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Brought to Life: A Look at Pixar (Part 3)

The thing is, Toy Story took a lot of work to become what it was today. The concept was based on Tin Toy, which was a short about, well, toys.

Tin Toy was an Oscar award-winning short film that sparked Disney’s interest in making a sequel or expansion to the movie, which ended up becoming a full-length feature.

One of the higher-ups at Disney, Jeffrey Katzenberg, initially headed the story treatment for the movie, wanting a more edgy feel to the proceedings. Woody was actually the primary antagonist during development! Buzz Lightyear didn’t exist! The main character of Tin Toy, Tinny, would become Buzz. But the movie had issues. On a day dubbed the Black Friday incident in 1993, production was almost shut down after seeing the movie-in-development. But John Lasseter and the rest of the team regrouped, with a better script that ultimately saved and heightened the greatness of the movie.

By the way, Joss Whedon helped write Toy Story. Yes – the guy who made Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and The Avengers!

There were doubts. Some thought that even if the movie would be interesting for those in the animation industry or animation fans in general, it wouldn’t succeed in the box office. Steve Jobs was reported to be nervous at first about how Toy Story would be, but as time passed, he became more convinced how amazing it would be.

And it was not only a commercial success, but an amazing film.

Think of what could have happened if Toy Story hadn’t been successful, critically or commercially. People may have been dissuaded by computer animation for a few more years, and we may never have seen such amazing movies such as Bug’s Life or Shrek. Pixar would not have been as successful as it is today – maybe it wouldn’t have been here at all.

But through the determination, sweat, and luck of some very talented, creative, and amazing individuals, we live in a world where Pixar exists and we have classics like Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Up.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company (2008) by David Price

Steve Jobs (2011) by Walter Isaacson


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