Toy Story is a CGI animated film series and Disney media franchise that began with the original 1995 film, Toy Story, produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The franchise focuses on a group of toys that secretly come to life and end up unexpectedly embarking on life-changing adventures. The first two films of the franchise were directed by John Lasseter, and the third by Lee Unkrich, who acted as the co-director of the second film (together with Lasseter and Ash Brannon). Lasseter will return to direct the upcoming fourth film.
All three films, produced on a total budget of $320 million, have grossed more than $1.9 billion worldwide. Each film set box office records, with the third included in the top 15 all time worldwide films. Critics have given all three films extremely positive reviews. Special Blu-ray and DVD editions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were released on March 23, 2010. They were also re-released in theaters as a Disney Digital 3-D "double feature" for at least two weeks in October 2009. The series is the 21st highest-grossing franchise worldwide, the fourth highest-grossing animated franchise (behind Shrek, Ice Age and Madagascar), and is among the most critically acclaimed trilogies of all time. On November 1, 2011, all three Toy Story films were released in Disney Blu-ray 3D as a trilogy pack and as individual films.
The Toy Story series consists of three CGI animated films: Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), and Toy Story 3 (2010). A fourth film, Toy Story 4, is in production and set for release in 2017. Toy Story was the first feature-length film to be made entirely using computer generated imagery. The films were produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
All three films were universally acclaimed, with the first and second films getting a perfect 100%, and the third a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The third film in the series is the second highest-grossing animated film and the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. It also became the third animated film in history to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, following Beauty and the Beast and Up.
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story, the first film in the franchise, was released on November 22, 1995. It was the first feature-length film created entirely by CGI and was directed by John Lasseter. The plot involves Andy getting a new Buzz Lightyear toy, and Woody thinking that he has been replaced as Andy's favorite toy. As a result of Woody's jealousy, he tries to knock Buzz behind a table, but accidentally knocks him out the window causing his allies to assume that he tried to murder Buzz and exile him from Andy's house. Determined to set things right, Woody attempts to save Buzz, and both try to escape from the house of the next-door neighbor Sid Phillips, who likes to torture and destroy toys. The film was critically and financially successful, grossing over $361 million worldwide. The film was later re-released in Disney Digital 3-D as part of a double feature, along with Toy Story 2, for a 2-week run, which was later extended due to its financial success. In January 2013, a fan-made live-action version of the film was posted on YouTube which has gone on to have more than 12 million views.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 2, the second film in the franchise, was released on November 24, 1999. John Lasseter reprises his role as director. The plot involves Woody getting stolen by a greedy toy collector named Al. Buzz and several of Andy's toys go around the Tri-County Area to save him. Toy Story 2 was not originally intended for release in theaters, but as a direct-to-video sequel to the original Toy Story, with a 60-minute running time. However, Disney's executives saw how impressive the in-work imagery for the sequel was, and due to pressure from the main characters' voice actors Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, they decided to convert Toy Story 2 into a theatrical film. It turned out to be an even greater success than the original Toy Story, grossing over $485 million worldwide. The film was re-released in Disney Digital 3-D as part of a double feature, along with Toy Story, on October 2, 2009.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3, the third film in the franchise, was released eleven years later, on June 18, 2010. It is the first Toy Story film not to be directed by John Lasseter (although he remained involved in the film as executive producer), but by Lee Unkrich, who edited the first two films and co-directed the second. Set ten years after the events of the second film, the plot focuses on the toys accidentally being dropped off at a daycare center while their owner, Andy, is getting ready to go away to college. The film contains over 150 new characters, according to Pixar. It is Pixar's highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and domestic, surpassing Finding Nemo. Toy Story 3 grossed more than the first and second films combined, making it the first animated film to have crossed the $1 billion mark. In August 2010, it surpassed Shrek 2, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all time until it was surpassed by Frozen, another Disney production, in March 2014. Toy Story 3 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 2, 2010.
Toy Story 4 (2017)
Toy Story 4 was announced by Disney during an investor's call in November 2014, tentatively scheduled for theatrical release on June 16, 2017. Lasseter will return to direct, while the screenplay will be written by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack from a story by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich. Galyn Susman will produce. Lasseter has hinted that Toy Story 4 will be a love story and will pick up where Toy Story 3 left off. According to Lasseter, "Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie - and I wanted to direct it myself."