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20 Facts on the 20th Anniversary of “Toy Story”

Toy Story was released on November 22, 1995, when I was only four years old. As much as my childhood memories are already beginning to fade, I’ll never forget what it felt like to see Toy Story as a child. The fun, the adventure, and the joy of witnessing toys come to life and conquer their own fears – it was magical, and in many ways, still is. As the company’s first feature-length film, Toy Story signaled the beginning of a generation of Pixar classics.

In honor of Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary, here are 20 fun facts!

1. Toy Story was directed by John Lasseter.

2. It was the highest grossing film of 1995.

3. Woody and Buzz Lightyear were inspired by toys that Lasseter had as a child.

4. Billy Crystal was offered the role of Buzz Lightyear, but turned it down. After seeing the completed film, he claimed that it was the biggest mistake of his entire career.

5. The character of Sid is supposedly inspired by a former Pixar employee who would take apart toys and then reassemble them into strange creations.

6. The carpet in Sid’s house is modeled after the Overlook Hotel carpet in The Shining.

7. Barbie was originally going to appear in the first film as Woody’s love interest, but Mattel declined because they thought the film would be a failure and they didn’t want Barbie to have a distinct personality (instead, allowing kids to use their imaginations when playing with the doll). As a result, her character was reworked as Bo-Peep. Due to the film’s massive success, Mattel allowed Barbie to appear in the next film.

8. Mr. Potato Head’s line “What are you looking at, ya hockey puck?” is a catchphrase of Don Rickles, who voiced the character.

9. Andy’s last name is Davis, though it is never mentioned in the film.

10. In Andy’s room he has four books titled “Tin Toy”, “Knick Knack”, “Red’s Dream”, and “Luxo Jr” on a shelf. These are titles of four of Pixar’s short films from the 1980’s.

11. The animators glued sneakers to a wood plank in order to perfect the movement of the toy soldiers.

12. Tom Hanks recorded his dialogue between filming Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own, rather than during breaks on Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. His reasoning was that he didn’t want to work on a comedic film between dramatic roles.

13. Tom Hanks’ brother Jim did the voice for the subsequent Woody toys.

14. Toy Story is the only Pixar film to have full opening credits.

15. The toolbox that Woody is trapped in is modeled after the tool box Tim Allen used on Home Improvement.

16. Tom Hanks was supposedly attracted to the role because, as a child, he often wondered if toys were actually alive.

17. According to Tim Allen, Pixar originally wanted Paul Newman to be the voice of Woody and Jim Carrey to voice Buzz Lightyear as a sort of old Hollywood vs. new Hollywood juxtaposition.

18. Before deciding on Toy Story, one of the titles considered was You Are a Toy.

19. Almost 20% of the film’s original animation files were corrupted by the time it was released on DVD – proving that digital storage was not as sensible as studios had thought.

20. Toy Story was the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, original or adapted.

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  1. Oh Sweet The Shining designed Sid’s Room. Never noticed that before. I’m glad Billy Crystal did not get the role of Buzz Lightyear in the film. Tim Allen was a much better choice. Crystal was better in Monster’s INC anyways

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome facts. It wasn’t the smartest move by Mattel. Thanks to Toy Story, sales of Mr. Potato Head increased by 800 percent and put the maker of Slinky Dog back in business, while sales of the Etch-A-Sketch saw a whopping 4500 percent boost.


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