Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
Toy Story was released in theaters on November 22, 1995, and was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend, eventually earning over $373 million at the worldwide box office. It was positively reviewed by critics and audiences, who praised the animation’s technical innovation, the wit and thematic sophistication of the screenplay, and the performances of Hanks and Allen; it is considered by many to be one of the best animated films ever made. The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song for “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, as well as winning a Special Achievement Academy Award. In 2005, it was inducted into the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” in its first year of eligibility. In addition to home media and theatrical re-releases, Toy Story-inspired material includes toys, video games, theme park attractions, spin-offs, merchandise, and two sequels — Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 — both of which also garnered massive commercial success and critical acclaim, with a fourth film titled Toy Story 4 scheduled for release in 2019.
The movie depicts a world where toys are living things but pretend to be lifeless when humans are present. A group of toys, owned by six-year-old Andy Davis, are caught off-guard when Andy’s birthday party is moved up a week, as his family is preparing to move the following week. A pull-string cowboy doll named Sheriff Woody – the toys’ leader and Andy’s favorite toy – organizes a scouting mission, with the help of Bo Peep the shepherdess, Mr. Potato Head, Rex the Dinosaur, Hamm the Piggy Bank and Slinky Dog. Green Army Men, led by Sarge, spy on the party, and report the results to the others via baby monitors. The toys are relieved when the party appears to end with none of them being replaced by new toys, but then Andy receives a gift – a Buzz Lightyear action figure, who thinks he is a real space ranger.
Buzz impresses the other toys with his various features, and Andy begins to favor him, making Woody feel abandoned. As Andy prepares for a family outing at Pizza Planet, his mother allows him to bring one toy. Fearing Andy will choose Buzz, Woody attempts to trap Buzz behind a desk, but ends up accidentally knocking him out of a window. The other toys rebel against Woody, believing he did harm to Buzz out of jealousy. Before they can exact revenge, Andy takes Woody and leaves for Pizza Planet. When the family stops for gas, Woody finds that Buzz has hitched a ride on the car as well. They have a fight, only to find the family has left without them. They manage to make their way to the restaurant by stowing away on a pizza delivery truck. Buzz, still thinking he is a real space ranger, despite Woody’s attempts to convince him otherwise, gets them stuck in a crane game, where they are salvaged by Andy’s mischievous neighbor, Sid Phillips.
Woody attempts to escape from Sid’s house, but Buzz, finally realizing he is a toy after watching a Buzz Lightyear TV ad, sinks into despondency. Sid plans to launch Buzz on a fireworks rocket, but his plans are delayed by a thunderstorm. Woody tells Buzz about the joy he can bring to Andy as a toy, restoring his confidence. The next day, Woody and Sid’s mutant creature toys rescue Buzz just as Sid is about to launch the rocket and scare Sid into no longer abusing toys, and he runs into his house screaming in horror. Woody and Buzz leave just as Andy and his family drive away toward their new home.
The duo tries to make it to the moving truck, but Sid’s dog, Scud, sees them and gives chase. Buzz gets left behind while saving Woody from Scud, and Woody tries rescuing him with Andy’s radio-controlled car. Thinking that Woody is trying to eliminate RC as well, the other toys attack and toss him off the truck. Having evaded Scud, Buzz and RC retrieve Woody and continue to chase the truck. Upon seeing Woody and Buzz together on RC, the other toys realize their mistake and try to help them get back aboard, but RC’s batteries become depleted, stranding them. Woody ignites the rocket on Buzz’s back and manages to throw RC into the truck before they soar into the air. Buzz opens his wings to free himself from the rocket before it explodes, gliding with Woody to land safely into a box in the car, right next to Andy.
On Christmas Day, at their new house, Woody and Buzz stage another reconnaissance mission to prepare for the new toy arrivals. One of the toys is Mrs. Potato Head, much to Mr. Potato Head’s delight. As Woody jokingly asks what might be worse than Buzz, they discover Andy’s new gift is a puppy, and the two share a worried smile.