The year is 1996. Toy Story is due for its home video release, and Pixar wants to do something to promote it. So, it has decided to make a series of shorts to air on ABC during the commercial breaks of its Saturday morning programming; these segments would become known as Toy Story Treats (alternatively known as Toy Story Shorts in some locations). Due to the large amount of shorts being made, rather than wholesale animate new content, it's decided to reuse assets from the original film and cut corners on the animation in order to get them to television in time. As for the content of the shorts themselves, they mainly act as skit comedy, with Woody, Buzz and others involved in various kinds of shenanigans with no real narrative tying everything together.
Since their airing on television, the shorts have been collected and included on various home media releases, such as the Toy Story & Toy Story 2: Ultimate Toy Box DVD set, the 10th anniversary Toy Story DVDnote , and the 2010 Blu-ray. However, there are uploads of the shorts on their own on Youtube.
- Antenna Adjusting: One short has Woody giving the toys instructions on how to position themselves in order to get the television to work. When we see the toys, they are in an awkward balancing act with Rex at the bottom, who asks why Andy cant just get cable.
- Beyond the Impossible:
- Somehow, Woody winds up with Buzz's shadow, and proceeds to pose in front of the lamp, only for it to run off and get replaced with Woody's actual shadow while he's distracted by the Little Green Men.
- Babyface jumping out of a very tiny matrioshka egg.
- The Clown Car gag with a multitude of Pizza Planet aliens coming out of the same vehicle.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Distracted by the Sexy: Downplayed. A couple of the "Green Army Man Chants" have the soldiers get distracted by a cute doll who gives them a flirtatious wave, causing them to fall over, resulting in an Oh, Crap! face for the Doll.
- Impossible Shadow Puppets: Buzz manages to outclass Woody's simple shadow puppets by somehow making a bald eagle, an American flag, and a rocket taking off before Woody shuts off the lamp and leaves in a huff.
- Kick the Dog:
- Hamm's contribution to Rex's lecture about the age of the dinosaurs? "Kaboom!"
- If you thought Buzz watching his commercial in the original film was painful, wait until you see his reaction to the new one.Announcer: Sky Runner Buzz! It really flies!
- Loose Canon: It's better not to consider these shorts in the movie canon due to several things:
- The unexplained presence of Sid's toys at Andy's home. The Davis family was moving away when Woody met them in the first film and they never left Sid's home.
- The unexplained presence of Pizza Planet aliens at Andy's home. That wouldn't happen until Toy Story 2, which didn't exist at the time.
- Buzz continuing to act like a real space ranger after him and Woody became friends. Although it could be stipulated that some of the shorts in this case could've conceivably happened in the relatively short timeframe between Andy receiving Buzz as a present and the night he took them with him to Pizza Planet.
- Buzz still has his wrist communicator sticker despite peeling it off during his Heroic BSoD in the first movie.
- Minimalist Cast: Woody, Buzz, Rex, Hamm, and Lenny are the only of Andy's named toys who appear in the shorts. Bizarrely, the cast is instead rounded out by the Little Green Men and Sid's toys.
- Noodle Incident: "So, how was your day, Buzz?"Buzz: (dressed as Mrs. Nesbit; clearly embarrassed) If you don't mind, (removes hat) I'd rather not talk about it...Voice: (offscreen; to Woody's confusion) I love you.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Downplayed. When Toy Story was in theaters, Burger King had a set of kiddie meal toys consisting of Woody, Buzz, Hamm and Rex. "Fast Food" is a short more or less involving the actual characters encountering these toys.Woody: (to the fast food toys) So, they just gave you away, with a burger and fries.Mini!Rex: I came with chicken fingers!
- Recycled Animation: Some of the shorts were recycled as intercut scenes for the VHS tape Tin Toy Stories, with the characters' lines redubbed to set the premise that they were watching the Pixar Shorts on Andy's television.
- Recycled Premise:
- Buzz being envious of upgrades on the Buzz Lightyear toyline, recycled in the form of the Utility Belt in Toy Story 2.
- A main character meeting a fast food kids' meal toy version of himself would be recycled in the Toy Story Toons short "Small Fry". Plus Woody commenting on the toys' greasy fast food smell.
- Staring Contest: Woody does one with Lenny, and loses.
- Technology Marches On: One particular short has Woody get a bunch of toys to make a TV antenna, prompting Rex (who is part of the group) to ask one question:Rex: Why doesn't Andy just get cable?
- Unexplained Recovery: For no adequately explained reason, Combat Carl is present for Green Army Man Chants. Presumably it's a different Combat Carl than the one Sid destroyed.