Toy Story

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Films

Toy Story

Promotional poster for Toy Story.

From left to right: Bo Peep, Woody, Mr.Potato Head, Troll, Hamm, Buzz Lightyear, Sarge, Slinky Dog, Rex.

Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Bonnie Arnold, Ralph Guggenheim; executive producers: Edwin Catmull, Steve Jobs
Written by Story by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Joe Ranft;
Screenplay by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow
Starring Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Robert Gordon
Lee Unkrich
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) November 22, 1995 (USA)
Running time 81 minutes
Country Flag of United States United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Gross revenue Domestic: $191,773,049
Worldwide: $358,100,000
Followed by Toy Story 2 (1999)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Toy Story is an Academy-award-winning CGI animated feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution in the United States on November 22, 1995, and Australia on December 7, 1995, as well as in the United Kingdom on 22 March 1996. It was the first computer-animated film to be completed, and Pixar's first feature film. It grossed $191,773,049 in the United States and it took a grand total of $358,100,000 worldwide. The primary characters are toys in the room of the nine year-old boy Andy, and is mostly told from their point of view. Andy, his baby sister Molly and mother have smaller roles, as do the neighbour boy Sid, his dog Scud and sister Hannah.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

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 soon-coming 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 party makes all the toys extremely nervous, wondering if Andy will get a toy that will replace them. 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 behind her, which turns out to be a Buzz Lightyear toy in doll form. Buzz does not seem to be aware that he is a piece of plastic, believing himself to be 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.

Eventually, when Andy is told he can take only one toy with him on a trip to Pizza Planet, Woody tries to shove Buzz behind Andy's dresser, but instead knocks him out the window. When the other toys learn of Woody's actions, they try to attack him, 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 ahold of the family's minivan and is with them. The two begin to 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 reunite with 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. Woody goes in after him, but the two eventually are grabbed by Sid Phillips, who lives next door to Andy and is known to torture and destroy toys, simply to amuse himself.

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 reacted in fear when they thought that the mis-matched toys were cannibals. Meanwhile at Andy's house, the toys were continuing to look for Buzz in the bushes. But when Andy and his mother came home, he noticed that Woody was gone. The other toys wonder what has become of the two. Some are worried for both Buzz and Woody, while others express the 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 forhead 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 tries to fly out of a window by jumping off the guardrail of the stairs on the second floor, only to fall to the floor, losing an arm in the process. He is found by Sid's sister Hannah, who takes him away to put him in her tea party.

Woody finally finds Buzz in Hannah's room, dressed as "Mrs. Nesbit" and attending a tea party. While Woody formulates a plan of escape, Buzz is too depressed to care. When Woody throws a string of Christmas tree lights across the way to the toys in Andy's room, Buzz refuses to back him up. The mixed-up toys then return and swarm over Buzz, to Woody's dismay. 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.

The next day, Sid 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, just found the cardboard spaceship of Buzz, and a 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 yard with Sid. They decide to break the rules and they allow Sid to see that they can move on their own. Woody even speaks to him, telling him to "play nice." This freaks Sid out and he runs screaming into the house, where his sister frightens him with a dolly.

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.

The next Christmas, we see a scene similar to the birthday party, with the toys again worried about the new ones. Mr. Potato Head is pleased to learn that Andy's baby sister has gotten a Mrs. Potato Head. The answer comes in the form of Andy's final present, when a dog's bark is heard.


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.

Other changes the film underwent during development include:

  • Tim Allen and Tom Hanks both state that Pixar wanted this to tell the story of how new Hollywood was taking over old Hollywood and legends of the past were being forgotten while new young guns were becoming the names on everybody's lips. Allen states Pixar wanted Jim Carrey to play Buzz Lightyear (representing new Hollywood) and Paul Newman to play Woody (representing old Hollywood). Hanks states that Pixar wanted Johnny Depp to play Buzz Lightyear (representing new Hollywood) and Gregory Peck to play Woody (representing old Hollywood). Both state that they couldn't get either those pair because of the low budget they were given for the film.
  • Billy Crystal was originally offered the role of Buzz, but turned it down.
  • Bill Murray was considered for the role of Buzz but lost the producers number, Murray states he would have accepted the role and he deeply regrets losing the number, he believes that had he done the movie it would have been him inducted into the Disney Hall Of Fame not 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.
  • 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.

Voice cast

Actor Role
Tom Hanks Woody
Tim Allen Buzz Lightyear
Don Rickles Mr. Potato Head
Wallace Shawn Rex
Jim Varney Slinky Dog
John Ratzenberger Hamm
John Morris Andy Davis
Erik von Detten Sid Philips
Annie Potts Bo Peep
Sarah Freeman Hannah Philips
R. Lee Ermey Sarge
Laurie Metcalf Mrs. Davis


Crew Position
Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Ralph Guggenheim
Bonnie Arnold
Original Story by John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Andrew Stanton
Joe Ranft
Screenplay by Joss Whedon
Andrew Stanton
Alec Sokolow &
Joel Cohen
Executive Producer Edwin Catmull
Steve Jobs
Songs Written and Performed by Randy Newman
Music by Randy Newman
Supervising Technical Director William Reeves
Art Director Ralph Eggleston
Film Editor Robert Gordon
Lee Unkrich
Supervising Animator Pete Docter
Story Supervisor Joe Ranft
Robert Lence
Character Designer Bob Pauley (Designer/Illustrator)
William Cone
Jean Gillmore
Dan Haskett
Tom Holloway
Steve Johnson
Bud Luckey
Andrew Stanton
Modeling Supervisor
Layout Supervisor
Shading & Visual Effects Supervisor
Lighting Supervisors

Eben Fiske Ostby (Associate Technical Director)
Craig Good
Thomas Porter
Sharon Calahan
Galyn Susman
Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom
Production Manager Karen Robert Jackson


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


In 2005 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

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 (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. Infinity And Beyond (Instrumental)
  16. You've Got A Friend In Me (Duet)

Video games

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

  • Toy Story for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System and PC.
  • Toy Story for the Game Boy
  • 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.


  • 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.

Toy Story in pop culture

  • Debian (a Linux distribution) releases are named after characters from this movie. (Sid, Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch, Lenny).
  • In one scene of Finding Nemo, another Pixar film, a Buzz Lightyear toy can be seen on the floor of a dentist's office.
  • The line "You are a sad, strange little man," uttered by Buzz is referenced in The Santa Clause 2, where Tim Allen (the voice actor of Buzz Lightyear) says the same line.
  • In the Illbleed video game, one of the stages, Toy Hunter, heavily parodies Toy Story, among other movies and video games.
  • This movie has also 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.
  • This movie was referenced thrice 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 that Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who plays Randy, voiced young Simba in The Lion King. The second time, Tim and his niece Gracie plays with a Buzz Lightyear doll. The last reference occurs in one of the outtakes during the credits, where Tim repeats Buzz's built-in phrases.
  • There are several Toy Story references in the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars.
    • Lightning McQueen's number, 95, is a reference to the year of Toy Story's release.
    • In the film, Lightning McQueen seeks the sponsorship of Dinoco, which is the name of the gas station that Woody and Buzz get lost at.
    • Lightning uses "Lightyear Buzzard" tires, a reference to Buzz Lightyear and a parody of Goodyear Eagle tires.
    • During the end credits of Pixar's 2006 film Cars, scenes from Toy Story are reenacted by toy car versions of Buzz and Woody.
  • The television show Boston Legal features two characters, Brad Chase and Jeffrey Coho who both like to dress up as Buzz Lightyear. In episode 58 they end up in a fist fight in their costumes.
  • The Pizza Planet truck makes an appearance in every other Pixar film.


  • The Pixar logo with the hopping Luxo Jr. is absent before the film. He is present at the very end of the credits instead.
  • Sid's outfit is identical to that worn by Chris Cornell in the 1994 Soundgarden video " Black Hole Sun". Both shirts resemble, if not are in fact, the skull logo used by Zero Skateboards. The black tee shirt with white upper skull also resembles the traditional outfit of The Punisher.
  • The "Hand" in the Box in Sid's room plays the same music that the toy did from Tin Toy (1988), the short movie that inspired Toy Story.
  • When Woody jumps through the window of the Pizza Planet truck, there is a sticker on it that appears to be Herbie's famous number 53.
  • The toy shark, wearing Woody's hat, proclaims, "Look at me, I'm Woody! Howdy howdy howdy!" This references a cowboy-eating vulture in one of Gary Larson's " The Far Side" daily comic strips from the early 1980s: "Hey everyone, look at me, I'm a cowboy! Howdy! Howdy! Howdy!"
  • The toolbox that Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) pushes off the milk crate bears the name "Binford Tools," the name of the fictional company which sponsors Allen's character's show in Home Improvement (1991).
  • " Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King can be heard in Andy's mother's car on the way to their new home.
  • During the staff meeting at the beginning of the movie, some of the books on the shelf behind Woody are named after some of Pixar's short films, such as Tin Toy and Knick Knack.
  • In the movie's opening scene, Mr. Potato Head says "What are you looking at, you hockey puck?" This is one of Don Rickles's (the voice of Mr. Potato Head) trademark insults.
  • In Hannah's tea party, her teapot is the Utah Teapot, famous in the computer graphics community.
  • The moving truck company is called Eggman Movers. Eggman is a nickname of Pixar Art Designer Ralph Eggleston.
  • The license plate on the cars read random words instead of a state. For example on Andy's mom's minivan, the plate reads "Minivan" in place of a state and another car's reads "Auto".
  • There are numerous references to Star Wars. Pixar was originally formed from the Industrial Light & Magic Computer Graphics Group.
  • When Buzz gets knocked out the window, he emits the Wilhelm Scream.
  • In 2003, the Online Film Critics Society ranked the film as the greatest animated film of all time.
  • All of the cars in Toy Story are registered for November 1995, the film's month of release.
  • RC's tires read "Goodtire", most likely a parody of Goodyear Tires.
  • Sid's room contains an issue of "TM 31-210 IMPROVISED INTERROGATION HANDBOOK". However, the real title of TM 31-210 is Improvised Munition Handbook.
  • A poster on Sid's wall that says "Megadork" is perhaps a pun on the metal band "Megadeth"
  • The toy's owner, a young boy named Andy, may be a reference to Andy, the boy from Child's Play. In Child's Play, Andy's doll also comes alive, but in a much more sinister fashion.
  • When Sid is attacked by his abused toys, a doll behind him screams 'redrum', an homage to Stephen King's novel, ' The Shining'.
  • The original VHS release of this movie contained over 15 minutes of trailers before the actual movie began.

Retrieved from ""