On this day in 1995, it was a historical moment for film. More specifically, it was the release of the first entirely computer-animated feature film, Toy Story. Today, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of this beloved Pixar masterwork with a look back at how such a small team pioneered CGI moviemaking and single-handedly set the course for family films for decades.
But Toy Story was almost never made. Disney rejected Pixar’s initial pitch on the film, and the team had to create a new pitch in just 72 hours or the deal would die. (For more on this, watch The Pixar Story.) Luckily, the Pixar team thrives on pressure, and the film was made—but it was initially so fraught with pre-production woes, it ultimately took over 4 years to produce. However, with the help of Steve Jobs, Joss Whedon, and about 1000 other artists, John Lasseter was finally able to execute his vision. Toy Story opened to critical acclaim currently still holds the distinction of the very rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Since the film was entirely computer-animated, its sound team had to uniquely tailor every sound to fit each character’s distinct build and personality. This was no small task but certainly Skywalker Studio’s realm of expertise, and the final product was nothing short of spectacular.
So, let’s take a look (and a listen) to the groundbreaking animated movie that almost never happened, and appreciate its undeniable impact for 25 years and counting!
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