Pixar's Toy Story (1995)

Pixar's Toy Story (1995) marks the first success of CG animation as a full feature length film. Its universal success laid the foundation for Pixar Studios to create many more successful CG animation films including the sequel Toy Story 2 (1999), The Incredibles (2004) and the most recent Up (2009).

Toy Story struck a chord with audiences as Woody, Buzz and all the characters were believable where their presence is strongly felt. The simple yet effective three act story structure allows for a very clear and satisfying resolution. Both the original and sequel are often cited as one of the best movies of all time, receiving a 100% 'Certified Fresh' award on Rotten Tomatoes and deemed a must-see by the British Film Institute as one of top 10 films to see by the age of 14.

While Toy Story marked a great step into the world of digital animation, John Lasseter (animator and Head of Pixar Studios) himself states that successful CG animation derives from the very same basic founding principles of all animation; from drawing and a fundamental understanding to traditional animation techniques, to film grammar with shot compositions and storytelling with a three act story structure.

John Lasseter Q&A Any advice for aspiring animation student?

Overall, Toy Story is one of the finest examples of CG animation to date leading to a revolution in the entertainment and animation industries respectfully, as computer animation became recognised as credible form of animation and a popular form of mainstream entertainment in feature films.


tutorphil said...

Thanks for opening this up to the CGAA community - this snippet was new to me - so imagine my relief when I heard the content; if he'd said 'don't bother with any of that story/design crap', I think I would have had to resign! :-)

Leo Tsang said...

No problem Phil, it just brings a smile to my face that with each point he makes, we have covered in a project or two and continue to thoroughly do so - as the course has been set with this philosophy at heart from the very beginning :)

tutorphil said...

yeah... anyone would think we know what we're doing here! :-)

The basic truth is that no degree programme should be about tools - we're an ideas factory, and as Lasseter says, the tools will keep changing, so 'expertise' must remain as fluid, and as Meg's classes proved, you can tell meaningful and moving stories with paper cut-outs, with charcoal, with grease on a window - or with the world's most powerful computer...

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