Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995), Pixar’s first feature-length production and Hollywood’s first completely computer-generated animated film, is an international cultural phenomenon. This collection brings together a diverse range of scholars and practitioners who together explore the themes, compositional techniques, cultural significance and industry legacy of this landmark in contemporary cinema.
Topics range from industrial concerns, such as the film’s groundbreaking use of computer generated imagery and the establishment of Pixar as a major player in the animation world, to examinations of its music, aesthetics, and the role of toys in both the film and its fandom. The Toy Story franchise as a whole is also considered, with chapters looking at its cross-generational appeal and the experience of growing up alongside the series.
As the first substantial work on this landmark film, this book will serve as an authoritative introduction for scholars, students and fans alike.
About the Author
Susan Smith is Reader in Film Studies at the University of Sunderland, UK. She is author of Elizabeth Taylor (BFI/Palgrave, 2012), Voices in Film (Wallflower Press, 2007), The Musical: Race, Gender and Performance (Columbia University Press, 2005) and Hitchcock: Suspense, Humour and Tone (BFI, 2000). She also co-edits the BFI’s Film Stars series.
Noel Brown is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at Liverpool Hope University, UK. He is author of The Hollywood Family Film (2012), British Children’s Cinema (2016), The Children’s Film (2017) and Contemporary Hollywood Animation (forthcoming), and is co-editor of Family Films in Global Cinema (2015).
Sam Summers is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland, UK. His research focuses on the use of intertextual references in contemporary animation and DreamWorks’ animation in general, with a view to contextualising and historicising the studio’s role in the development of the medium.
Table of Contents
Introduction (Noel Brown, Newcastle University, UK, Susan Smith, University of Sunderland, UK, and Sam Summers, University of Sunderland, UK)
1. Toy Story, Pixar and Contemporary Hollywood (Peter Krämer, University of East Anglia, UK)
2. Toy Story and the Hollywood Family Film (Noel Brown, Newcastle University, UK)
3. The Cowboy, the Spaceman, and the Guru: Character and Convention in the Screenwriting of Toy Story (Andrew Gay, Southern Oregon University, USA)
4. New and Inherited Aesthetics: Designing for the Toy Story Trilogy One Film at a Time (Heather Holian, University of North Carolina, USA)
5. Rough and Smooth: The Everyday Textures of Toy Story (Lucy Fife Donaldson, University of St Andrews, UK)
6. Toying with performance: Toy Story, Virtual Puppetry and Computer-Animated Film Acting(Christopher Holliday, King's College, London, UK)
7. Toy Stories Through Song: Pixar, Randy Newman and the Sublimated Film Musical (Susan Smith, University of Sunderland, UK)
8. Toys as a Site of Intertextuality (Sam Summers, University of Sunderland, UK)
9. Fear, Guilt and the Future of Play in Toy Story (Karen Cross, University of Roehampton, UK)
10. Mirrors and Shadows: Duality, Illusion and the Divided Self in Toy Story (Jane Batkin, University of Lincoln, UK)
11. Woody, Buzz and the Koons Corollary… Or Why Toy Story is Art (Paul Wells, Longborough University, UK)
12. Story is King: Understanding the Toy Story Franchise as an Allegory for the Studio Narrative of Pixar Animation (Helen Haswell, Queen's University Belfast, UK)
13. An Interview with Steve Segal (Noel Brown, Newcastle University, UK)
A Guide to Further Research