A Toy Story by Any Other Name

Toy Story movies
Toy Story

Would a Toy Story by any other name sell as sweet? The Toy Story trilogy comprises some of the highest grossing, most critically acclaimed, Academy awarded animated feature films of all time. And I have to say they are some of my favorite Disney productions ever!

But would they have been so successful if they were titled something else? Lee Unkrich, who directed Toy Story 3, co-directed Toy Story 2 and edited Toy Story, recently Tweeted some of the nearly 200 rejects. Here are a few:

  • The New Toy
  • Made in Taiwan
  • Moving Buddies
  • To Infinity and Beyond
  • Wind-Up Heroes
  • The Cowboy & The Spaceman
  • Spurs & Rockets
  • Bring Me The Arm of Buzz Lightyear
  • Wind the Frog
  • Rex’s First Movie
  • For the Love of Peep
  • Toyz in the Hood
  • Each Sold Separately
  • Wings & Pullstrings
  • Some Assembly Required
  • The Favorite

A story tugs at the heart strings. It conveys emotion intertwined with humor, tension and a few snarky quirks. It pulls the viewer in and keeps him there. The Toy Story, um, story confirms something we’ve all suspected: toys really are alive! They move and talk, even play, when humans aren’t around. These movies pulled me and my kids in and kept us there through all three installments.

The first Toy Story released when my oldest child was an infant. He later wore out the VHS version, watching it over and over and over without tiring of its storyline. I never tired of it either. My son and I were both a bit anxious when Toy Story 2 debuted in 1999. Sometimes sequels disappoint, but TS2 did not let us down. It cleverly brought in Woody’s back story and at the same time introduced endearing new characters. Last year when the third and final installment, Toy Story 3, released to theaters, we didn’t worry about its success or failure. We worried what would happen to Woody, Buzz, and all our favorite toy friends when Andy left for college.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 - Andy says goodbye

I have to admit the Toy Stor-ies have made it nearly impossible for me to sort through my kids’ toybox without guilt and shame over donating ones that are no longer played with. I just don’t think I’d be quite as sentimental over Wings & Pullstrings. Would you?

  • Toy Story characters are coming back to the big screen later this year! (chipandco.com)
  • Video: John Lasseter talks about Toy Story 4 (chipandco.com)

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Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends