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Toy Story, living toys for young and old

What child hasn't dreamt of seeing their toys come to life? That's the idea behind the film Toy Story and its sequels, recounting the adventures of Woody the sanctimonious cowboy and Buzz Lightyear, the lost astronaut. What can go on in a child's bedroom when he's away and his toys are living their own lives?

The great Pixar innovation

Until 1995, a film featuring animated characters was simply a cartoon. From Mickey Mouse to The Lion King, Walt Disney Studios were the undisputed masters of animated cartoons. Then Pixar Studios came along and completely revolutionised the big screen.

In 1995, in collaboration with Walt Disney, Pixar presented its film "Toy Story" to the world's public, created entirely in computer-generated images. From that moment onwards, it had to be called an animated film, because no human being had ever put a felt-tip pen on cardboard to draw a single line.

The first of its kind, the film was also John Lasseter's first. Rebellious and complicated by nature, he is a born innovator. He was the second student in the brand new Character Animation section at the California Institute of the Arts in 1975, and in class he rubbed shoulders with future greats such as Brad Bird and Tim Burton.

Incredibly talented, he was immediately recruited by Walt Dinsey. But he couldn't fit into the mould, because he hadn't seen any progress in Disney animation since "101 Dalmatians" (1961!). After discovering the film "Tron", featuring computer-generated sets, he tried to launch a similar project at Disney, against the advice of his superiors... and was fired.

Lasseter was then hired by Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group, where he was encouraged to create his first fully computer-animated short film (Lasseter's original aim was only synthetic sets).

When Steve Jobs's Apple bought Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group and turned it into Pixar, Lasseter was of course at the forefront. And it was he who launched the great success of Toy Story.

Toy Story, an adult story for children

Or a children's story for adults who have remained children in their hearts?

The story is about Woody, an old-fashioned cowboy voiced by Tom Hanks. He is the favourite toy of child Andy Davis, earning him the status of chief toy. But when Andy gets Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), he becomes his favourite, making Woody jealous. Their rivalry degenerates into a brawl and they get lost while Andy is away. Worse still, they find themselves in possession of Sid, Andy's neighbour, and his hideous mutant toys. Now they have to work together to get out of this predicament... but Buzz suffers a psychological breakdown when he realises he's just a toy, not a real astronaut.

Funny, adventurous and full of twists and turns, the plot of Toy Story is above all driven by its characters, their strengths and weaknesses, and above all the deeply human flaws such as jealousy and denial. This will be the hallmark of Pixar films, to be found in such huge successes as "Nemo", "Up" and "Inside Out".

The story of Toy Story is much more than a simple children's adventure; it explores universal themes such as jealousy, self-acceptance and friendship, making it a treat for viewers of all ages.

Still a hit

After revolutionising animation in 1995 with the first film made entirely from computer-generated images, this iconic Disney and Pixar franchise, created by the visionary John Lasseter, has of course had sequels, but directed by Andrew Stanton, still following the adventures of cowboy Woody, astronaut Buzz, and their friends Mr Potato Head, Rex the fearful Tyrannosaurus, and the dog Zigzag. In all, there are 4 Toy Story films in the franchise, as well as spin-offs on Buzz Lightyear. Disney Studios is already working on a fifth Toy Story. What all these films have in common is that the soundtracks were composed by Randy Newman, who also composed the original song "You've got a friend in me", which became the most popular song in all the animated films.

With these four successful films and numerous spin-off projects, the world of Toy Story continues to capture the hearts of audiences. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and their friends are still as captivating as ever: they have become cherished characters in the history of cinema.

In 2022, a more difficult film to categorise was presented, "Lightyear". This animated film presents the adventure of the real Buzz Lightyear, on whom the toy is based, with the voice of Chris Evans.

At Shop For Geek, Toy Story is also a hit. We're proud to offer you a wide range of products, accessories and Pop figures inspired by this iconic franchise. In particular, you'll find a book on the secrets behind the making of Toy Story, the surface of which we've just unveiled. Don't wait any longer to join the Toy Story adventure and bring a little magic into your life.