'Toy Story': The Inside Buzz


'Toy Story': The Inside Buzz

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Needless to say, Disney was hip to the possibilities in a movie full of toys. "The Disney folks saw early on," Guggenheim comments wryly, "that with a name like Toy Story, there were toys to be made there." And money. But the filmmakers still had to get permission from the toy manufacturers. Hasbro okayed using Mr. Potato Head but vetoed G.I. Joe. "They weren't too wild about us blowing up their toy with an M-80 strapped to his back," recalls Guggenheim. The filmmakers renamed him Combat Carl and blew him up anyway.

Enter Barbie—who screenwriter Whedon suggested was the perfect candidate to save Woody and Buzz from the destructive next-door neighbor Sid. "She's T2's Sarah Connor in a pink convertible, all business and very cool," he says. "She helps Woody out."

Unfortunately for girls everywhere, Mattel execs would not allow the film to provide a firm identity for their leggy cash cow. "They philosophically felt girls who play with Barbie dolls are projecting their personalities onto the doll," says Guggenheim. "If you give the doll a voice and animate it, you're creating a persona for it that might not be every little girl's dream and desire." ("We carefully watch how we handle Barbie," says Mattel Inc. spokeswoman Karen Stewart, who refused to comment specifically on why Barbie wasn't in Toy Story.) Besides, the Pixar team preferred to make the only female toy a docile Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and let Woody save the day. "We decided we could either be PC and fair about this or bring true toy moments," explains Stanton.

"I hear Barbie's stuck-up," argues Tom Hanks. "Those good-looking women—you can't talk to them, nothing has truly been expected of them. Bo Peep, she works hard out there with those sheep, she lost one of them, so she knows what sacrifice is. She's actually a much better conversationalist."

So the idea of an active Toy Story heroine was scratched. Instead, Woody joins forces with some of the neatest characters in the movie: mutant toys, the results of bad boy Sid's recombinant experiments, most notably Baby Face, a haunting one-eyed plastic doll's head attached to Erector-set spider legs. Some of the designers had ideas for the mutant toys — a snake melded with a train was one — that "were so gross we had to pull them back a little bit," says Guggenheim. "As it is, Sid's room is like one of the inner circles of hell." (Legs that look suspiciously like Barbie's did make it into the film, as half of a mutant toy.)

Once Disney gave the okay to the Roy Rogers — versus — Buck Rogers plot on Jan. 19, 1993, Pixar needed to cast its voices. Lasseter set his sights on Hanks for Woody because he "has the ability to take emotions and make them appealing," he says, "even if the character, like the one in A League of Their Own, is down-and-out and despicable."

Hanks had no trouble relating to his character from the first pitch meeting, where he arrived gaunt and goateed after his Philadelphia shoot. Lasseter showed him 30 seconds of a computer-animated Woody with Hanks' voice from Turner & Hooch. Hanks howled with laughter and asked, "When do we start?"

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