Pixar Movies: Toy Story


As you know, I’m really really looking forward to Pixar’s newest movie Inside Out which comes out in one month. MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Sadly though, this will be my first Pixar movie since A Bug’s Life that I will not be able to see in theaters. Our daughter’s not old enough and I’m not going without my wife and trying to convince my work buddies to go see an animated movie with me would be kinda awkward (at least there’s Jurassic World which we plan on seeing).

So I’m gonna have to wait until it comes on DVD sometime in November.

It’ll be a hard wait, but I’ve got a little countdown going on: I get to watch two Pixar movies a month. By the time I reach the last one, I’ll finally get to watch Inside Out.

So I watched Toy Story last night. What made the movie so popular? What’s the genius behind it? What’s the allure that still holds up today, twenty years later? To be blunt, what makes it so flawless?

Uncle Walt’s nephew, Roy Disney said that every single frame in the movie pushes the story forward.

And I think that’s it. Not a single frame is wasted. The movie makers really did a magnificent job of getting inside a toy’s psych: What makes a toy happy? (To have his purpose fulfilled and be played with.) What is his greatest fear? (To be replaced or lost.) And the movie answers those questions, and not only that, every single person on the planet can relate with these characters.

And the movie broke three rules in the animation genre at the time (I’m shameless enough to admit that I pointed them out when I saw it in the theaters at twelve years old):

screenshot-med-011) It was the first animated movie that was also a buddy movie, where the protagonists had to overcome their stubborn differences to meet a common goal. (Disney was against this, not wanting to break the rule, but the Pixar guys held firm.)

2) The songs were voiced over, not sung by the characters. (The Rescuers did this, too, but not to enhance the story.)

3) It’s the first time the opening credits appeared on screen after the start of the movie, which gave it (and still gives it) a more mature feel, like, this movie isn’t just for kids.

Toy Stoy is one of my desert island movies for sure. I can watch it over and over and not get bored with it, always finding something new (I can’t wait till my kids can start watching it!). And indeed, when I write, I go to movies like Toy Story, and I ask myself continually, What did these guys do so right? 

They told a clear story without wasting time and they dared to break the rules.

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Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

19 thoughts on “Pixar Movies: Toy Story

    1. They teamed up with Disney so that they could have a strong distributor, but they were careful to not let them call the shots. They weren’t going to go back to Disney when their first contract ended unless the leadership changed. Leadership changed for the better and they renewed the contract. Pixar is such a strong creative force that Disney almost virtually has never called a single shot in all of their films. Besides, Disney’s not the same as it was ten years ago…


  1. Have you thought about going to see the movie alone and then letting your wife go see it alone? I know it’s not the best solution, and in many cases it’s way more fun to see a movie with others but as my kids have gotten older (they’re school-age now) sometimes the only way I get to see movies is if I carve out some time during the school day and go by myself. I find this lets me concentrate on the movie in a different way, and my writer’s brain seems to tick at a faster pace when I’m in that darkened hall with strangers around me.


          1. Aw, you can put them in their pajamas and let them sleep in the back. :> Whatever happens, I hope it works out for you to see the movie. My older daughter turns nine in late June, so we’ll go see the movie as part of her birthday. I’ll definitely let you know what we think of it when we go!


  2. You need some new work buddies.
    Or a babysitter. (Truly – baby won’t be traumatised for the rest of her life by being left with another caring adult for a couple of hours while she’s asleep, once in a while. I know with your first kid, it seems like that, but she won’t be. Honest.)
    Or, as thewriteedge suggests, do go see it alone. You could consider it research, for your erudite Pixar reviews you post on this blog, which is, after all, your author platform driving traffic to your book sales – so it’s a business endeavor, you know.
    Anyway, just trying to help you find reasons to go see it in the theatre after all… It seems a shame for a sold-out Pixar fanatic like yourself not to.

    And you’re right, Toy Story is a landmark film. Good review.


    1. Another option: bring baby along. Whyever not? We took a one-year-old to see the first Harry Potter movie (because his older siblings wanted to see it). Dad stood in the back with him for most of the movie, and he was fascinated by the Hogwarts train.


  3. I’m excited for Inside Out as well! Mindy Kaling is awesome, and I can’t wait to see her as one of the emotions (envy, I think?)

    Pixar always does an amazing job – you’re right, they never waste a frame.


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