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Congratulations to Pixar on Three Oscar Nominations!

Animation, Awards, Josh Cooley, Oscars, Randy Newman, Short Film, Shorts, SparkShorts, Toy Story 4

Posted by Nia • January 13, 2020

This morning storytellers and film aficionados alike gathered around their TVs, cradled their smartphones, and hunched over their computer monitors awaiting the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations. Despite some obvious snubs and a few shockers, the broadcast concluded with a solid list of nominations, including THREE for Disney/Pixar.

The studio snagged a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category for Toy Story 4, the Best Original Song category for Toy Story 4, and in the Best Animated Short category for Kitbull.

A lot of time and hard work goes into making any kind of animated content and we wanted to congratulate EVERYONE who was involved in Toy Story 4 and Kitbull. Great work!

Now… it’s time to begin the official award show countdown. We can’t wait for the Oscars, which airs on Sunday 9th of February!

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A Breakdown of Toy Story 4’s Award Nominations

Academy Awards, Annie Awards, Awards, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • January 8, 2020

Toy Story 4 has been picking up nominations from all over the place this awards season, as is often the case for Pixar movies. It can get a little difficult to keep track of them all and work out when we’ll find out the results for each of the awards ceremonies. With Toy Story 4 recently gaining a couple more nominations this past week, we’ve compiled a list of the more notable nominations plus when the winners will be announced.

Let’s start with the most recent nominations:

BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts): ceremony date February 2nd

Best Animated Film
Toy Story 4
Frozen 2
Klaus
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

VES (Visual Effects Society): ceremony date January 29th

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
Toy Story 4
Frozen 2
Klaus
Missing Link
The Lego Movie 2
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
Toy Story 4 (Bo Peep)
Frozen 2 (The Water Nøkk)
Klaus (Jesper)
Missing Link (Susan)
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
Toy Story 4 (Antiques Mall)
Frozen 2 (Giants’ Gorge)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (The Hidden World)
Missing Link (Passage to India Jungle)
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
Toy Story 4
Abominable
Frozen 2
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project
Toy Story 4
Alita: Battle Angel
The Lion King
The Mandalorian

And now onto nominations that were revealed last year. Missing Link won Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globe Awards, but we’re sure the whole Toy Story 4 team are beyond pleased with their nomination against such strong contenders.

Annie Awards: ceremony date January 25th

Best Feature
Toy Story 4
Frozen 2
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Klaus
Missing Link
Best FX For Feature
Toy Story 4
Abominable
Frozen 2
Missing Link
Weathering With You
Best Music – Feature
Toy Story 4
AWAY
Frozen 2
I Lost My Body
Spies in Disguise
Best Voice Acting – Feature
Toy Story 4 (Tony Hale – go, Forky!)
Abominable
Frozen 2
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Best Writing – Feature
Toy Story 4
Frozen 2
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Weathering With You
Best Editorial – Feature
Toy Story 4
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Klaus
Missing Link
The Secret Life of Pets 2

Academy Awards (SHORTLISTS): ceremony date February 9th

The nominations haven’t been revealed yet, but Toy Story 4 has been shortlisted for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (for I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away by Randy Newman).

Critics’ Choice Awards: ceremony date January 12th

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 4
Abominable
Frozen 2
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link

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Toy Story 4 gets a Golden Globe nomination + more!

Annie Awards, Golden Globes, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • December 10, 2019

If you missed the announcement of the Golden Globe nominees, fear not! We did too, but we are here finally, to talk a little about the Globes and the other nominations Pixar has received. Toy Story 4 was of course, one of three animated sequels released in 2019; it has strong competition in How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Frozen 2. While the other nominees are grand in scale, Toy Story 4 was the much more intimate and simple movie, but still an event as the other two. And seeing how it dominated the box office, it was a huge deal for a little movie.

The Annie Awards also announced their 2019 nominees. Toy Story 4 is up for:

  • Best Feature
  • Best FX for Feature
  • Best Music – Feature for Randy Newman
  • Best Voice Acting for Tony Hale (go, Forky!)
  • Best Writing
  • Best Editorial

While I am a bit surprised and disappointed that the film didn’t earn any nominations for storyboard, character design/animation, or direction, it is still being recognized in multiple categories. I thought Pixar’s SparkShorts might also be contenders, but maybe they don’t qualify. If any of our readers have more information on that, do let us know.

Congratulations to Josh Cooley and the crew! You can read all about my visit to Pixar where I learned how Toy Story 4 was created here.

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International Onward Poster Revealed

Coco, Onward, Round-Ups, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • September 16, 2019

D23 is over, the next Pixar theatrical release seems an age away, and the ‘buzz’ from Toy Story 4 (pun intended) is slowly fading. It may seem like we’re going through a dry spell on the Pixar news front, but there’s actually plenty happening behind the scenes. Here’s a quick Woody’s Round Up from the past few weeks.

International Onward Poster

A really unique and beautiful Chinese Onward poster has been revealed. It has some paper-cutting and vector influences – very artistic and eye-catching. Take a look below:

Onward‘s scheduled release date is March 6th 2020.

Coco Live Performance

Coco is going to be brought back to life – live! On November 8th and 9th, Coco concerts will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, hosted by Eva Longoria and Benjamin Bratt (voice of Ernesto de la Cruz). Miguel actor Alex Gonzelez will also make a guest appearance, along with Alanna Ubach (Mama Imelda) and Jaime Camil (Papa).

What could be more memorable than hearing “Remember Me” live on stage with the stunning visuals of the movie as a backdrop?

Toy Story 4 – Digital/Physical Release

Toy Story 4 is still affecting me all these months later. I’m not over that ending, everyone. But maybe I’ll be able to come to terms with it with repeated viewings at home. As usual, the physical and digital release dates are slightly different – Toy Story 4  will be available digitally from October 1st, and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 8th.

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Pixar sneak peeks at D23

D23, Dan Scanlon, Dana Murray, Disney+, Onward, Pete Docter, Soul, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • August 26, 2019

D23, Disney’s official fanclub, hosted its bi-annual expo this past weekend. There’s been a drought of Pixar news recently, barring Toy Story 4‘s billion dollar box office earnings, but now we’ve got a nice trickle of news! Attendees were treated to previews of the newest Pixar films in theaters next year: Onward and Soul. And that’s not all, since the expo is always packed with lots of celebrations and giveaways for fans. This year, there were booths for a sculpting demo with longtime Pixarian Jerome Ranft, the Pixar archives, and designing toys. Guinevere, the truck from Onward, also made an appearance.

Here’s what we can look forward to in 2020!

Onward

Described by director Dan Scanlon as a modern fantasy quest, the film follows two elvin brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, living in a fantasy suburbia that has lost much of the former. Pixar’s films usually bring magic into the real world, but this time they’re taking audiences to an imaginary one where magic has faded.

I absolutely love this poster’s design. I’m a rookie pin collector, but I’d love to get my denim jacket on this level! Notice the cassette tape simply marked with Dad. It’s not as flashy as the others, but my eyes are drawn to it anyway. The Disney Store could even sell some of these pins; I covet that unicorn.

If you’d like to read more about the storyline, Collider has a great write up but beware of spoilers! Knowing how personal this film is for Dan Scanlon, those brief details about the footage screened at D23 is quite moving.

Soul

Pete Docter’s latest venture after probing the human mind in Inside Out will now plumb the depths of the soul. This film is already a challenge since many people don’t even believe in the existence of a soul. Pete hasn’t disappointed us yet though. And it’ll be the studio’s first ever full length film with a black protagonist! The synopsis over on Polygon also has a handful of plot details if you’d rather avoid those.

Soul tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), on a quest of his own like the Lightfoot brothers, but an entirely dissimilar one. Tina Fey also joins the cast as 22, along with Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Questlove. The soundtrack will be provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Jazz musician Jon Batiste. The newly unveiled character art:

Tina Fey as 22

concept art

Forky+

Pixar’s got a new shorts collection debuting on the new streaming service, Disney+, starring Forky! In “Forky Asks a Question,” Tony Hale reprises his role and revealed the other characters who will be joining our favorite spork as he unravels the answers to life’s questions. 

The Forky series will be available on Disney+’s November 12th premiere, but we still have many months to go before Onward and Soul. Looks like the drought is over!

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Toy Story 4 Becomes 4th Pixar Movie To Surpass $1 Billion

Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • August 16, 2019

It’s taken under 2 months for Toy Story 4 to cross $1 billion at the global box office, marking it as the fourth Pixar movie to do so. It has joined the ranks alongside Finding DoryToy Story 3, and Incredibles 2.

Sequels may have been causing some controversy lately, but this really shows that Pixar know what they’re doing – and they’re doing it well. Not only have these 4 sequels performed amazingly well, but they’ve also each been remarkable in their own ways. I don’t know about you, but I have seen Toy Story 4 multiple times in theatres already.

With Pixar’s upcoming movies all being originals, it’ll be exciting to see how they perform. The world may generally enjoy franchises and familiar characters, but Pixar movies are in themselves familiar (in a good way!). We can’t wait for more information on Onward and Soul to come out soon.

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The Ending Of Toy Story 4: What Just Happened?

Opinion Piece, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • July 5, 2019

‼️ Warning! Major spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t seen Toy Story 4 yet. ‼️

Okay, I’ll admit it: I didn’t cry at the end of Toy Story 4.

I could see all this emotion and devastation happening in front of my eyes, but I didn’t cry. Woody was embracing Bo – the love of his life – saying goodbye to his faithful companions of many years, nodding his farewell to Slink, hugging Buzz Lightyear for presumably the last time… And, I didn’t cry.

My main emotion during the climax of Toy Story 4 wasn’t sadness. It was complete disbelief. Weirdly, I could see something like this was coming right from the beginning of the movie. As soon as Woody wasn’t chosen by Bonnie for play time, a pit began to form in my stomach. All the momentum of the film was leading towards this ending, and I could feel it, but I still stubbornly chose not to believe it. Honestly, the toys all seemed much more contented with this ending than I did. “How dare they?” I thought. “How dare they just go along with this?” Woody has Bonnie’s name written on his boot. Woody has a kid. And Bonnie made a promise to Andy! WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I left the cinema feeling betrayed by a cowboy doll and a 4 year old child.

I trusted you, Bonnie.

Needless to say, I did still enjoy the movie. It’s fast-paced, hilarious and beautiful, and I really do admire the direction they took it in. But that ending, though. It’s taking me a while to process.

Seeing it a second time, though, has made me look at the ending differently. In fact, it’s made me look at myself differently. There’s a moment in Toy Story 4 where Woody and Bo are convincing the great Duke Caboom to pull a stunt for them. And this is how Bo changes his mind: she says,

“Be the you who you are today.”

For a second, you can see a lightbulb flicker in Woody’s head. And the same happened for me too.

Toy Story 4 has lots of brave, confident themes. It’s about love, leaps of faith, and loyalty. But it’s also about letting go, and recognising that staying true to your past self isn’t necessarily staying true to yourself. When Woody and Bo are stood on top of the carousel preparing to part ways again, Buzz helps Woody realise that ‘being there for Bonnie’ is a duty that Woody doesn’t have to hold onto anymore. Andy grew up, Bonnie’s growing up, and Woody’s changing too. People can move on, and that’s okay. His past self would have leapt back into that trailer immediately, but he isn’t his past self now. He’s himself!

I think I was guilty of not letting go too. When you think about it, of course Woody is going to be happier living alongside Bo and helping toys around the country find their owners. And of course Bonnie is allowed to have her favourite toys and give Jessie the sheriff badge (in fact, I 100% support that last part in particular). I was stubbornly holding on to the past, and not embracing the joy of the current situation. I didn’t want Woody to leave, but why? Because I wanted things to be how they always were. But that’s impossible.

Anyway, I still didn’t cry at the ending of Toy Story 4 the second time around, but my eyes did begin to well up a bit. Maybe by the third viewing, the disbelief will have subsided and a few tears will be shed.

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Toy Story 4 Continues To Be The Number One Movie In The World

Bud Luckey, Round-Ups, Toy Story, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • July 1, 2019

We’re still reeling a bit from seeing Toy Story 4, so here’s a quick ‘Woody’s Round-up’ of how the sequel’s been doing in the theatres since its launch on June 21st.

Toy Story 4 – The Number One Movie In the World!

Toy Story 4 has been the number one movie in the world for two weeks running! If you’re into box-office ratings, then no, it hasn’t been doing as well as other Pixar movies – Incredibles 2 is still staying strong as Pixar’s most successful movie (at least in terms of box-office performance). Toy Story 4 brought in just over $120 million in its opening weekend, so it’s by no means a flop. Are box-office figures the best way to measure a movie’s success anyway? I don’t think so.

Reviews have also been hugely positive – people’s hearts all around the world have been captured by the movie’s surprising messages. Forky has become an instant favourite, Bo’s return has inspired generations, and the ending has sparked debates. We can’t wait to see how Toy Story 4 settles into being part of the franchise, and part of the world!

A Recreation Of Woody’s Old Character Design

Now instead of looking forward, let’s cast our minds back to the original Toy Story. In fact, let’s cast our minds back even further to when the concept of Woody was first being conceived. The toys went through a lot of redesigns – one of Woody’s first looks was of an old, western ventriloquist doll.

Old concept art for Woody by the great Bud Luckey

The Unit Photographer Steven Wong Jr. of Laika Studios is currently documenting, through his Instagram, the process of artist Michelle Mello creating a hand-made puppet of this old Woody design. It’s absolutely fascinating, and the final reveal is very soon! Click on through to Steven Wong Jr.’s Instagram below to catch up:

View this post on Instagram

With the 4th installment of Pixar’s #ToyStory just around the corner, what better time to step #behindthescenes as talented artist Michelle Mello (@mellomade) brings the original Bud Luckey concept version of Woody to life! ✨ Swipe left to see legendary animator and character designer Bud Luckey’s original concept and follow along for each step as Michelle handcrafts Woody from sketch to finished #puppet!💫 . . . . . . . . . 📸: @stevenwongjr 🎨: Bud Luckey #characterdesign #stopmotionanimation #animation #modelmaking #claymation #miniatureart #makersgonnamake #artistsofinstagram#maker #sculpey #filmmaking #sculpt #miniatures #pixar #makerslife #visualeffects #characteranimation #stopmotion #puppets #handmade #puppetmaking #sculpture #instaart #disneyanimation #disney #toystory4 #disneypixar

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Review: The Bittersweet Brilliance of Toy Story 4

Josh Cooley, Review, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • June 21, 2019

 

Why did Toy Story 4 have to get made? It’s a question that director Josh Cooley asked himself. His answer was that every ending has a beginning. Just because the toys’ journey with Andy was over didn’t mean their journey with Bonnie was. In the nine years that have passed between the third and fourth films, there have been three Toy Story Toons and two TV specials. Life size Lego figures of Woody and Buzz stand beside the reception desk at Pixar. As Toy Story 4 producer Mark Nielson put it, those guys are in the fabric of the studio. How could this movie not get made?!

Toy Story will mark its 25th anniversary next year. For some of the animators on Toy Story 4, the 1995 film is the first they ever saw. I can’t imagine the joy and thrill of being able to animate characters that you spent your childhood with. And not only that, but you get to work on new characters for this world, who may end up being just as iconic and beloved as the original ones.

Those original characters, our old pals, are happily being played with by Bonnie. All except one. Woody, who once enjoyed the vaunted position of the favorite toy, and by default, leader of the rest, is now none of those things. He gets tossed in the closet with toys Bonnie has outgrown and no longer plays with. It’s a dull and lonely existence, but Woody still firmly believes in his purpose to be there unconditionally for his kid. That’s why he stows himself away in Bonnie’s backpack on the first day of kindergarten. He’s not supposed to. Toys aren’t allowed. But Bonnie is having such a tough time facing this newest adventure that Woody just can’t let her do it alone.

So when Bonnie makes a toy out of a spork and names him Forky (Tony Hale), Woody is actually privy to a very special moment. Bonnie loves her little oddball creation immediately. The way she looks at Forky, that love she has for him that he doesn’t even understand or want to reciprocate, are things Woody no longer enjoys. And that’s why he’ll do anything to keep Bonnie from losing Forky.

 

Bonnie does lose Forky quite a bit while on a road trip with her parents and all the other toys – she just doesn’t know it because of Woody’s singleminded pursuit of him. Forky runs longingly to any trash receptacle he can find. “Trash! Trash! Trash!” is his gleeful refrain. He makes his final escape out of the window of the RV, triumphantly yelling, “I’M LITTER!” Yes, it’s just as glorious as it sounds. 

Forky doesn’t get far before Woody finds him, and a heart-to-heart chat about what it means to be loved by a kid convinces Forky to return to Bonnie.

But Woody and Forky have to take a couple of detours before either of them can go back.

The first of these detours takes place in Second Chance Antiques, where a familiar lamp sits in the window. Bo Peep’s lamp. Woody’s love that went away all those years ago isn’t inside the shop, which Woody and Forky find out for themselves when they go looking for her. They meet the unsettling Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) instead, a pretty little doll in a prim dress, and her horde of even more unsettling ventriloquist dummy henchmen. These guys inspire so much terror – the way they move is the worst. People are going to have nightmares and it’s Pixar’s fault.

Woody does eventually find Bo Peep after that frightening horror movie ordeal, and their reunion is awash in sunlight. When we talk about the most meaningful, inspired, symbolic Pixar movie scenes, this is going to be one of them. It’s just a brief interlude where neither of them speak because a child is playing with them, and that’s the beauty of it.

 

Though it’s been 20 whole years since we last saw Bo Peep, though her presence in this series was so slight even before she was written out of Toy Story 3, her inclusion in Toy Story 4 just feels right. It’s the most natural thing in the world. For Cooley, story supervisor Valerie LaPointe and others, this porcelain shepherdess was the reason they wanted to make the film. I predicted that Bo would be so much more significant, but even I couldn’t have guessed just how much! Again I ask, how could this movie not get made?

In addition to reintroducing Bo Peep, the film achieves yet another marvelous feat with its introduction of distinct and lovable new toys. Forky is joined by Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), and Ducky and Bunny (Keegan Micheal Key and Jordan Peele). (For anyone who’s seen Peele’s Us, the fact that he’s playing a rabbit in a carnival toy game is eerie and awesome). While it’s a little disappointing that the new toys get more screentime over the older ones, that ultimately served the story best. (This is why we need more Toy Story toons). And then there’s Gabby Gabby. I was so prepared to hate her, but something kept telling me I would be proven wrong. I’m glad I was. Gabby isn’t what she appears to be. There’s always a certain value in stories where the villains aren’t what we expect at all.

Reeves and the comedy duo of Key and Peele are so fantastic that I would love to hear them again in another Pixar feature or a future Toy Story toon! Tony Hale had so much fun recording, that even if I hadn’t seen the footage of him in the booth, it wouldn’t matter; his enjoyment is palpable. Christina Hendricks also does memorable, heartbreaking, versatile work as Gabby. I’d be remiss not to praise yet another cast member in their Pixar debut, Ally Maki, as the impossibly adorable Giggle McDimples. That giggle and voice of hers are so infectious! The veterans, namely Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, and Tim Allen, are still at the top of their game.

Toy Story 4‘s other big feat concerns the plot. There’s so much of it, but it doesn’t once overwhelm the characters or feel unwieldy. Without its precise pacing, the film would suffer, it would just be a lot of noise. With Randy Newman’s subtle updates to his iconic score and the newer pieces, Toy Story 4 feels a lot like home; it’s a comforting nod to the past that is still looking forward. The nostalgia is potent but not overdone.

And it’s unbelievably hilarious too. I can’t remember the last time I heard so much raucous outbreak of laughter in a packed theater before. This movie is much wackier than the three that came before, but it’s just as beautiful, unforgettable, and devastating too. It might actually be the most heartbreaking of them all.

I simply can’t wait to watch it again.

Toy Story 4 is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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Love in the Details of Toy Story 4

Behind The Scenes, Pixar, Toy Story 4, TS 4 press day

Posted by Simoa • June 19, 2019

There is something Ling Tu, the Sets Shading Lead on Toy Story 4, said during the It’s All in the Details presentation at the studio back in April that I think is very important. She hoped that we could feel the love that was put into the sets. The intention and purpose of Pixar films are not only the result of painstaking research, but painstaking love too! And that love extends to the locations as much as it does to the characters. The level of detail in Toy Story 4 is so intricate that even the sharpest eyed viewers might not notice – and that’s exactly the point. Regardless, each detail is both deliberate and necessary.

Tu was joined by Characters Shading Lead Alex Marino and Graphics Art Director Craig Foster to give us an in depth exploration of all the details.

As we’ve learned, the goal of the Toy Story films is to allow audiences to see everything from a toy’s perspective. Achieving that in Toy Story 4 relied on a number of factors, like making the sets characters with their own backstories and conveying the journeys of the toys through subtle visual hints. Something that was emphasized throughout were the imperfections in each detail, which allowed for greater authenticity and added a richness that would otherwise have been missing if the filmmakers aimed for perfection.

While it might be impossible to spot them all, here are some details (and Easter eggs!) to keep an eye on when you watch Toy Story 4.

Top 5 Sets Details

  • The leaves in the reunion scene between Woody and Bo Peep make Woody appear smaller and toylike. Pay attention to their texture, as they have the same veins and holes as real leaves do.
  • The reunion scene takes place in a dried creek bed. There’s a sprinkler box there to remind the audiences that this is still happening in the human world.
  • Dust in the antique store is very specific and just the right amount had to be applied. Take a look at the comparison image below – there’s a clear difference between them. The final frame still conveys the store’s age and unique history, but the dust isn’t distracting as it is in the first one.

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  • Another crucial element of the antiques store is that it makes Woody feel out of place. It’s also the last place any toy wants to be, which is why Gabby Gabby is so eager to leave. The subtleties make it feel that way, without the filmmakers being obvious about it.
  • As Tu explained, carnivals draw you in with flashy lights and colors, but they’re actually shabby when you take a closer look. One of the ways they zeroed in on the shabbiness was the carnival prize grid where Ducky and Bunny spend all their time. The image below is fascinating because it’s something we take for granted and it’s distinctly unglamorous. But the filmmakers still took the time to include it for that extra layer of credibility!

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Lots of Easter Eggs here too!

Top 5 Characters Details

Photo by Marc Flores. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Just like the antiques store, it was important to show how our toys have aged too. This was achieved by taking their journeys and motivations into account. Alex Marino also explained that subtle updates helped integrate the characters into the new settings.

  • Pay attention to Buzz’s stickers – they’re peeling. He’s no longer the glossy space ranger in mint condition.
  • Woody we know, has been through a lot. The micro scratches on him clue us into that and remind us that he and Buzz aren’t new toys.
  • Bo Peep’s porcelain isn’t as pristine as it was before, which makes sense considering that she’s been living as a lost toy. Her garments are a little shabby too.
  • Gabby Gabby is inspired by dolls of the 1950s and 1960s which were mass produced, but her hand painted features and the nylon quality of her hair are a contrast to the more generic features.
  • Since Gabby has been sitting on a shelf for so long, her dress is desaturated. She’s often in the dark, which would explain why her eyes are ominous rather than soft and inviting.

The Toy Story 4 art gallery, as seen on March 18, 2019 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Top 5 Graphic Design Details and Easter Eggs

Here’s something you won’t see in Toy Story 4: Woody’s Round Up. Craig Foster was deliberate about that because Woody is meant to feel out of place wherever he goes. To that end, no Western style fonts appear in the film either. Here’s a handy list of (more than) five Easter eggs to be on the look out for instead! And these are just the ones we were told about. A good chunk of the 8,000 graphics in the film reference past Pixar films.

Photo by Marc Flores

  • A Victrola in Second Chance Antiques has a record of Ernesto de la Cruz songs.
  • Paintings in the film include one of Alpha which is reminiscent of  John Singer Sargent; the classic ‘dogs playing poker’ with Dug, Muntz and the other hounds of Up; Riley’s dad as a conquistador (?!); and Angel Kitty from “Toy Story That Time Forgot” in Margaret Keane’s signature style.
  • Fun ads in the film include 1940s Triple Dent Gum (and now I’m humming the jingle of course); 1950s era Eggman Movers from the first Toy Story; Hud’s Garage, a reference to Doc Hudson; and “Small Fry’s” Poultry Palace, also from the ’50s.
  • The pinball machine has a tiki theme and naturally, the tiki heads from Finding Nemo are there.
  • A really cool graphic is Duke Caboom‘s maple leaf. Not only is it a symbol of his Canadian heritage, it looks like an explosion too!

As always, this visual storytelling expertly reinforces the film’s main themes. The labyrinthine aspect of all these details doesn’t overwhelm the characters; they blend into the background of the story and beckon us to take a closer look.

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