"Toy Story was the first completely CGI animated film. But that's not why we made it. We made it because we wanted to tell a good story."
— John Lasseter
Toy Story is a renowned 1995 computer-animated film from Pixar about toys that come to life when their owners aren't around. In turn it spawned two successful sequels, one in 1999 and the other in 2010.Toy Story introduces us to a group of toys belonging to a boy named Andy. Their unofficial leader is Andy's favorite toy, Woody, an old cowboy doll with a string. Woody receives some competition when Andy gets a new toy for his birthday, "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command", who thinks he's really a soldier of Star Command rather than a toy. His undoubted leadership qualities (and up-to-date modernity) arouse jealousy in Woody; when Buzz is "accidentally" lost, the other toys think Woody masterminded the disappearance. Hijinks ensue, and Woody and Buzz have a final confrontation that forces both of them to join forces to keep the toy "family" together.In 2009, Toy Story was re-released alongside Toy Story 2 as a double feature in stereoscopic Disney Digital 3-D, with the two films completely re-rendered to match the level of detail of Toy Story 3 (the UK had to wait until January 2010 for Toy Story 2 to come out in 3D).The characters will make further appearances in a series of shorts titled Toy Story Toons. The first installment, "Hawaiian Vacation", played at the beginning of Cars 2. The second, "Small Fry", was shown before The Muppets (and shown in some countries with Brave). The third, Partysaurus Rex, was shown before the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo. A fourth in the form of a Halloween Special, Toy Story of Terror, aired on ABC on October 16th, 2013. December 2014 will bring Pixar's first true Christmas Special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, which will feature the characters lost in a very 1980s play set of dinosaur warriors.
The film provides examples of:
All There in the Manual: The names of most of Sid's toys were only in shown in the script, the novelization of the movie, and the roll call at the end of the video game.
Bond One-Liner: By Woody, as he uses Buzz's karate action to drive away Sid's toys (who they thought were cannibals at the time).
"Sorry guys, but dinner's cancelled!"
Borrowed Catchphrase: During the "falling with style" climax, Woody cries "To infinity, and beyond!"
Break the Haughty: Whilst Woody tends to not rub it in anyone's faces, he's top of the heap and knows it until Buzz shows up and threatens his position as Andy's favourite toy. Then he becomes increasingly jealous and insecure. See Always Someone Better.
Brick Joke: What Mr. Potato Head hopes Andy would get at his birthday.
Mr. Potato Head: [Praying] Mrs. Potato Head. Mrs. Potato Head. Mrs. Potato Head...! [Gets stared at] Hey, I can dream, can't I?
The payoff comes at Christmas Time, where Molly gets a Mrs. Potato head, who appears in the following movies.
Buffy Speak: Your helmet does that... that woosh-thing!
Comically Missing the Point: During the scene where Sid is decapitating his sister's doll, he is playing "doctor." During the "operation" Buzz says, "I don't believe that man's ever been to medical school."
Foreshadowing: When we first see Hannah in the film in the first scene in Sid's house, Sid asks her if his package has arrived yet. This package later turns out to be the rocket and plays a big role in the film's climax.
Forgot I Couldn't Swim: A non-comedic version happens when Slinky Dog attempts to rescue Woody and Buzz by stretching himself onto the moving van ramp. Even if the batteries hadn't run out, it's unlikely he would have had much success.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Look carefully at the box Andy's Mom removes from the closet during the party sequence and you see images of Buzz all over it. Guess what was inside the box.
Friendship Song: "You've Got a Friend in Me" is this for the film and it's sequels.
Funny Background Event: When Woody announces that Andy's birthday party was taking place on that day and the other toys panic, "WHAT????" scrolls across Mr. Spell's screen.
Mr. Spell is good at this; His screen reads "HUBBA HUBBA" when the arrival of a Mrs. Potato Head is announced.
When Mr. Potato Head and Hamm are drawn away from their Battleship game, we see that Potato Head's board is nearly completely covered in white pegs. Clearly someone isn't very good at Battleship... (Or Hamm was lying and Mr. Potato Head wasn't bright enough to notice.)
Many of the arcade games at Pizza Planet count. Combat Wombat, anyone?
Going Native: Buzz is an odd example, since he was technically a "native" all along, but but he thinks of himself as an outsider who gets accepted into a new culture when Andy writes his name on Buzz's foot. And although "revenge is not an idea that we promote on my planet... we're not on my planet, are we?"
Gone Horribly Right: Woody wanted to knock Buzz off the desk so Andy would have to take him to Pizza Planet...and boy did he ever knock Buzz off the desk.
Ha Ha Ha No: Woody to a toy shark when he does a lame impression of him after finding his hat.
Woody:(gasping for breath} ...finally...hey, who's got my hat? Shark:(with Woody's hat) Look! I'm Woody. Howdy howdy howdy! Woody:(sarcastically) Aah-hah! Aah-haaa...GIMME THAT! (snatches hat back)
Again with Woody after he tells Buzz to "give him a hand", Buzz throws his dismembered arm at him.
Woody: Hahaha, that's very funny Buzz...(with annoyance) THIS IS SERIOUS!!
Hate Sink: Mr. Potato Head is rather unlikable in this film, considering how he treats Woody and the fact that he is the first person to start pointing fingers at him after he accidentally knocks Buzz out the window. He later becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in Toy Story 2.
Heroic BSOD: Buzz goes through a very, very humiliating one after he realizes he is a toy.
Jerkass: Sid Phillips, Mr. Potato Head and initially Woody with Buzz. And arguably Hamm.
Kids Are Cruel: Inverted with Sid. He tortures toys in the most vicious ways, though he has no way of knowing that the toys are actually sentient. Plyaed straight in his relationship with Hannah, however.
Mr. Potato Head, being, debatably, the film's other antagonist, gets his pieces sent flying towards the end. He's OK (unfortunately).
Sid bullies his little sister by stealing her toys from her and mutilating them — so after his confrontation with the living toys, when he comes across his sister with a doll and reacts with terror towards it, she gleefully takes the opportunity to settle scores.
Leap of Faith: When Buzz jumps off the banister in Sid's house, believing that he can fly.
Magic A Is Magic A: Averted. "Buzz, you're flying!" "NOT A FLYING TOY". The closest we get to even a handwave as to how Buzz can suddenly glide with flawless dexterity and accuracy at the end is "falling with style". It's still an awesome ending, but they probably wouldn't have contradicted themselves so boldly if they'd known there'd be a trilogy.
Matryoshka Object: One of the toys is a nesting egg, called a Troika doll. Its layers are (from biggest to smallest) bulldog, cat, duck, goldfish, and ladybug.
The Minnesota Fats: Buzz is a modern, battery-powered, talking toy with pop-out wings, a "lightbulb that blinks", and a retractable helmet. Woody... has a drawstring-powered vocalizer. You can see why he'd feel a bit threatened by Buzz's presence at first.
When they head to Pizza Planet in a pizza truck, Buzz explains to Woody that they should use seat belts for their own safety. Woody suffers the consequences when he doesn't.
After Woody tries to escape Sid's room through the open door, Buzz warns him that they don't know what's waiting for them outside. Woody ends up nearly being mauled by Scud.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Sid is seen by many viewers, including Will Wright, Mike Mozart, and the creators, as a kid with a great imagination. (In fact, many of the things Sid does to his toys were inspired by things the creators used to do to theirs.) Some would argue that the only reason he is given the antagonist treatment is because the movie is from a toy's point of view. However, he apparently wrecks all his sister's toys (the fact that the only dolls Hannah has left to play with are dismembered and/or decapitated, and that several of the mutant toys have doll legs and heads, shows that the pterodactyl thing was not an isolated incident). And a little boy playing with explosives unsupervised is pretty questionable, considering the rockets he was using are not even legal in some states.
Remembered Too Late: After Woody gets the rocket lit, he and Buzz are ecstatic that they can now catch up with the moving truck... only for Woody to remember seconds before takeoff that rocketsexplode.
Scare 'Em Straight: Woody and Sid's toys come alive to provide Nightmare Fuel for Sid before the climax, leading straight to his breakdown. This gives Sid the distinction of being the only human in the entire series to have witnessed the toys' anthropomorphic capacity. Although the outcome implies that he'll just write it all off as temporary insanity.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: It seems to be an unwritten rule that the toys will not walk and talk (other than that their normal toy operation allows) when there are any humans present. Even Buzz Lightyear unconsciously adheres to the rule, even throughout the time that he believes that he's the real Buzz Lightyear. To save Buzz from Sid, however, Woody decides that it's time to break a few rules.
Serious Business: The filmmakers intended the scene with the toy soldiers making their way to the lookout point to be funny, but when it was shown to test audiences they took it just as seriously as any real war movie.
The Smurfette Principle: The serie's main cast includes a young boy's toy collection, with predictably male-oriented rather than girls' toys. Bo Peep was the only female in the cast, a domestic woman and Satellite Love Interest with no part in the main action. Toy Story 2 and 3 even out the gender inequality, though not by much. Even though Toy Story 3 had many more female characters than the other two, it should be worth mentioning that Andy got rid of Bo Peep.
Stock Scream: When Buzz is knocked out of the window it's definitely the Wilhelm Scream that he makes.
Strapped to a Bomb: Sid duct tapes Buzz Lightyear to a model rocket and plans to launch him (the rocket will explode when it reaches its maximum height). Luckily, Woody saves him from this horrible fate, but later uses the rocket (with Buzz still attached to it) as part of a cunning plan.
There was one earlier example where Andy's Toys spy on Sid in his backyard. They spot a toy soldier tied to a bomb.
Sid: Where are your rebel friends now? Ha Ha Ha! Sid's Mom: (from off-screen) Sid! Your Pop-Tarts are ready! Sid: All right!
Villainy-Free Villain: Sid mangles his sister's dolls but otherwise doesn't really do anything bad. How was he to know that his toys are alive and can feel pain? Though taking his sister's toys and mutilating them without her permission isn't particularly nice. Hanna doesn't want a tea party with headless ladies...
Woody: Buzz, can you give me a hand? (Buzz, without a word, tosses his arm up to Woody and goes back to angsting.) Woody:... Ha ha... That's pretty funny... but — but this is serious!
Visual Innuendo: When Mr. Potato Head makes a pessimistic statement about Woody not being worried about the move due to being Andy's Favorite Toy since Kindergarten, Slinky defends Woody to which Mr. Potato Head quietly replies by removing his mouth and tapping his backside with it.note He's calling him an ass-kisser. Ironically, when Buzz introduces himself, Mr. Potato Head becomes the biggest ass-kissing (figuratively speaking, of course) fan of him, totally buying into his delusional mannerisms.
Vomit Discretion Shot: Rex gets this after he sees Woody waving Buzz's dismembered arm — a rare example in which it makes sense, seeing as toys can't vomit.
We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Sid quotes the line verbatim when he tortures Woody with a magnifying glass (thankfully, without attempting a German accent).
3-D Movie: However, Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 weren't 3D until 2009.
Adult Fear: Underneath the wackyness the theme of abandonment by the ones you love in the later installments of the series can really hit home hard to children and grown-ups alike.
Air-Vent Passageway: Justified, since the toys are actually small enough to fit. Happens Once A Movie: Legs and Ducky walk through the vents of Sid's house in the first one, Buzz #2 and the rescue team travel through the vents (and elevator shaft) of Al's apartment building in the second one, and in the third movie Woody and Slinky use the ventilation system to get into the Sunnyside security room and incapacitate the cymbal monkey.
All-CGI Cartoon: The original Toy Story was the first feature-length example of this trope.
Ascended Extra: Mrs. Potato Head in the third movie, whereas she was only a minor character in the second.
Ascended Fridge Horror: The series starts out taking the concept of sentient toys pretty lightly, but as it goes on, it explores the Fridge Horror of the concept more and more thoroughly, eventually to a further extent than most people would probably expect from a children's movie series.
Badass Crew: The main group of toys eventually becomes this.
Big Bad: Sid Phillips in the first movie, Stinky Pete in the second, and Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear in the third.
Book Ends: The first shot of the first movie and both the first shot and the last shot of the third movie are of a blue sky with uniquely-shaped white clouds, that of Andy's old wallpaper.
Which is pretty odd the second time around, since like on the wallpaper, the entire sky is filled with clouds in only two shapes, repeated over and over.
Bottomless Pit: One is seen in the video game opening sequence inside Zurg's fortress, and the elevator shaft in Al's apartment building.
Brand X: A few of the minor characters are based off popular retro toys — without technically being said toys (probably due to Executive Meddling). Lotso is essentially a Care Bear with the tags cut off and Stretch resembles a Wacky Wallwalker.
Averted with Barbie, Etch-A-Sketch, trolls, and a whole bunch of other toys. The copyrights all get mentioned in the end titles.
In fact, Pixar wanted Barbie for the first film to be Woody's girlfriend, but Mattel would not grant them permission to use the trademark. They changed their mind when they saw how the film improved sales of Mr. Potato Head.
Break Up Make Up Scenario: in each film, Woody has an argument. In the first film, with Buzz when they are lost, near the end when the other toys think he killed Buzz. In the secound, with Jessie and later when he refuses to follow his friends back home. In the third, when he doesn't want to stay with them in Sunny Side.
Buzz Can Breathe in Space: Parodied AND averted in the first movie. Parodied, because Buzz (as a toy) think he's on an alien planet (possibly with no atmosphere). Averted, because he's a toy, AND he's breathing Earth atmosphere. The second movie contains a Shout-Out to this with the Utility Belt Buzz.
Cerebus Retcon: What Molly does to Mr. Potato Head at the very beginning of Toy Story 1 is less funny if you've seen how the toys were abused in Toy Story 3.
Cerebus Syndrome: While each movie has a fair bit of comedy, each also tops the previous installment in intensity of dramatic moments.
Chekhov's Gun: In the first movie; Al's Toy Barn is advertised at the end of the commercial for Buzz Lightyear figures that makes Buzz realize the truth about himself. Al's Toy Barn goes on to be a major part of the plot in Toy Story 2.
In the truck chase near the end of Toy Story, when Woody is clinging to the moving truck and Scud grabs his leg, we can audibly hear the stitching of his right arm pop. Cut to the beginning of Toy Story 2, where the plot is set in motion when Woody's right arm rips, as the stitching was already weakened tremendously from the tug-o-war with Scud in movie 1.
The Potatoes' ability to see though a disconnected eye is something introduced in the second scene of the first movie and becomes a major plot point 10 years later in the third movie, when Mrs. Potato Head uses her missing eye to discover that Andy is looking for them after his mother donates them to the Daycare Center.
In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete asks Woody if he really thinks Andy will take him to college, which is the plot of Toy Story 3.
Thing is, had the plot of Toy Story 3 not have gone into motion, Andy would have.
Another dinosaur that might replace Rex as Andy's dinosaur toy, which worries Rex. Rex doesn't get replaced per se, but another dinosaur DOES appear in Toy Story 3... in someone else's house. Not only is she also a dinosaur, but she's also a geek like Rex, and the credits epilogue reveals that they get along well.
Comically Missing the Point: Makes up most of the plot. No, not the movie itself. Every situation that's ever happened in Toy Story many of the toy characters always assumed the worst, before finding out the real truth. Three hilarious examples include:
Potato Head accusing Woody of murdering Buzz when he sees the broken arm. Buzz was too depressed to get out of his Heroic BSOD to prove he was still alive.
Rex thinking Woody was trying to sell himself at the yard sale. He was trying to rescue Wheezy.
Potato Head thinking that Bullseye and Jessie were torturing Woody. They were really tickling him.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Woody is The Hero, but not the best fighter, so ends up comically getting his ass kicked most times he pisses off another character. Amusingly his beatings in Toy Story 2 even mirror the same manner he is attacked by Buzz in the first movie.
Annoyingly averted with Buzz Lightyear the doll itself until the latest iteration, even though they spell out exactly what's in him right in the first movie. Every Buzz Lightyear toy to come out for the first two films only had at most three of the features mentioned in the commercial, and missed several from the films. Thinkway's latest attempt neglects only Karate Chop Action, due to the mechanics required necessitating a choice between it and the far more used spring-loaded wings. They did however make a different version of Buzz specifically for the Karate Chop Action.
Demoted to Extra: Slinky, in the third movie. He had a fairly sizable role in the first two movies as Woody's best pal, but is merely a background character when the toys head off to Sunnyside Daycare.
Deus ex Machina / Ass Pull: Played for laughs every time the Pizza Planet truck appears in the films. In the first, it appears out of nowhere to take Buzz and Woody to Pizza Planet and is done even more so in Toy Story 2.
Averted in Toy Story 3. The Pizza Planet truck is involved in the Back Story of the film's antagonist, but only (indirectly) leads him to disappointment.
It could also be interpreted as a Diabolus ex Machina, in that sense as it's the reason Lotso ended up at Sunnyside.
In the third, the LGM's returning to save the gang with the claw as they're about to be melted down, but the entire scene was done so well, who could gripe? Also, the writers did keep reminding us of their religious fascination with claws throughout the film. As well as have them taken off-screen early on during the dump sequence. Foreshadowing, done right!
Disappeared Dad: There's no Andy's Dad in sight. It's never explicitly brought up but fans like to argue the three possibilities: Andy's mom is a widow; Andy's mom is a divorcee; Andy's mom just happens to be a single mother. In the first two scenarios, many fans in turn assume that Woody is one of the only gifts from his father. The third could be yet another Shout-Out to The Brave Little Toaster, since Rob's mom is single too. Food for thought: so is John Lasseter's mom.
A Dog Named Dog: Most striking in the case of Dolly the doll, but applies to the other characters too. Justified in that most of the toys were named by young children.
Drives Like Crazy: Invoked in Toy Story 1 and 2, both with the Pizza Planet truck. The first one has the actual driver doing this. The second has the toys doing this after hijacking the Pizza Planet Truck to pursue Al and rescue Woody. Similarly, they also invoke the trope on other drivers in the first and second movie. The first was when Scud was chasing Buzz and RC (although it probably wasn't intentional on Buzz, RC, and Woody's part), and the second movie had Buzz and the toys disguising themselves as traffic cones in order to safely cross the road to Al's Toy Barn, with the results being obvious for the drivers.
Earn Your Happy Ending: A staple of the series. Toy Story nearly ends with Buzz and Woody left alone on the street with Andy's moving van driving away, Toy Story 2 nearly ships Woody and Jessie (not that kind, though) to Japan, and Toy Story 3 has them facing the blazing eternity of Hell Fire and burning alive. Randy Newman was right, the road is rough ahead.
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: No boy's toy collection would be complete without a Tyrannosaurus rex, though Rex is actually a bit of a coward, a goofball and a gamer geek. He's not too bright either. The third movie introduces Trixie, whose design seems to imply that they're from the same toyline.
It appears that all the dinosaur toys in the series are from the same line, and are in turn based on... Dino-Riders!?!
Helium Speech: The voice actors (not just Jeff Pidgeon, although it was mostly him) actually inhaled helium to make the voices of the Martians.
Helping Hands: Mr. Potato Head's body parts are capable of being pulled off him and rearranged. This is sort of a hassle for him to put himself right after the kids are gone. His parts can work on their own even when they're separated from him.
Idiot Ball/Running Gag: Somehow, a Buzz Lightyear toy holds this in every film, for that Buzz Lightyear who holds it believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, and not a toy. There are a few Toys who also hold part of it.
Toy Story: Buzz; this is a major part of the film. He loses it when he sees a commercial, and then goes crazy and is reduced to drinking tea and... wearing a pink apron. For a while, anyway. This causes Woody much frustration.
Toy Story 2: The Buzz Lightyear toy with a belt (whom the Buzz from Toy Story encounters) believes he is the real Buzz Lightyear.
Buzz's archenemy — Zurg — as a toy, holds this, too, and engages combat with the Buzz with the belt. A Shout-Out to Star Wars is involved.
Interim Villain: Subverted with Sid Phillips, even though he is the villain of the first film and is completely absent in the second, in the third he only appears as a cameo where he is now a garbage man.
Interspecies Friendship: While Andy doesn't know his toys are alive, they do care a lot about him. Woody in particular goes to great lengths to return to him when separated. Said toys are also True Companions with each other.
Ironic Echo: One within the first movie, another from the first to the second, another from the second to the third.
Early in the first movie, when Buzz tries to prove he can fly, Woody says "that wasn't flying, it was falling with style." When Buzz uses his plastic wings to glide in the climax, Woody says "you're flying" and Buzz says "this isn't flying, it's falling with style."
The first movie has Woody saying to Buzz "you're a child's plaything; you are a TOY" when trying to explain to Buzz that he's not a space ranger. The second has Buzz saying this back to Woody when reminding him that he's supposed to be Andy's toy, not a collector's item for a museum.
The second movie has Mr. Potato Head saving the squeeze toy aliens from falling out of the Pizza Planet truck, and they repeatedly say "you have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful" to him afterwards. The third movie has the squeeze toy aliens operate the claw at the incinerator in a way that rescues all the toys from being burned; afterwards, Mrs. Potato Head says "you have saved our lives" followed by Mr. Potato Head saying "and we are ETERNALLY grateful."
Jerkass: Sid Phillips, Mr. Potato Head and initially Woody with Buzz in the first movie, Al and Stinky Pete in the second, and Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear in the third.
Kids Are Cruel: Let's face it, Andy was a freak the way he nicely treated his toys. Just look at Sid and those daycare monsters and you'll see that the toys never had it better than with him.
The creators of the film completely acknowledged this. The only one who treated his toys nicely was John Lasseter.
To be fair, only the toddlers in the Caterpillar Room were monsters because they were, well, babies; the toys they should be playing with are designed to take that abuse. The older kids in the Butterfly Room knew how to play nice.
Killed Off for Real: Combat Carl, the action figure Sid blew up during his introductory scene in the first film, is the only character in the entire series to ever be killed off permanently.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Pixar is gifted with juggling various side stories that support the main storyline all in one movie with a huge cast. But... Toy Story already introduced a huge cast, and two more films followed, expanding the cast by 300%! By the third film, the supporting characters that were highlighted in the posters and trailers have barely 4 lines each!
Made of Iron: Sort of. The toys are capable of withstanding immense amounts of pain and abuse when in their inanimate state without so much as flinching, only feeling the effects after becoming animate. In fact, to an extent they seem to not mind the abuse at all (Woody is tossed around like a... well... toy doll in the opening scene by Andy, and Andy is naturally occasionally rough with his toys, but the toys seem to adore him all the same), much like how dogs will not mind some roughhousing as long as they're getting attention. Only the Mad Scientist machinations of Sid seem to cause the toys any suffering.
Older Than They Look: Woody and his roundup gang are merchandice for a television show that aired before Sputnik was launched. After that, the show was cancelled and they probably stopped making the merchandise, which might explain why Al had a hard time gathering Woody for a toy collection in Japan. That means that Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete could be at least forty-nine years old as of the third movie, which is set in 2006.
Every film at one point has toys hiding under something and then walking with it. The first movie had Woody and Buzz underneath the Pizza Planet cup and burger box walking through Pizza Planet, the second had all the toys who went to rescue Woody underneath traffic cones crossing a street, and later walking a dog's travel container through the airport terminal; the third had the toys about to be thrown away hiding under a plastic recycle bin and walking back to the garage.
Even more so, every film ends off with a Dance Party Ending. Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 had the most obvious examples while the original had a brief karaoke dance moment during the Christmas Party.
Every film, including the first, features a cover version of the iconic Toy Story theme "You've Got A Friend In Me" in the credits. The first was a duet by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett, the second had an show stopping New Orleans Jazz version sung by Wheezy , and the final film had a very flamenco influenced version done by the Gipsy Kings .
Each film also contains an extended period with a Buzz who believes himself to be theBuzz Lightyear. The first film, obviously, has Andy's Buzz, the second film features the Utility Belt Buzz from Al's Toy Barn, and the third film features Andy's Buzz being forcibly reverted to his old personality and used as a minion of Lotso. In addition, Spanish Buzz also believes himself to be a Space Ranger, though his personality is much friendlier.
Product Placement: Inverted. Product placement would be if they got paid to include the toys in their film. No, they had to pay for the rights to show any real-world brand of toys. So really, it's the opposite of Product Placement.
Though after the success of the first film, most companies approached by Pixar would doubtlessly have very low fees for placement rights.
Most of the toys in the first film saw huge jumps in sales. Mr. Potato Head for example was revived nearly from the scrap heap, and the Slinky Dog had been out of production at the time of the film and entered a new giant sales phase when they started making them again. So it can kind of count either way.
The Smurfette Principle: Bo Peep was the only prominent female character in the first film. Although she had potential, she was under utilized. This was remedied with the exuberant Affirmative Action Girl Jessie in the second and third film, as well as Mrs. Potato Head and Barbie.
There's another one from Toy Story that elicits a "For Pete's sake, how did I miss that?" Woody is the leader of Andy's room — in the first movie, we see that Slinky is (or used to be) the second-in-command. A cowboy... and a "long little doggy"...
Time Skip: The first one skips five months after Woody and Buzz get back to Andy to the last scene on Christmas Day.
The second takes place about one year after the first.
And most noticeable is the skip between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, which is about ten years.
Woody goes from a somewhat whiny, selfish wimp in the first movie to a breakout mastermind by the third movie.
Woody was already a breakout mastermind near the end of the first film. His epic planning doesn't really shine in the second movie, but every ounce of potential he had is reached in the third film.
Buzz starts out delusional, has a breakdown when he finds out he's a toy, then comes right back to save himself and Woody via "Falling! With style!", before going on to rescue Woody in the second movie, and trying to save his friends from the Caterpillar Room, and rescuing Jessie while in the garbage truck
The aliens go from gag characters in the first and second movies to Big Damn Heroes by rescuing the gang from the incinerator.
Mr. Potato Head transforms from a selfish, distrustful coward in the first movie to a married man and a daring, surprisingly resourceful action hero in the sequels.
Resourceful as in Tortilla Head and Cucumber Head. And how did he change forms? He SCATTERS his body parts and finds an inanimate object to use as a body, much like those parasites seen in movies. Points for Woody for coming up with that part in the escape plan.
True Companions: Oh hell yes. Especially pronounced in the second and third films.
Woody: Save your batteries! (Chill out!) Mr. Potato Head: Son of a building block, it's Woody! (Presumably...you know.) Lotso: F.A.O my Schwartz! (Reference to a toy company) Woody: Pull my string, the party's today?
Averted with the baggage handling system. They aren't exaggerating. This is a video of how real airport conveyors work.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Buzz in the first film who truly thinks that he is the real Buzz Lightyear before his Heroic BSOD. Then, in the second, Buzz himself encounters a doppelganger in a toy store (no pun intended) who acts exactly the same way the genuine Buzz did in the first. Lampshaded by the genuine Buzz himself during the scuffle: