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Toy Story

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Toy Story

Promotional poster for Toy Story
Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim
Ed Catmull
Steve Jobs
Written by Story:
John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Andrew Stanton
Joe Ranft
Joss Whedon
Andrew Stanton
Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow
Starring Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Annie Potts
John Morris
Erik von Detten
Music by Randy Newman
Release date(s) November 22, 1995
Running time 80 min.
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office Domestic: $191,773,049
Worldwide: $354,300,000

Toy Story is a 1995 CGI animated feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution It grossed $191,773,049 in the United States and it took in a grand total of $354,300,000 worldwide. It is the first film in the Pixar canon.

The primary characters are toys in the room of a nine year-old boy, Andy, and the film is mostly told from the toys' point of view. Andy, his baby sister Molly and his mother have smaller roles, along with the neighbour boy Sid, his dog named Scud, and his sister Hannah.

In 2003, the Online Film Critics Society ranked the film as the greatest animated film of all time. In 2005 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2007, the film was ranked #99 on the American Film Institute's 10th Anniversary Edition of the 100 greatest American films of all time, one of only two animated films on the list, the other being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The film is set for re-release in 3-D on October 2, 2009, leading up to the long-awaited release of Toy Story 3 on June 18, 2010.


The story begins with a boy named Andy playing with his toys, such as a Mr. Potato Head, a plastic dinosaur toy, and his favorite toy, Woody, a cowboy toy. He takes Woody into the living room and plays with him some more, with a short interruption talking to his mom about his birthday party later that day and the upcoming move to a new house. After playing with Woody, Andy starts helping his mom by carrying his baby sister to her. While he is gone, all the toys come to life.

The human party makes all the toys extremely nervous, wondering if Andy will get a toy that will replace them--especially with the news that the family will be moving soon. Woody sends the small green soldiers downstairs to spy on the party. At the end of the party, Andy's mom pulls out a surprise gift from a nearby closet, which turns out to be a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Buzz does not seem to be aware that he is a piece of plastic, believing himself to be a real space ranger, on a mission to save the universe from Evil Emperor Zurg. The other toys take to him immediately, being impressed by his many features. Only Woody is unconvinced, showing jealousy towards Buzz, who might replace him as Andy's favorite toy.

Andy is given a surprise trip to his favorite restaurant: Pizza Planet. However, he can take only one toy with him. Knowing this, Woody tries to shove Buzz behind Andy's dresser, but instead inadvertently knocks him out the window. When the other toys learn of Woody's actions, they think he has turned into a killer. They try to attack him without even giving him a chance to explain, but he is rescued when Andy, unable to find Buzz, takes Woody on the trip. At a stop at a Dinoco gas station for gas, Woody finds that Buzz grabbed a hold of the family's minivan and is with them. Woody tries to apologize but Buzz won't listen and throws the first punch. The two begin a fist fight, knocking each other out of the minivan, and are left behind when it drives away. Woody convinces Buzz to hitch a lift on a Pizza Planet truck, in order to return to Andy.

Woody finds Andy there, but Buzz, still believing he is a real space ranger, climbs into a toy crane game, thinking it is a spaceship that will take him to his rival's location. Woody goes in after him, but the two are eventually found by Sid Phillips, who lives next door to Andy and is known to torture and destroy toys for his own entertainment.

Left alone in Sid's room, Woody and Buzz come upon a group of mis-matched toys, the results of Sid's many "experiments." Woody and Buzz react in fear, thinking that the mis-matched toys are cannibals. Meanwhile at Andy's house, the toys continue to look for Buzz in the bushes. But when Andy and his mother come home, he notices that Woody is gone. The other toys wonder what has become of the two. Some are worried for both Buzz and Woody, while others express their hope that Woody has met a bad end. The next day, at Sid's house, Woody and Buzz, having been mistreated by Sid, (Sid managed to burn Woody's forehead with a magnifying glass) try to escape, only to run into Sid's maniac dog, Scud. Eventually getting out of Sid's room, Buzz comes upon a television where he sees a commercial for the Buzz Lightyear line of toys. Watching it, he realizes that Woody was right. He was a toy this whole time, not a space ranger. In one last desperate attempt to prove he is not a toy, Buzz attempts to fly out of a window by jumping from the guardrail of the stairs on the second floor, only to fall to the floor, losing his left arm in the process. He is then found by Sid's sister Hannah, who takes him and puts him with her tea party.

Woody finally finds Buzz in Hannah's room, dressed as "Mrs. Nesbitt" and attending a tea party. Woody formulates a plan of escape. The plan involved throwing a string of Christmas lights to the toys in Andy's room. Buzz is too depressed to care. When Woody throws the string of Christmas tree lights across the way to the toys in Andy's room, and the toys refuse to help him, thinking that it was Woody who yanked Buzz's arm off. Buzz refuses to back him up. The mixed-up toys then return and swarm over Buzz, to Woody's alarm. But it turns out they were only repairing him. Before Woody can make friends with them, however, Sid returns with his new acquisition: a firework rocket. He decides to blow up Buzz with it, but is stymied by rainfall.

Overnight, Woody and Buzz make amends, Woody helping Buzz come to terms with being a toy, and the two try to escape. Unfortunately Sid wakes up and takes Buzz out to blow him up, leaving Woody alone in the room. Of course, it was also when Andy and his family is going to move. Andy, still depressed to lose Woody and Buzz, finds only the cardboard spaceship of Buzz and his cowboy hat. Woody calls out to the mixed-up toys to tell them a plan to escape. After a daring escape through the house and past Scud, Woody and the other toys end up in the backyard with Sid. They decide to break the "rules" by allowing Sid to see that they can move on their own. Woody even speaks to him through his voicebox, telling him that his toys are sick of being tortured, then with his own voice tells him to "play nice." This freaks Sid out and he runs screaming into the house, with a now acquired fear of toys. His sister then frightens him with her toy doll.

Now freed from Sid, Woody and Buzz attempt to catch Andy's moving van just as it is pulling away from the house. After saying farewell to the mixed-up toys, a harrowing chase follows, with Scud chasing them and Andy's toys not helping, since they still believe Woody intentionally got rid of Buzz. Luckily, they get rid of Scud and let the toys believe in Woody to see that he is helping Buzz. Eventually, with the help of R/C, Andy's remote control car, and strategic use of Sid's rocket, Woody and Buzz return to Andy, whose mother thinks they were in the car all along.

At Christmas, we see a scene similar to the birthday party, with the toys less worried about the new ones, save a slightly nervous Buzz. Mr. Potato Head is pleased to learn that Andy's baby sister has been given a Mrs. Potato Head. When discussing being replaced by a new toy, like Woody was almost replaced by Buzz, Woody poses the question to Buzz, "What could Andy possibly get that is worse than you?" The answer comes in the form of Andy's first present, when a dog's bark is heard (In Toy Story 2, it is revealed that his name is Buster).


The movie is set in the Pixar fictional city of Tri-County, New York (Real city of Watertown) (Has three sections, Drewland, Aeroburg, and Buntler Ruke) in the year 1993


Toy Story began its life as an extension of Pixar's short Tin Toy, which featured Tinny, a mechanical drummer who tries to find his way in a baby's play room. The original plot called for Tinny to butt heads with a ventriloquist's dummy. Ultimately, Tinny was found to be too immobile for the storyline and he was developed as a "space toy", first named Lunar Larry, but eventually becoming Buzz Lightyear. Meanwhile, the original ventriloquist's dummy was designed to be sneaky, mean and borderline evil. When tests proved that the character was too unsympathetic, his character was gradually modified until he became the Woody of the film.

During the time of production Robin Williams was in a heated battle against Disney (for more details see Aladdin page) and agents everywhere were advising their clients not to do the film.

Other changes the film underwent during development include:

  • Billy Crystal was originally offered the role of Buzz, but turned it down. However, he accepted the offer of voicing Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc., another Pixar film.
  • Bill Murray was considered for the role of Buzz but lost the producer's number. Murray states he would have accepted the role and he deeply regrets losing the number, believing that had he done the movie it would have been him inducted into the Disney Hall Of Fame and not Tim Allen.
  • The part of Woody's girlfriend was originally intended to be filled by a Barbie doll, but Mattel refused to consent to her use. Barbie dolls later make an appearance in Toy Story 2.
  • Jim Carrey and Paul Newman were originally supposed to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear respectively, but the budget wasn't big enough to employ them and the offer was accepted by Tim Allen (so early in his movie career) and Tom Hanks (who took quite a large paycut for a two-time Academy Award winner).
  • Disney required several re-workings of the film, even going so far as to threaten to shut the production down.
  • Scenes of Woody having nightmares over losing his position as "favorite toy" were cut for time, but later incorporated into Toy Story 2 and briefly referenced in the video game adaptation.

Full voice cast

Actor Role
Tom Hanks Woody
Tim Allen Buzz Lightyear
Don Rickles Mr. Potato Head
Jim Varney Slinky Dog
Wallace Shawn Rex
John Ratzenberger Hamm
Annie Potts Bo Peep
John Morris Andy Davis
Erik von Detten Sid Phillips
R. Lee Ermey Sarge
Sarah Freeman Hannah Phillips
Laurie Metcalf Mrs. Davis
Penn Jillette TV Announcer
Jack Angel Additional Voice
Spencer Aste Additional Voice
Greg Berg Additional Voice
Lisa Bradley Additional Voice
Kendall Cunningham Additional Voice
Debi Derryberry Troll / Voice on Intercom at Pizza Planet
Cody Dorkin Additional Voice
Bill Farmer Additional Voice
Craig Good Additional Voice
Gregory Grudt Additional Voice
Danielle Judovits Additional Voice
Sam Lasseter Additional Voice
Brittany Levenbrown Additional Voice
Sherry Lynn Additional Voice
Scott McAfee Additional Voice
Mickie McGowan Additional Voice
Ryan O'Donohue Additional Voice
Jeff Pidgeon Aliens
Patrick Pinney Additional Voice
Phil Proctor Additional Voice
Jan Rabson Additional Voice
Joe Ranft Lenny the Binoculars
Andrew Stanton Additional Voice
Shane Sweet Additional Voice

Toy Story in popular culture

  • This movie was referenced five times on Tim Allen's sitcom Home Improvement. The first time, two trick-or-treaters come to the door of Tim's house, one dressed as Simba from The Lion King, and the other dressed as Buzz Lightyear. Randy answers the door, and gives the Simba more candy than the Buzz. Note : Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who plays Randy, voiced young Simba in The Lion King. The second time, Tim's niece Gracie plays with a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Another reference occurs in one of the outtakes during the credits, where Tim repeats Buzz's built-in phrases. Another reference is in one episode when Tim says to his brother Marty I'll love you for infinity and beyond. The last reference is in an argument between Tim and his brother Marty when Tim says I'm not talking to you "infinity and beyond".
  • Conversely, Toy Story makes at least one reference to Tim Allen's sitcom. Sid's tool box, which Buzz and Woody struggle to remove from the milk crate which imprisoned Woody, was adorned with the Binford Tools logo on its side, alluding to the fictional tool manufacturer that sponsored the Tool Time program on Home Improvement.
  • In the Playstation 2 video-game Killzone, when main characters Rico and Hakha are fighting, the leading character Jan Templar says "play nice" in a similar way as Woody says to Sid.
  • Sid wears a Zero Skateboards t-shirt.
  • There are several Toy Story references in the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars.
    • In the film, Lightning McQueen seeks the sponsorship of Dinoco, which is the name of the gas station at which Woody and Buzz get lost.
    • Lightning uses "Lightyear Buzzard" tires, a reference to Buzz Lightyear and a parody of Goodyear Eagle tires.
    • Lightning's racing number is "95", a reference to the year Toy Story came out, which was 1995.
    • During the end credits, scenes from Toy Story are reenacted by toy car versions of Buzz, Woody and Hamm.
  • The Pizza Planet truck makes an appearance in every other Pixar film.
  • Debian (a Linux distribution) releases are named after characters from this movie. (Sid, Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch, Lenny).
  • This movie has coined the (oxymoronical) phrase, "To Infinity and Beyond!" (though the term "Beyond the Infinite" was prominently used in 2001: A Space Odyssey of 1968). The phrase has been used in particular by set theoreticians, especially those who study large cardinals.
  • The Star Command salute displayed by Buzz closely resembles the Vulcan salute introduced by Leonard Nimoy during his portrayal of Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek TV series.
  • In the ReBoot episode "Firewall", the characters enter into a game that is a parody of Wacky Races, but the level resembles Andy's room.
  • In Tim Allen's 2006 The Shaggy Dog film, when he's in dog form and he jumps onto the back of the truck in the movie, he speaks the line "To Infinity and Beyond!" while in mid-air.
  • In The Santa Clause 2, when Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) attacks the Santa clone he says "You are a sad, strange little man" which is what Buzz says at the gas station to Woody.

Home video releases

  • Toy Story was released on VHS and LaserDisc in October, 1996. It contained no bonus material.
  • In January, 2000, it was released in a "Special Edition" VHS with the bonus short, Tin Toy.
  • Its first DVD release was in October of 2000, in a two-pack with Toy Story 2. This release was later available individually.
  • Also in October, 2000, a 3-disc "Ultimate Toy Box" set was released, featuring Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and a third disc of bonus materials.
  • In September, 2005, a 2-disc "10th Anniversary Edition" was released featuring much of the bonus material from the "Ultimate Toy Box", plus new features.
  • At that same time, a bare-bones UMD of Toy Story was released for the Sony PlayStation Portable.

Soundtrack listing

  1. You've Got A Friend In Me
  2. Strange Things
  3. I Will Go Sailing No More
  4. Andy's Birthday (Instrumental)
  5. Soldier's Mission (Instrumental)
  6. Presents (Instrumental)
  7. Buzz Lightyear (Instrumental)
  8. Sid (Instrumental)
  9. Woody And Buzz (Instrumental)
  10. Mutants (Instrumental)
  11. Woody's Gone (Instrumental)
  12. The Big One (Instrumental)
  13. Home Together (Instrumental)
  14. On The Move (Instrumental)
  15. To Infinity And Beyond! (Instrumental)
  16. You've Got A Friend In Me (Duet)
  17. Hakuna Matata (from The Lion King)
  18. Part of Your World (from The Little Mermaid)
  19. Friend Like Me (from Aladdin)

Video game releases

There were several video games based on Toy Story, including:

  • Toy Story for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and PC.
  • Toy Story Racer for the Sony PlayStation (also contains elements from Toy Story 2)

There were also some "activity" titles released by Disney for the PC and Mac:

  • Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story
  • Disney's Activity Centre: Toy Story

All these titles are significant, because Pixar created original animations for all of them, including fully animated sequences for the PC titles.

Critical Response

The film has 100% fresh rating at All 43 reviews on the site were positive. It had an average score of 8.8/10. The film's successor Toy Story 2 also has a 100% fresh rating.


Academy Awards


  • 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."


  • Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score, Randy Newman
  • Best Music, Original Song, Randy Newman for " You've Got a Friend in Me".
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Written for the Screen: Joel Cohen, Pete Docter, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton & Joss Whedon

Annie Awards


  • Best Animated Feature
  • Best Individual Achievement: Animation, Pete Docter
  • Best Individual Achievement: Directing, John Lasseter
  • Best Individual Achievement: Music, Randy Newman
  • Best Individual Achievement: Producing, Bonnie Arnold & Ralph Guggenheim
  • Best Individual Achievement: Production Design, Ralph Eggleston
  • Best Individual Achievement: Technical Achievement
  • Best Individual Achievement: Writing, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton and Joss Whedon.

Golden Globes


  • Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
  • Best Original Song - Motion Picture, Randy Newman for "You've Got a Friend in Me".

Saturn Awards


  • Best Family Film
  • Best Writing: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton & Joss Whedon


  • Toy Story 2 was released in 1999
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2-D animated spin-off movie to Toy Story)
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2-D animated spin-off TV show)
  • Toy Story 3 is scheduled for release in 2010.
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