Carrey 2226.jpg
Actor Jim Carrey




17. the original inspired title of the movie was 'You Are A Toy'.  Doesn't quite have the same ring does it?


18. Bo peep was originally Barbie but Pixar couldn’t aquire  the rights for Toy Story.  Following the success of the first film, however, they got Mattel on board for the sequels.  Barbie and Ken were arguable the stand out stars of Toy Story 3.


19. Toy Story 4 is rumoured to revolve around a love story which will pick up where Toy Story 3 left off.  If this worries you, John Lasseter offers some reassurance: "A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it's pure passion. We only make sequels when we have a story that's as good as or better than the original."

20. You'll have to wait two years to see it!

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