Journey of the Toy Story through the years
Take a look back at what has become of this beloved franchise
Toy Story has to be one of the most well-known and established Pixar Animation Studios‘ produced franchises which started in 1995 and has been one of the finest additions to the world of animated films! Toy Story, released by Walt Disney Pictures is an American media franchise that is the first fully computer-animated feature-length film.
The science-fiction franchise consists of five films: Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010), Toy Story 4 (2019), and the prequel, Lightyear (2022). The 2D-animated straight-to-video spin-off film within a film, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000), and its television series of the same name are also a part of the franchise.
Toy Story Franchise had a versatile list of directors and cast
John Lasseter directed the first 2 films, the third film was directed by Lee Unkrich and the fourth by Josh Cooley. Angus MacLane directed Lightyear. A few of the many brilliant voice actors that were a part of the Toy Story cast are Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Tom Hanks (Woody), Wallace Shawn (Rex), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Joan Cusack, John Morris (Andy Davis), Annie Potts (Little Bo- Peep), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), Andrew Stanton, Blake Clark, Chris Evans, Jim Varney (Slinky Dog), R. Lee Ermey (Sergeant), Laurie Metcalf (Andy’s Mom), Erik von Detten (Sid), and Sarah Freeman.
The glorious squad of Toy Story flicks
Toy Story (1995)
On 22nd November 1995, Toy Story, the franchise’s first film was released. The film was a ginormous critical and financial success, grossing over $373 million worldwide. It was later re-released in Disney Digital 3-D as part of a double feature, along with Toy Story 2 on 2nd October 2009, before the release of Toy Story 3, for a two-week run, which was later extended due to its financial success.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
The second film in the franchise, Toy Story 2, was released on November 24, 1999. This has been the fan favorite of all the films in the franchise. Toy Story 2 was not originally intended for a theatrical release, but as a straight-to-video sequel to the original Toy Story, with a 60-minute running time. However, Disney’s executives were impressed by the high quality of the CGI and the consummate performances of the voice actors in the sequel and so they decided to convert Toy Story 2 into a theatrical film. It grossed over $497 million worldwide, turning out to be an even greater success than the original Toy Story.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3, released on 18th June 2010, came out nearly 11 years after Toy Story 2. It became Pixar’s highest-grossing film of all time both domestically and worldwide at the time and grossed more than the first and second films combined. It was the first animated film to cross the $1 billion mark. It was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 2, 2010.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
The fourth feature film of the franchise, Toy Story 4, was released on 21st June 2019. It was to be released in 2014 originally. The film underwent a major plot revision following the departure of Rashida Jones and Will McCormack later in 2017, with Stephany Folsom replacing them as the screenwriter. Much of the original script by Jones and McCormack was dropped, resulting in the delay in its release.
Buzz Lightyear films
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000)
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000) is a traditionally animated straight-to-video television film, released on 8th August 2000. This spin-off of the Toy Story franchise shows Buzz Lightyear’s story as a space ranger who fights against the evil Emperor Zurg, showing the inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear toy line that exists in the Toy Story series. The film later paved the way for the television series, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Although the film didn’t use the same animation as the Toy Story films, which led to some disappointment among its viewers. It was still a huge success and sold 3 million VHS and DVDs in the first week of its release.
At Disney’s 2020 Investor Day meeting in December, Lightyear was announced in December 2020 at Disney’s investor day meeting as a spin-off film that depicts the in-universe origin story of the fictional human Buzz Lightyear character who inspired the toy that appeared in the main films, with Chris Evans cast in the title role. Directed by Angus MacLane, the film was released on June 17, 2022.
Box office performance and awards
The Toy Story films were produced on a total budget of $720 million and have grossed more than $3.3 billion worldwide, becoming the 19th highest-grossing franchise worldwide and the third highest-grossing animated franchise, as of this date. Each of the films of the main series set box office records, with the third and fourth films being included in the top 50 all-time worldwide films.
Toy Story (1995) performances
Toy Story earned $39.1 million in the first five days of the film’s domestic release. It ranked first at the weekend’s box office with $29.1 million and maintained its position at the domestic box office for the next two weekends. Domestically, the film was the highest-grossing movie in 1995 and the third-highest-grossing animated film at the time.
It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman. The movie also earned two Golden Globe nominations—Best Motion Picture– Musical or Comedy and Best Original Song at the 53rd Golden Globe Awards. It was nominated for Best Special Visual Effects at the 50th British Academy Film Awards and was also the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Toy Story 2 (1999) performances
Toy Story 2 bagged $57.4 million in just 3 days, and stayed at No. 1 for the following two weekends. It was the 3rd highest-grossing film of 1999. The movie earned an Academy Award nomination for the song “When She Loved Me” and won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture– Musical or Comedy.
Toy Story 3 (2010) performances
Toy Story 3 had a killer debut right from its theatrical release, grossing $41.1 million at the box office on its opening day. It had the highest-ever opening day gross of all animated films. The film grossed $110.3 million on its opening weekend, making it No. 1 for the weekend. This was recorded as the biggest-ever opening weekend for any Pixar film.
Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing film of 2010, both domestically and worldwide. Toy Story 3 grossed over $1 billion, making it the seventh film in history and the first animated film to do so. Toy Story 3 won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “We Belong Together”. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Sound Editing. Toy Story 3 also won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and the British Academy Film award for Best Animated Film.
Toy Story 4 (2019) performances
Toy Story 4 won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for Best Original Song for “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” by Randy Newman. It is the first animated franchise to win the Best Animated Feature award twice and to have every film nominated in the same category (Original Song). It was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and for Best Animated Film at the British Academy Film Awards.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the Toy Story franchise is the most critically acclaimed franchise of all time.
Which is your favorite Toy Story movie and why? Let us know in the comments below!
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