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Why is Toy Story so successful?

Why is Toy Story so successful?


Pixar released Toy Story as the first 3D feature animation in 1995. Toy Story was grandeur for the company because it was admired by both critics and audiences. While some consider the original idea as a success factor, there are other reasons that brought this feature animation fame and fortune. Stay with us to reveal and look at those untold reasons.

The success of Toy Story

This marvelous animation film was the official debut of Pixar in the industry. It is about Andi and his toys where woody (a kind cowboy doll) and buzz lightyear (an arrogant action figure) join a last-man-standing game! On one hand, Toy Story favors a perfect screenplay, which is awarded an Oscar nomination, voice talents, and new ideas that sound great in the eyes of kids and even their parents.
On the other hand, it is a pioneer in utilizing computers in animation productions.
Indeed rivals started looking at computer potential in the animation industry after Pixar’s Toy Story, and then many animators stopped traditional methods to create cartoons.
We identified 6 main reasons which mostly overlooked that depict why Toy Story gained massive success.

A solid foundation

Pixar was founded in the right way. It means talented people from diverse areas of expertise were working on Toy Story. Let’s look at some prominent figures at Pixar who contributed to Toy Story.
John Lasseter with a considerable experience in the animation industry, Ed Catmull, A computer graphics expert known for his visionary achievements in digital graphics, and Steve Jobs who already made success at Apple were among the people who created Toy Story from ideation to production.
This strong team created one of the best titles which still stands above many other animations.

Being the first 3D feature film

Sometimes being first is an advantage. In the case of Toy Story which was the first 3D feature animation in the world, this advantage let Pixar gain traction so quickly.
People were not familiar with 3D animations and the release of Toy Story as a 3D film, sparked a great sense of curiosity so people decided to go to the theaters to see the difference between Toy Story and previous animations.
The huge box office of Toy Story is evidence that sometimes being first means being successful.

A pragmatic approach

Setting realistic goals and taking a pragmatic approach is another reason for the success of Toy Story that deserves reconsideration.
John Lasseter explained: “Everything tended to look like plastic or more plasticky. So why not have the main characters made of plastic? So having toys as characters really lent itself [to the software]”.
Lasseter and his crew exactly knew the strengths of rendering systems during the 90s so when they decided to create Toy Story by computers, they chose toys which are already made of plastic which was pretty easy in rendering at those times. They also did not put much emphasis on human characters as you probably do not remember Andy or his mother in detail.

success of Toy Story is an evolutionary process

Research and data gathering

Pixar did its homework before launching Toy Story. They extensively gathered data about their audiences including the most favorite toys, playing behaviors, and lots of other details to buttress their new product.
The data were applied during different stages of production and also helped Toy Story creators to make more meaningful decisions.

Learning from the past

Moreover, taking lessons from the past had an important role it producing Toy Story. Pixar released Tin Toy in 1988 as a short where characters were toys. It received enthusiastic approval and provided a hint to Pixar CEOs that when the idea is about toys it may open new directions.

Money matters

Last but not least is money talks. Walt Disney Pictures financially supported Pixar by providing them with $26 million which was a huge deal and let them build a strong team and equip new systems with the money. Having financial support also let creators deeply focus on ideation, production, and promotion without concerns about budgeting or cost benefits.


Toy Story’s success has not come from thin air. As we reviewed the reasons behind this success, there were tireless efforts from day one to make Toy Story a pioneer in the animation industry. Pixar prepared a solid foundation including a strong team with a pragmatic approach that contributed precious knowledge to the creation of Toy Story.

They also took lessons from their past experiences in the animation industry and honed their skills by gathering useful insights from the audiences. Being the world’s first 3D feature animation also had a positive impact on the success of Toy Story and finally having financial support from Disney removed monetary concerns and let Pixar create this magnificent work.

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