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What Could Have Been / Toy Story

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Concept art for Circle 7's cancelled version of Toy Story 3.

Toy Story

  • The first film started out as a half-hour Christmas special based on the Tin Toy short. Furthermore, Buzz and Woody's roles were originally filled by Tinny from Tin Toy and a ventriloquist dummy. These characters were deemed "too creepy." One of the scripts considered for Tinny's adventure has been posted here.
  • The infamous "Black Friday" reel: Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner originally pushed for a more adult, cynical feel, resulting in Woody and his fellow toys being much bigger jerkasses. For example, Woody intentionally throws Buzz out the window instead of accidentally like in the final product, and acts aggressive and bossy towards the others when they get mad at him. Including ordering the abused Slinky to attack them. The toys respond by throwing Woody out of the window. Luckily, this was scrapped once a rough cut was shown, which was so awful that execs shut down production. Disney wanted to shut it down entirely however Pixar, not wanting to see what could be the film that makes or breaks the company die, overhauled the script and presented it to them before being completely shutdown. The rest is history and the shutdown was averted (Katzenberg's job didn't survive to the premiere, though). Sources differ on whether the entire film was storyboarded and fully voiced or the entire film was outright fully animated, but either way it's considered such Old Shame that the creators refuse to let more than the storyboard of one scene surface.
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  • Buzz's original name was Lunar Larry and he had a red suit. He was also a naive, easygoing toy who just wanted to impress his new owner, and significantly smaller than Buzz. He was later renamed Tempus from Morph, before settling on his final name, which was a tribute to astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Woody resembled a smooth-talking ventriloquist dummy, who cheerfully tricked the gullible Buzz into getting stuck behind a drawer so that Andy couldn't find him.
  • Woody's love interest was meant to be a Sarah Connor-like Barbie in a Pimped-Out Dress and pink convertible who rescued Woody and Buzz from Sid's. (She would have shown up at the front door saying "Come with me if you want to live", and Woody would have responded by wishing he was anatomically correct.) Due to rights issues, Barbie wouldn't get represented until the sequel.
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  • Pizza Planet was originally a pizza parlour/miniature golf course called Pizza Putt, and the aliens in the claw machine would've been cartoony pizzas wearing sunglasses, akin to the studio's previous short film Knick Knack. The change to a space-themed arcade was made to further Buzz's delusions.

Toy Story 2

  • Disney initially wanted the sequel to Toy Story to be Direct to Video, in lieu with other Disney films during the period. Pixar was hesitant on doing so, and after crafting an impressive story reel for Disney executives, they were able to convince Disney to upgrade to a full-fledged theatrical film.
  • Barely averted with the entire film. Halfway through production, an employee who was checking through and cleaning the servers accidentally deleted all of the animation files, which would have meant two years of work completely lost and having to restart the entire film from scratch. However, a technical director for the film happened to have a backup of all the files at home. Had she not made that backup, the film would have never been made at all.
  • Other Buzz's final scene originally had him carrying Zurg's supposedly dead body, lamenting to the others that he now had to go bury his father, but it was quickly decided that this was too grim. It was too late to remove it in the tie-in novelization, though.
  • According to the DVD commentary, the creators originally considered making Bullseye talk, but then decided to make him more "like a big puppy dog", and thus gave him no voice.

Toy Story 3

  • The film (as envisioned by Eisner's ill-fated animation studio, Circle 7, in 2004) originally featured Buzz Lightyear being sent back to Taiwan for maintenance. Woody and the gang, upon learning that this is actually part of a worldwide recall, travel to Taiwan to save Buzz from being destroyed. This version was to be produced when Disney and Pixar nearly split from each other due to Pixar's bosses now having a strong disdain for Eisner. Disney's purchase of Pixar in 2006 after Eisner was asked to follow his old friend Katzenberg out the door changed all of this and gave us the film we have today, in addition to ending Circle 7 before it could even begin.
  • Early on, Pixar thought they could save money by using the same character models in Toy Story 2 for 3. Unfortunately, the files were not up to date for use with current operating systems, making them inoperable for modifications. This caused Pixar to have to recreate the characters from scratch.
  • Here are the thoughts of the original scriptwriters, as well as some concept art, and here is more info from Lee Unkrich.
  • Then there's this 2004 draft, which featured the toys being sent to Andy's grandma's house and meeting a group of strange new toys (including a garden gnome and a pair of sock puppets). While some of the story beats are similar to the final product, the 2004 script displays NONE of the scope or emotion of the finished film.


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