This week, we looked at the first Pixar feature ever made, as well as the commercials that aired on TV to win over audiences to see this new film.
Toy Story was, and always will be, one of the most ambitious films ever made. Sure, Pixar had proved themselves capable with the 5 short films that came before, but nothing could have prepared audiences in 1995 for what Toy Story would bring, both to the entertainment world as well as to the world of technology. Though the story would still be somewhat effective with hand drawn animation, Pixar proved that there are indeed stories that are best seen and told with computer animation. This new technology not only won over skeptics like animator Frank Thomas (he wrote an article in the 1980’s describing his dislike of CG animation), but even Walt’s nephew Roy Disney would eventually jump on board.
Of course, in 2019, Toy Story is beginning to show its age. The animation is clearly of a different time and there is a little bit less life in the animation than we we see today. However, this is one of the reasons I am most excited for Toy Story 4; we not only get to see a continuation of the first ever Pixar film, but also we can see how the technology has continued to evolve these past 24 years. Seeing characters like Woody and Buzz as they looked in 1995 and then seeing how they look today in 2019 is a great opportunity to appreciate how far we have come.
Much has been said and written about Toy Story and I believe that Toy Story does in fact live up to all the praise it received upon its release, and certainly deserves the legacy that it has. It was the film that sparked the tradition of many other wonderful Pixar films to come as well as Disney’s eventual decision to make all of their animation films with computer animation as well. Toy Story is almost as important in 2019 as it was in 1995 because it acts as a kind of time capsule, which is a wonderful thing to be able to go back and look at.
As for Toy Story Treats, there is a lot less to say. Sometimes called Toy Story Shorts, these animated bumpers aired on the ABC television network on Saturday mornings to coincide with the release of the film. It gave the general public an opportunity to sample this new technology in a digestible manner as well as giving people a look at the characters in Andy’s room. The voice cast is not all present, however, most noticeably Woody, who is voiced by Tom Hanks’ brother Jim, and Buzz Lightyear who is voiced by Pat Fraley.
Next week, we will look at the second Pixar feature, A Bug’s Life and the short Geri’s Game.