5 Things You Might Not Know About the 'Toy Story' Trilogy

You’ve seen each movie at least a dozen times and you own all the toys. There’s still a thing or two about this virtually flawless Pixar trilogy that you might not know. Here are five little-known facts about how Toy Story and its sequels could have been wildly different...

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Tim Allen Wasn't the First Choice for Buzz Lightyear

Though it’s impossible to now picture anyone other than Tim Allen voicing the Buzz Lightyear, Billy Crystal was originally approached to voice the character. The Analyze That actor was shown a test of what Buzz would look like at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s house, but Crystal wasn’t convinced. As he told ABC News in 2001, “It's the only regret I have in the business of something I passed on." Fortunately, Crystal didn’t have to stew over this missed opportunity for long. Pixar subsequently offered Crystal the role of Mike Wazowski in 2001’s Monsters, Inc – a character that, he says, “is a better fit for me.”

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'Toy Story 2' Was Originally Set to Debut on Home Video

Despite the incredible success of the first film, was initially planned as an hour-long sequel that would have premiered on home video, like many of Disney's other direct-to-video releases at the time. Ash Brannon, one of the film’s co-directors (alongside Lee Unkrich and John Lasseter), told Animation World Magazine in 1999, “When we started the film in 1996, the thing to do was to make a direct-to-video sequel. That's the way Disney did it and we follow suit. Nobody was making animated theatrical sequels.” It wasn’t until Disney executives saw completed footage that they decided to send Toy Story 2 to cinemas, although this required the Pixar team to essentially start from scratch to ensure that the movie would match the high level of quality set by the original film.

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Woody and Buzz Were Not the Original Protagonists of 'Toy Story'

In its earliest stages, Toy Story was planned as a big-screen vehicle for one of Pixar’s very first characters, Tinny. Tinny made his debut in Pixar’s third short film, 1988’s Tin Toy, and the plot of Toy Story would have followed the mechanical one-man band as he attempted to find his way home after losing his owners during a family trip. Tinny’s journey would lead him to partnering him up with a smart-alecky ventriloquist’s dummy. Tinny eventually transformed into Buzz Lightyear, while that dummy became Woody the cowboy.

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'Toy Story 3' Was Almost Made Without Pixar's Participation

Even though Pixar and Disney have become as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly, there was a time when the two studios came dangerously close to severing their legendary (and profitable) relationship. In 2004, contract talks between Disney and Pixar became so contentious that it seemed as though Pixar was getting ready to take their business to a rival studio – but Disney would have had the rights to make sequels to Pixar's earlier films made for the studio without Pixar’s involvement. Disney announced plans for a Pixar-less Toy Story 3 that would have followed Andy's toys as they attempt to rescue Buzz after he's shipped to Taiwan as part of a massive recall. However, Disney would eventually acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion and work on Disney's Toy Story 3 halted.

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Barbie and G.I. Joe Were Supposed to Appear in the First 'Toy Story'

In one of the original drafts of Toy Story, Barbie would have played a pivotal role in rescuing Woody and Buzz from the clutches of Sid’s vicious dog (and would also have acted as Woody’s love interest). Mattel, however, refused to allow their iconic character to be featured in the film. Of course, once Toy Story became a smash hit, Mattel allowed Barbie to appear in both Toy Story 2 and . Likewise, G.I. Joe’s planned appearance in Toy Story was rejected by executives at Hasbro. G.I. Joe has yet to appear in a Toy Story movie, but a pastiche named "Combat Carl" first appeared in the 2013 television special Toy Story of Terror.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick

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Nusair, David. "5 Things You Might Not Know About the 'Toy Story' Trilogy." ThoughtCo, Aug. 11, 2016, thoughtco.com/toy-story-trilogy-facts-2432099. Nusair, David. (2016, August 11). 5 Things You Might Not Know About the 'Toy Story' Trilogy. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/toy-story-trilogy-facts-2432099 Nusair, David. "5 Things You Might Not Know About the 'Toy Story' Trilogy." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/toy-story-trilogy-facts-2432099 (accessed November 23, 2017).