Los Angeles (USA) .- 25 years ago, some intrepid toys revolutionized animation cinema with “Toy Story”, the first feature film created by computer; Although this popular culture classic might not have seen the light of day because of Disney’s initial reluctance, initially contrary to Pixar’s vision.
On November 22, 1995, the film that would give a somersault in the history of cinema was released, but the audiovisual acrobatics took almost 15 years of development and the efforts of its director, John Lasseter, who went on to receive a special Oscar for the pioneering achievements in the field of computer generated animation.
Earlier, in 1983, he was fired from Disney studios for his interest in developing computer-based projects that required high budgets for the time.
Few imagined that this obsession would eventually inaugurate one of the most successful sagas on the big screen, which raised the status of animated cinema and would evolve into four installments, each one more acclaimed than the last.
THE 15 YEARS OF TRIAL AND ERROR THAT LEADED TO “TOY STORY”
Until then, pencil, paper and eraser were the only ingredients to build magic in cartoon films, which had reached the height of success with “The Lion King” in 1994 and “Pocahontas” in 1995 “, but also showed a somewhat stagnant style.
While Disney dominated the industry with its classic ways, another company that started as Lucasfilm’s computer division, the George Lucas and “Star Wars” studio, had been researching computer art technology for years.
Her name was Pixar, and Lasseter, the expelled Disney animator, worked there.
The first inspiration for “Toy Story” was the 1982 film “Tor”, a pioneering film in introducing computer graphics prominently in its plot and which so fascinated Lasseter that after seeing it he proposed a 100% computer project to Disney.
Without awakening enthusiasm but seeing the possibilities, the company allowed the filmmaker to dedicate himself to shaping that idea, but his budget became more expensive than that of a classic cartoon film and in the studio they did not see its meaning.
After his departure from Disney, Lasseter signed for Lucasfilm’s computer and animation division, which a year later would acquire a Steve Jobs disenchanted with Apple, to create Pixar.
From that moment on, the new studio launched a series of short films and advertising campaigns in which it perfected the technique until finding “Tin Toy” in 1988, a short film that won the Oscar for best animated short and was the germ of “Toy Story ».
With more ambition, Lasseter again called Disney to offer a feature film, on the condition that Pixar had creative control. At first there was rejection of the first scripts for being too adult, while Steve Jobs’ company was going through a precarious financial situation.
Finally, after comings and goings, “Toy Story” was completed with 30 million dollars and a hundred employees. Nothing compared to the nearly 800 workers and 50 million that required films like “The Lion King.”
A REVOLUTION OF ANIMATION WITH ADULT WINKS
Beyond a technical feat, the Pixar film was a huge leap in animation style, depth and themes.
“Toy Story” got audiences to think of cartoon cinema as something that was not only aimed at children – the plot contained different layers, from the obvious to the most profound, that introduced humor, irony and sharp winks.
Woody and Buzz Lightyear became heroes with their clumsy, complex personalities full of existential crises, which were supported by a cast of perfectly defined and charismatic characters such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Slinky dog or the potato head marriage.
It was a style that marked Pixar’s hallmarks and raised the status of cartoon movies.
“Monsters”, “Finding nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “Coco”, “Wall-E” and the Oscar-winning three sequels of “Toy Story” owe their efforts to filmmakers who at one point decided to comply, at all costs, with that “To infinity and beyond!”