Why Is Toy Story the Best Pixar Movie?

by Alice

“Toy Story” is often regarded as the best Pixar movie for various reasons. This film, released in 1995, is the first entirely computer-animated feature film. It was a groundbreaking achievement in animation and storytelling. Directed by John Lasseter and produced by Pixar Animation Studios, “Toy Story” introduced audiences to a world where toys come to life when humans aren’t around. This article explores why “Toy Story” stands out as the best Pixar movie, examining its innovative animation, compelling characters, emotional depth, and cultural impact.

Pioneering Animation Technology

“Toy Story” was the first film to use entirely computer-generated imagery (CGI). Before this, animated films were primarily hand-drawn. Pixar’s use of CGI was revolutionary. It changed the animation industry forever. The film’s success proved that computer animation could create engaging, high-quality movies.


The animation in “Toy Story” was groundbreaking for its time. The attention to detail was astounding. From the textures of the toys to the realistic movements, Pixar set a new standard. This innovation paved the way for future CGI films. It also showcased the potential of computer animation as a storytelling medium.


Compelling Characters

The characters in “Toy Story” are memorable and well-developed. Woody, the cowboy doll, is the loyal leader of the toys. Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger, is the new toy who believes he is a real astronaut. Their dynamic drives the story. The film explores themes of friendship, rivalry, and self-acceptance through their relationship.


Woody is initially threatened by Buzz’s arrival. He fears losing his status as Andy’s favorite toy. Buzz, on the other hand, struggles with his identity. He believes he is a real space ranger, not just a toy. Their journey from rivalry to friendship is heartfelt and relatable. The supporting characters, like Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and Rex, add humor and depth to the story.


Emotional Depth

“Toy Story” is not just a fun adventure. It also explores deep emotions. The film delves into themes of belonging, identity, and change. Woody’s fear of being replaced and Buzz’s realization of his true nature resonate with audiences of all ages.

The emotional moments in “Toy Story” are powerful. When Buzz realizes he is just a toy, it is a poignant moment. His despair and subsequent acceptance of his role are touching. Woody’s journey from jealousy to acceptance of Buzz as a friend is equally moving. These emotional arcs make the characters relatable and endearing.


Universal Themes

“Toy Story” addresses universal themes that resonate with everyone. The fear of being replaced, the search for identity, and the value of friendship are themes that many people can relate to. These themes are presented in a way that is accessible to both children and adults.

The film’s exploration of change is particularly impactful. Change is a constant in life, and “Toy Story” portrays it in a way that is both realistic and hopeful. Woody and Buzz’s acceptance of each other and their roles reflects a mature understanding of change and growth.

Innovative Storytelling

The storytelling in “Toy Story” is innovative and engaging. The film uses a unique perspective by telling the story from the toys’ point of view. This perspective creates a sense of wonder and curiosity. It invites audiences to imagine the secret lives of their toys.

The narrative is well-paced and filled with adventure. From the toys’ escape from Sid’s house to the climactic chase scene, the film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The storytelling is also layered with humor and heart, making it a delightful experience for viewers of all ages.

Cultural Impact

“Toy Story” had a significant cultural impact. It was not just a successful movie; it became a cultural phenomenon. The film’s success led to a franchise, including sequels, merchandise, and even theme park attractions. The characters of Woody and Buzz Lightyear became iconic.

The film also influenced the animation industry. It set a new standard for animated films and proved that CGI could be used to tell compelling stories. Many filmmakers and animators cite “Toy Story” as an inspiration for their work. The film’s legacy continues to influence the industry today.

Critical and Commercial Success

“Toy Story” was a critical and commercial success. It received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The film’s innovative animation, compelling characters, and emotional depth were praised. It won numerous awards, including a Special Achievement Academy Award for John Lasseter.

The film’s box office success was also notable. It grossed over $370 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of 1995. Its success demonstrated the viability of CGI films and paved the way for future Pixar projects.

Lasting Legacy

The legacy of “Toy Story” is enduring. The film’s success led to three sequels, each of which was also critically and commercially successful. The characters and themes of “Toy Story” continue to resonate with audiences. The film’s impact on the animation industry is still felt today.

“Toy Story” also paved the way for other successful Pixar films. Movies like “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” and “Up” owe a debt to “Toy Story.” The film established Pixar as a leading animation studio and set the stage for its future successes.


“Toy Story” is the best Pixar movie for many reasons. Its pioneering animation technology, compelling characters, emotional depth, universal themes, innovative storytelling, cultural impact, and critical and commercial success all contribute to its status. The film’s lasting legacy is a testament to its quality and impact.

“Toy Story” is more than just a movie; it is a cultural touchstone. It changed the animation industry and continues to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike. Its blend of innovation, heart, and humor makes it a timeless classic. For these reasons, “Toy Story” stands out as the pinnacle of Pixar’s magic.


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