Skip to main content

20 Amazing Toy Story Facts You Never Knew

Check out these awesome Toy Story facts!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:ย  July 1st 2021

Want to know why all the human characters have short hair? Or why Woody was originally meant to be a ventriloquist's dummy? We've got 20 amazing Toy Story facts for you to read, all about this classic Pixar film! Check them out!

1. Pixar wanted to make Sid's terrifying toys real

One of the most memorable things about the film was Sid's terrible home made toys. Unbelievably, Pixar originally wanted to sell them in real life alongside Buzz and Woody, including the horrifying baby-head spider. Apparently it didn't work out. Hmm, wonder why?

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

2. Tom Hanks could relate to Andy

Tom Hanks said one of the reasons he liked the film was because when he was a kid, he used to wonder if his toys came to life when he left the room. He said yes immediately when he was asked to voice cowboy toy Woody partly because of this.


3. Billy Crystal nearly voiced Buzz

Billy Crystal was originally offered the part of Buzz Lightyear, but turned it down. Later he said it was a huge mistake, and that's why he said yes straight away when asked to voice Mike in Monsters Inc. It's pretty hard to imagine anyone else as the voice of Mike!

4. There's a reason why most of the humans have short hair

The first Toy Story film was made in the very early days of computer animation, and animators hadn't figured everything out yet. Hair was particularly tricky to animate, and that's why all the humans have short or simple hair in the film, because it was easier to render. Later on when hair technology advanced the styles changed a bit more!

5. Woody and Buzz are based on real toys

According to John Lasseter, the film's director, Woody and Buzz were loosely based on toys from his own childhood: a Casper Doll with a pull string like Woody, and then later, a GI Joe doll, which were very popular and was the model for Buzz Lightyear.


6. It's the shortest Toy Story movie

At just 81 minutes long, Toy Story is not only the shortest Toy Story movie, it's also the shortest Pixar movie. This is probably because, as an early Pixar film, the animators were still figuring out how to do everything and were still testing the technology out.

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

7. It made the most money that year

Toy Story was released in 1995, making several hundred million dollars that year. At the time it was released, it was also the third highest grossing animated film ever (Behind the Lion King and Aladdin). It's also apparently it's one of the highest grossing films of all time (96th, to be precise)

8. Andy is named after a real person

Andy is supposedly named after Andries "Andy" Van Dam, a professor of computer sciences who taught many of the animators on the film. He pioneered a lot of early animation techniques, so the creators of Toy Story have a lot to thank him for!

9. It only took a day to write 'You've Got a Friend In Me'

The famous song, which is heard again in later films, only took song writer Randy Newman a day to write. The song was nominated for multiple awards, though it lost to Pocahontas. Perhaps the most memorable version of the song is when Wheezy the penguin covers it at the end of the second film, accompanied by back up singer Barbies.

10. It's Pixar's first feature film

Yes, Toy Story is the very first full length film Pixar made. In fact, it's the first full length CGI film ever! After Toy Story did well, Pixar went on to do other classic films like A Bug's Life, Wall-E and Finding Nemo, but it's probably because Toy Story was so successful that Pixar is thriving today.

11. The film is perfect (according to Rotten Tomatoes)

Rotten Tomatoes, the website which keeps track of film reviews and their average scores, gives Toy Story a 100% fresh rating, meaning that almost all of its reviews are positive. Films very rarely get a 100% rating, and some other famous examples include Black Panther, Paddington 2 and Toy Story 2

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

12. Woody was meant to be a ventriloquist's dummy

Can you imagine? Early drafts saw Woody as a ventriloquist's dummy who leads the toys in a rebellion. There's actually a prototype model which shows exactly how puppet Woody was meant to look. Apparently, with his slack jaw and drooping eyes, he was considered too creepy...can't think why!

13. Tom Hanks doesnt always voice Woody

Yes, that's right! Tom had so many voice roles as Woody, not only in the movies but also for toys, videogames and adverts that his brother Jim actually sometimes voices the character for other projects! So if you think you're hearing Tom, it may be Jim! Luckily they sound pretty much identical.

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

14. Woody wasn't meant to be nice

In earlier drafts, Woody was a rude, sarcastic and mean. This is the same version where he was a ventriloquist's dummy, of course. In this version, he was meant to be friends with Tinny, the toy from the short that Toy Story was based on, and at one point he even pushes Buzz out of a window! As you can tell from the final film, a lot changed and luckily Woody ended up being the lovable cowboy we all recognise.

15. Andy's dad was too expensive

Andy's dad is never seen or mentioned in the films, and there are a lot of speculations as to why that is. Is he dead? Or are Andy's parents divorced? Maybe he's just at work all the time? Well, the actual reason is pretty mundane. Andy's dad isn't there because it was too expensive to animate another human being! They decided he wasn't needed for the story and left him out to save money!

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

16. The animators got to play around

Pixar animators are famous for the amount of fun they get to have when making their films, and this one was no exception. In order to figure out how the stiff plastic toy soldiers would move, the animators strapped boards to their feet and wandered around the office playing soldiers. It's certainly not your typical day at work!

17. Mrs. Potato Head doesn't appear in this film

Mrs. Potato head is one of the franchise's most famous characters, always with her husband and making sure he's not getting into trouble. But she doesn't actually appear until Toy Story 2, where they become everyone's favourite couple!

18. It was based on an animated short

The film is based on a 1988 short by Pixar called Tin Toy. It's only five minutes long and is about a toy named Tinny and a baby named Billy, so it doesn't bear much resemblance to the finished Toy Story, but it was the start of an idea that would eventually become the famous franchise. The film did well though - it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film that year!

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter

19. Barbie was originally a character in the first film

Barbie is one of the most famous parts of Toy Story 2, but originally there was a plan to have her as one of the main heroes in the first film too. She was going to be Woody's love interest, but was ultimately cut out. Luckily she appears later, because she's one of the best things about these movies!


20. It could have been a musical

Disney and Pixar are both known for musicals, and there was an early plan to make Toy Story a musical too. However, the films plot just didn't really work as a musical, and eventually it was scrapped. Kinda hard to imagine Woody and Buzz singing to each other, isn't it?

Toy Story | Pixar | Bonnie Arnold
Ralph Guggenheim | John Lasseter