How Woody Almost Destroyed Pixar Before “Toy Story” Released – Inside the Magic


Pixar Animation Studios is the world’s most respected animation studio. Specializing in computer generated images (CGI), the power station has created classic after classic since 1995 when Toy story (1995) debuted as the first fully computer-animated film. But, an early version of Sheriff Woody nearly destroyed Pixar.

Credit: Disney / Pixar

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Pixar’s story is pretty well known when it comes to Disney fans sharing fun facts about animation studios. From Steve Jobs bought George Lucas’ small business to “A113” and the Pizza Planet truck featured in every Pixar movie, fans of the animation studio are proud of the films that essentially made their childhood.

Pixar is without a doubt one of the most important production companies in the world. However, in 1993, Disney discontinued production on Toy story (1995) and almost destroyed the future of The life of an insect (1998), Monsters Inc. (2001), and The Incredibles (2004).

The problem arose out of an early reel of history Toy story to Disney executives on Black Friday of 1993, when Pixar just started production on the next film.

You can watch it below:

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In the words of Pixar founder John Lasseter himself: “It’s uh… it’s bad.

Yes, it really is. Woody is mean, selfish, brash, and downright abusive. He unforgivably insults Slinky Dog and makes everyone (including the public) absolutely hate him. Not only did Pixar miss the mark of their most important character, but they also abused Tom Hank’s legendary vocal play.

Woody kept some of his envious features in the final version of the film, but, in this first version, we see the Sherrif with a snake in his boot intentionally throwing Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) out of Andy’s window, rather than d ‘be an “accident” caused by a chain reaction in the theatrical cut.

Woody Concept Art "Toy story"
Credit: Pixar

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At this point, Pixar secured a three-film deal with The Walt Disney Company, which would distribute the films and share the box office revenue. Pixar, however, was not hired for its story writing skills, but for the technology.

Disney was cashing in millions of dollars at unknown animation studio that hit it hard with shorts, like The Adventures of André & Wally B (1984).

Sheriff Woody’s first concept written by Pixar’s John Lasseter and Pete Doctor featured Woody as a ventriloquist dummy who was purely a villain rather than a hero or even an anti-hero. However, animation for this type of object turned out to be nearly impossible, so Pixar changed Woody into a solid figure.

Pixar "Toy story" Conecpt Art Black Friday Reel
Credit: Pixar

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This first version of Woody doesn’t disarm the character’s meanness through the voice of Tom Hank like the final version of the film did later, but instead made him downright evil. Pixar intended audiences to immediately label Woody a villain and associate Buzz Lightyear with the hero, but Disney didn’t like that approach.

In fact, they hated it and stopped production on the film. The writers of “Black Friday”, which included master storytellers John Lasseter, Joss Whedon (Avengers (2012)), and Joël Cohen (There is no country for old people (2007)), had a week to rewrite Toy story completely.

For a brief moment, the world as we know it almost was put on a shelf. Of course, it’s no secret that movie studios “shelve” projects that they deem irrelevant or that they abandon altogether, but the idea of ​​losing Pixar in favor of the first sketches of their flagship character is downright disgusting.

Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks) in "Toy story 3"
Credit: Disney / Pixar

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Pixar not only got rid of the traditional villainous archetype of Woody, which included him in a realistic layer that would be lost on children and young viewers, but also gave Woody redemption and a sense of innocence.

Black Friday was dark and crass and presented no chance of being redeemed. He was downright evil and would remain so, which meant his character wouldn’t have any weight in the story. But, Pixar completely changed their outlook and attitude through Andy.

Focusing on an overprotective toy that garnered its owner’s attention allowed audiences to sympathize with the forgotten doll after Buzz Lightyear took the stage. Not only could they feel for Woody, but now the audience was connected with Buzz and Andy, knowing what it was like to throw out the old and enjoy the new.

"Toy story" (1995)
Credit: Pixar / Disney

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Pixar showed Woody’s innocence through Buzz accidentally falling out the window, in part because of Woody, but it wasn’t intentional. In the reel of Black Friday, Woody purposely pushed Lightyear through the open window, and Woody’s redemption wanes. But now we see what toys don’t and start rooting for Woody. Of the, Toy story becomes a film about redemption.

Pixar thankfully fixed a minor glitch that resulted in a huge glitch. Not only saving their livelihoods, but these animators-turned-directors also reshaped contemporary filmmaking and storytelling by shifting the focus from “Heroes vs. Villains” to elevate the nuances and narratives that really drive the movie, like acceptance. in Ratatoullie (2007) with Remy and Ego or insecurity in The Incredibles (2004) with Syndrome.

Today we have a better world thanks to Toy story. From modern marketing Disney parks reshaping their paths after Pixar’s hit movie reshaped the world.

Which Toy Story movie is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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