The film features music by Randy Newman, and was executive-produced by Steve Jobs and Edwin Catmull. The film features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jim Varney, Annie Potts, R. Lee Ermey, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf and Erik von Detten. Taking place in a world where anthropomorphic toys come to life when humans aren't present, its plot focuses on the relationship between an old-fashioned pullstring cowboy doll named Woody and an astronaut action figure Buzz Lightyear as they evolve from rivals competing for the affections of their owner Andy to friends who work together to be reunited with him after being separated from him.
Pixar, which had produced short animated films to promote their computers, was approached by Disney to produce a computer-animated feature film after the success of their short film Tin Toy (1988), which is told from a small toy's perspective. Lasseter, Stanton, and Docter wrote early story treatments which were thrown out by Disney, who wanted the film's tone to be "edgier". After several disastrous story reels, production was halted and the script was re-written, better reflecting the tone and theme Pixar desired: that "toys deeply want children to play with them, and that this desire drives their hopes, fears, and actions". The studio, then consisting of a relatively small number of employees, produced the film under minor financial constraints.
Toy Story was released in theaters on November 22, 1995, and was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend, earning over $373 million at the worldwide box office. It was positively reviewed by critics and audiences, who praised the animation's technical innovation, the wit and thematic sophistication of the screenplay, and the performances of Hanks and Allen; it is considered by many to be one of the best animated films ever made.
The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song for "You've Got a Friend in Me", as well as winning a Special Achievement Academy Award. In 2005, it was inducted into the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in its first year of eligibility. In addition to home media and theatrical re-releases, Toy Story-inspired material includes toys, video games, theme park attractions, spin-offs, merchandise, and two sequels — Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010) — both of which also garnered massive commercial success and critical acclaim, with a fourth film titled Toy Story 4 scheduled for release in 2019.
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