****Disney provided me with an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this great event ****
Can you believe that Toy Story is 20 years old?! It is amazing how fast time has flown by, it seems like just yesterday it was November 22, 1995, the week of the film's release, I was seeing Toy Story in the theaters, with this new guy I met… That new guy eventually became my husband. When we went to see Toy Story, we were the older teens (well I was a teen, my husband had just become a newly minted 20 year old 2 month's prior) in the theater with a bunch of little kids but we were just fine with it, and we both loved the movie that is how I knew he was the one. We are both just grown up little kids. Fast forward ten years we introduced our daughter to our love of Toy Story and of course she wanted to watch it every day multiple times a day, she loved the movie as much as we did.
When I had the chance to visit the Pixar Animation Archives to get to see actual original drawings of Toy Story, I guess you could say I was pretty excited. Visiting this amazing place was such an honor. What is the Pixar Animation Archives you ask? Pixar's living archives is on a mission to gather, organize, and preserve everything Pixar. The archives were formed by Jonas Rivera (the Producer of Disney/Pixar Inside Out) by the end of the making of A Bugs Life.
Jonas knew that these items from the Pixar films were precious and should be saved for future artists and future generations. He wanted to create an archive of original art. For these archives, they saved clothing, maps, concept ar, reference photos, things you would go back to find information about the company. Did you know that the original Mike Wazowski, was to be orange not green? Memories and facts like this are alive because of these archives.
As of now there are about 5 million pieces in the collection and growing day by day! I got to see some original stills drawn by John Lassater, who was the only artist at Pixar at the time, he even designed the Pixar logos! In 1988 Tin Toy was the first short film to win the short animated film Oscar. In Tin Toy, the child was crying and Tinny made him smile, but then the child just plays with the box, “the box” is the toy all the time.
After the success of Tin Toy, the small group of Pixar employees wanted to make another Tin Toy short, this was to be a Tin Toy Christmas Special with a ventriloquist dummy. But things began to progress with the short, and ideas changed and believe it or not this Christmas short became the movie we all know and love, Toy Story.
The Tin Toy became Buzz Lightyear, and the ventriloquist dummy became Woody. Perhaps this is why Woody had the pull string as an homage to what he originally was, a ventriloquist dummy? In early drawings of Woody, he was drawn to look like a ventriloquist dummy. Bud Luckey drew many versions of Woody and John Lasseter chose this favorite.
Did you know that Buzz Lightyear was originally called Lunar Larry, and the original color for Buzz was Jon and Nancy Lasseter’s favorite colors Green and Purple. The current version still has the green and purple, but the original had a lot less white, the main colors were green and purple. Buzz was originally drawn to look more jolly, and he had a pompadour. Also did you know that Buzz was originally drawn to be smaller, much smaller than Woody…. So small that it would be hard for them to interact, and the idea was scrapped.
When making Toy Story the gang at Pixar wanted everything to be perfect. Copies of what the animators want the characters to look like were made in clay to give a real 3D look to the character and give the character life. We were fortunate to be able to see the actual head sculpts for Woody and Buzz.
To make sure of this they took toys and made their own creations to use as an example of Sid’s room. Since the toys are small and the floor and the baseboards would be shown a lot in the film, the animators took photos of floors and baseboards to make sure they got an authentic real look for the film.
This was a visit to a place that I will never forget. Seeing these artifacts was amazing. Just hearing the fun facts of that I never knew about a movie I love was so super cool, something I will cherish forever. Where were you when Toy Story premiered? Did you get to see it in the theater, and did you love it as much then as you do now?
Where were you when Toy Story premiered, did you get to see it 20 years ago?
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