Walt Disney Feature Animation will make film history this fall when it releases the first full-length, all-digital movie; the first animation created entirely by artists using 3D computer graphics tools. The movie, Toy Story, produced and created by Pixar Animation Studios (Pt. Richmond, CA) and directed by Pixar's Academy-Award-winning John Lasseter, stars Tom Hanks as the voice of Woody, a pull-string cowboy doll, and Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear, a space-ranger toy, with music by Grammy-award-winning Randy Newman.
Toy Story will be Disney's big Christmas movie for 1995, the linchpin for Disney's Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Already, the well-oiled Disney marketing machine is in motion: On the walls of a conference room at Pixar are designs for “Toy Story” shoes, chocolate bars with “fun movie scenes on every bar,” “happy take-out meal” cartons, and of course, toys. Trailers for Toy Story are in theaters with Pocahontas, and in video stores with some copies of the live-action Jungle Book. And Pixar is already working on its CD-ROM version of Toy Story, using the same characters animated by the same animators who did the movie.
“For a long time, we said to ourselves, ‘this is our first film, don't expect too much,’ ” says Ed Catmull, Pixar president. “We'd hoped secretly that we'd do really well, but we were modest so we wouldn't get let down. Then we started showing it to people. We got glowing praise. And that took the lid off our expectations. We haven't heard from the reviewers yet, but we feel like we've got something special.”