Early Toy Story Animation Tests Drastically Change Woody & Buzz

Buzz Lightyear and Woody in Toy Story 1995

Not only earning the accolade of being Hollywood's first computer-animated feature-length movie, Toy Story won the Special Achievement Academy Award and spawned a whole franchise. However, unearthed test footage from 1995's Toy Story shows dramatically different versions of Buzz and Woody, hinting at a series that could have been.

Shared on Reddit, the short clip highlights Buzz and Woody's dynamic. Buzz Lightyear is a lot smaller in the test footage, has a completely different visor and a scarlet paint job. In contrast, Woody is much bigger, has a sinister scowl and barely has a neck. Woody was first imagined as a ventriloquist dummy, and there are still aspects of this design visible in the early animation.

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It's no secret that Toy Story was originally a lot darker and Lasseter imagined Woody in more of a villainous role. The globe scene was altered for the final movie as Woody tried to get rid of Buzz but accidentally knocked him out the window.

Over the years, Pixar has become known for setting its sights on certain actors and using their voice alongside test animation to see how it sounds. The clips shows this in action as Tom Hanks' "Don't eat the car" line from Turner & Hooch is used with Woody's animation. It was a tactic that worked as Hanks signed up to play the leader of Andy's bedroom after watching the test. Sadly, that trick didn't work quite as well for Billy Crystal, who the studio approached to play Buzz Lightyear. Crystal has since said he regrets turning down the role, which later went to Tim Allen.


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Directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jeff Pidgeon, Blake Clark, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Tony Hale. The film opens June 21, 2019.

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