Animation "Lightyear" did not achieve the expected success of the studio "Pixar", the audience did not welcome it and it failed at the box office, but even this subversion is disappointing. Nor can it damage the legacy of Toy Story. No matter what your opinion is about the next parts of the series, the place of the first part is reserved in the history of cinema, the work that watching it was an amazing experience for any child or adult. We entered the world of toys that come to life when their owner Andy is not around. Woody is a lovable cowboy whose position is jeopardized after the arrival of a space toy called Buzz Lightyear, but his enmity with Lightyear ends in friendship.
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An emerging animation studio who did not have much experience in the field of story telling and producing feature films, How did he find the courage to make such a work? In 1995, when Pixar hit the headlines with Toy Story, they were already known as a technology brand that worked for Lucasfilm's computer division in the 1980s to produce complex graphics and the tools to run them. . Pixar separated from Lucasfilm in 1986 to continue working independently, they were looking for investors and finally it was "Steve Jobs" who agreed to help them financially.
In that Back in the day, Pixar's development kit was often used to produce special effects in other studios' films, such as the ghostly knight in The Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), which was the work of one of the studio's earliest employees: John Lester, a former Disney animator. who had left the company in 1983 over creative differences (he later returned to Disney but was fired after it was revealed he had engaged in inappropriate behavior with female employees).
During his early days with Pixar, Lester made several computer animation shorts that were actually designed as prototypes. were to show the strength of their products. But when one of these works, "Metal Toy," won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1989, the attention of his former colleagues at Disney was once again drawn to him. Lester, Steve Jobs, and Pixar co-founder Edwin Catmull were called to meet with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney's head of film production at the time. He put his proposal on the table: Disney would finance a Pixar feature film, the first to be created entirely by computers, and Disney would own and release it.
Jobs, a master negotiator. Bode, convinced Katzenberg to provide them with a budget of 26 million dollars to make three feature films. Everything went well, but then Lester and Catmull realized that there were a few big problems in the development of this dream project: first, no one at Pixar had any experience telling stories, and the longest story they had written was a little more It was 5 minutes. Second, they had to simultaneously create a technology through which they could narrate the said story.
Creating the desired technology seemed more challenging because Pixar had known for a long time that the production of computer animation, although it has advantages, but It creates many restrictions for them. Most of their short films were about objects or toys that came to life, while traditional hand-drawn animations used dreamy elements and tended towards the fantasy genre.
It was clear that computers could create smooth surfaces and simple geometric shapes. process better, but it didn't seem enough because objects usually don't have faces, let alone if they want to talk. In this regard, Lester and his fellow animators had to find a way to convey emotion through movement: one of their early successes in this direction was the two reading lamp characters in the animated short "The Smaller Reading Lamp", which became a Pixar icon. If you sometimes wonder what this studio does to make us feel empathy with robots, monsters, fish and other creatures, or sometimes even shed tears, you can find its roots in the animation of the smaller reading lamp, which was also nominated for an Oscar.
With these details, it seemed logical that their first feature would be based on the structure of one such animated short called Metal Toy, an animation about a musical toy called "Tiny" bought for a baby. And now he is trying to stay away from this child so that he doesn't get spoiled. The idea of Tiny's friendship with another toy eventually led to the creation of characters such as Buzz and Woody became. Pixar's main concern now was storytelling, because they did not have enough experience in this field; Fortunately, this problem seemed solvable because Disney could help them with decades of experience.
Jeffrey Katzenberg was convinced that the attitude and atmosphere of the toy story should be in line with this Francophone medium (animation) and any idea that the Pixar team would create and pitch to Disney was encouraged to be more ambitious. Disney wanted the script to be "more subversive, more aggressive, and more adult." Pixar complied because it felt that the more experienced Disney knew better than they did what the final product should look like.
In November 1993, a meeting was held between the two studios that Pixar members call "Black Friday". Lester and his collaborators showed a test version of a sequence from the film that will be in the final version: where Woody "accidentally" throws the open window out of the room. In the demo, Woody "deliberately" shoves Baez, then says with a devilish laugh, "It's a doll-eat-doll world." Then he threatens the witnesses and tells one of them to "shut up". In another oddly suggestive sequence, Woody is eye-rolling and says, "I wish I was anatomically correct" after seeing a "Barbie doll."
The character (Woody) they originally envisioned was an old rag doll whose only wish is to be loved by its owner. He is a cruel toy who hurts others. Katzenberg soon realized that this animation would turn into a disaster and stopped its production. His new plan was to outsource development of Toy Story to one of Disney's in-house studios, but Pixar members Jon Lester, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Joe Renfet asked him to give them two weeks. They scrapped all their previous designs and went back to the story they had originally intended to tell, they wrote and designed faster than ever to get the project to a relatively acceptable state as soon as possible.
Back. To the first point, although it was painful, it became one of the usual rules and methods of Pixar. This approach, along with trusting "creative minds" and its impact on studio decisions, was later used by Lucasfilm and Marvel, resulting in "Star Wars" and "The Avengers." Even the story of Toy Story 4 underwent radical and extensive changes during the development process, and its release was delayed twice so that Pixar could make sure that it had made its desired work. But with the first Toy Story they produced something more than their own, as Edwin Catwill describes the film: "an 80-minute trial and error" that paid off, grossing $358 million worldwide and beating out "Batman Forever" and Pocahontas became the best-selling movie of 1995. Now more than two decades have passed since Toy Story was released, and more than 250 computer animations have followed its path; Some of them are the product of Disney itself, which has implemented many of Pixar's methods and structures on its internal studios. We have had other studios in these years, such as "Illumination" and "Dreamworks Animation". Their products are also often admired, but when it comes to "emotional impact", few studios can come close to Pixar, especially their first productions in the 90s.
Edwin Catmull writes in his memoirs: "When in Growing up in the 1950s, my dream was to become an animator for the Disney Company, but I had no idea How to get there. Now I understand why I instinctively loved computer graphics, a new technology at the time, as a means to achieve this childhood dream.
When Toy Story reviews came out, the main focus of critics It was on the artistic dimensions and the correct relationship of the characters; Meanwhile, few people were aware that we are witnessing the birth of a new medium. They did not see this revolutionary technology because the story of the film did not allow them to pay attention to the technical details, and Edwin Catmull is proud of this issue. Pixar studio slowly and with minimal fanfare revolutionized the world of animation and cinema.