On November 22nd 1995, Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios released the first feature-length computer animated film.
Computer animation was unheard of at the time but now it seems like a regular thing.
It all started with the dreams of John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, which was to create a computer-animated feature. If Steve Jobs hadn’t bought the Graphics Group from the Lucasfilm Computer Division then Pixar wouldn’t exist.
But thankfully he did and its been great to watch all of the Pixar movies over the years.
In the first five days of Toy Story’s release (on Thanksgiving weekend), it earned over $39 million. It placed first at that weekend’s box office and it stay at number one at the domestic box office for the next two weekends.
Toy Story was the highest-grossing domestic film of 1995, beating out Batman Forever and Apollo 13. It was also the third highest-grossing animated film after The Lion King (1994) and Aladdin (1992). The film gained a total of more than $362 million worldwide.
Toy Story still has a 100% rating on the review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 9/10. The critic consensus for the site about the film is, “Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.”
Reviewers of the film, hailed it for it computer animation, voice cast and its ability to appeal to a number of different age groups. Roger Ebert’s review compared the film’s innovative animation to Who Framed Roger Rabbit by saying, “both movies take apart the universe of cinematic visuals, and put it back together again, allowing us to see in a new way.
Toy Story was ranked 8th on TIME’s “Best 10 films of 1995” and in 2011 was named one of the “25 All-TIME Best Animated Films.”
The film received and was nominated for numerous awards, one of which was given to John Lasseter. He was given a Academy Special Achievement Award in 1996 “for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film.”
Toy Story has spawned numerous sequels: Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and the soon to be released Toy Story 4 which is coming in 2018. The fourth movie will focus on the romance between Woody and Bo Peep.
Toy Story 2 was initially going to be a direct-to-video release but after the return of the cast from the first movie and the story prove to be better than just a direct-to-video release, the movie was given a theatrical release. The sequel focuses on Woody being stolen at a yard sale and the rest of the toys going to rescue him.
Toy Story 3 was about the toys accidentally being donated to a day-card center while their owner, Andy is getting ready to go to college. The film received lots of critical acclaim, has earned a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also was the first animated film to gross over $1 billion worldwide and was the highest grossing animated film until Disney’s Frozen released in 2013.
So here’s to the 20th anniversary of Toy Story, the world’s first feature-length computer animated film and “To Infinity and Beyond!”.