Just the second animated franchise to make the countdown and among one of the most critically acclaimed trilogies of all time, Toy Story comes in at #7 on my Reggie’s Take movie franchise countdown.
Based on a concept that all toys are secretly alive with humans being totally unaware the Toy Story franchise focus on a group of toys that include a cowboy, Sheriff Woody and a spaceman, Buzz Lightyear that find themselves on adventures that will not only challenge the group as a whole, but brings them closer together.
The first Toy Story was released in 1995 and was the first theatrical film produced by Pixar. Directed by John Lasseter, Toy Story suffered many set backs before finally making it to theaters. At one point in the films creative process, production for Toy Story was shut down.
Disney’s chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg at the time was not impressed with Lasseter and his team at Pixar with the story they had created. Katzenberg wanted Woody and Buzz to have more edginess so the film would appeal to both kids and adults. An early screening for the first half of the film was held and after the screening production on the animated movie was halted.
When Katzenberg asked why it was so bad he was told bluntly: “Because it’s not their movie anymore.”
Lasseter would ask Disney for the chance to rework the script and after a two-week period Katzenberg was supportive of the idea. Three months later a new script was ready and Woody’s character changed from being a tyrannical boss of Andy’s toys to their wise leader. Buzz Lightyear’s character also saw some changes that would let the audience know that Buzz doesn’t realize he’s an actual toy.
When Toy Story was released on November 22, 1995 no one was expecting huge returns, but that’s just what Pixar and Disney got. Toy Story finished first at the box office its first weekend of release and remained the #1 film in U.S. theaters the following two weekends.
Toy Story would finish 1995 as the highest-grossing domestic film beating out Batman Forever and Apollo 13 that just happened to star Ton Hanks as well.
Toy Story 2 would be the sequel to the 1995 hit and would see the return of John Lasseter as co-director. When Toy Story 2 opened in November of 1999 it was considered by most critics to be one of the few sequels made in Hollywood to outshine the original. Toy Story 2 would see even bigger box office returns then the first film.
Toy Story 3 would come to theaters, but not until eleven years after Toy Story 2. John Lasseter would not direct the third film, but remained involved as its executive producer. According to Pixar, Toy Story 3 would showcase over 150 new characters and would become Pixar’s highest-grossing film of all time both domestically and worldwide.
Toy Story 3 grossed more than Toy Story and Toy Story 2 combined, making it the first animated film to have grossed over $1 billion.
Toy Story was the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Toy Story 2 won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was not introduced until 2001, after the first two Toy Story movies.
Toy Story 3 won the Academy Award – Best Animated Feature and was just the third animated film in history to be nominated for Best Picture, after Beauty and the Beast and Up.
The Toy Story franchise maybe a computer animated story about a kids toys who come to life when no human is around and the films maybe more aimed at kids then adults, but kid or no kid the Toy Story franchise has something for both the young and old alike.
Great story telling is the real strength behind the franchise. Yes, the first Toy Story movie may have started the computer animated era, but it’s Pixar and their great writers that have made this franchise what it is today.
Tom Hanks as “Sheriff Woody” and Tim Allen as “Buzz Lightyear” are the heart and sole of this franchise when it comes to the voice talent that has been put together over the past twenty years. A Toy Story movie with out them would not be the same. Yes voice talent can be changed and in some cases with little notice, but that would be a shame if it ever happened to this franchise.
Pixar and Disney have announced a Toy Story 4 coming in 2018, but it won’t be a direct sequel to Toy Story 3. With John Lasseter returning to direct the fourth film it gives me comfort knowing it will be in excellent hands.
If your an adult and find fault in the Toy Story franchise then you’ve lost that connection to the child inside you. What make Toy Story so great is that it brings out the kid in all of us, especially the adults.
If there ever was an animated franchise deserving of a spot in my movie franchise countdown, the Toy Story movies are that franchise.
Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position as Andy’s favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) action figure. Even worse, the arrogant Buzz thinks he’s a real spaceman on a mission to return to his home planet. When Andy’s family moves to a new house, Woody and Buzz must escape the clutches of maladjusted neighbor Sid Phillips (Erik von Detten) and reunite with their boy.
Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the gang to try to rescue him. But when Woody discovers that he’s actually a valuable collectible from a once-popular television show called “Woody’s Roundup” and is reunited with his horse Bullseye, Jessie the yodeling cowgirl (Joan Cusack) and his faithful sidekick, Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer), he doesn’t want to leave.
With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and the rest of the toys find themselves headed for the attic but mistakenly wind up on the curb with the trash. Woody’s quick thinking saves the gang, but all but Woody end up being donated to a day-care center. Unfortunately, the uncontrollable kids do not play nice, so Woody and the gang make plans for a great escape.
Categories: Movie Franchise Countdown