I wrote this for a class, but I figured I'd post it here, just for fun.
I have chosen to do my study over something very simple: a Buzz Lightyear toy. Now, the toy itself doesn't have any real significance. I mean I bought this in a set of eight for ten bucks at the Disney Store two years ago. But what it represents, the pop culture phenomenom that is Toy Story, is far reaching, even to this day, 19 years after the first film. I mean, as I write this, a Christmas special just premiered and they announced a fourth film just one month ago. Now, it's just a simple little PVC toy that doesn't do anything special. Of course, that's as far as I know. Maybe it does come to life when I leave the room, like in the movie, but I have no evidence supporting that. The course theme that this toy represents is the tech/science part. Toy Story was the first fully computer generated film. It represented a changing of the guard. 2D animation was the king back in 1995. Just the year prior, The Lion King had been released and became the highest grossing animated film of all time, at that point. So 2D was at its highest point since the '50s and '60s, when Walt Disney was still alive making magical films such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Sleeping Beauty. But, once Toy Story came out, there was a flood of CGI animation. DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky Studios, even Disney itself abandoned traditional 2D animation for CGI within ten years of the release of Toy Story. And it still inspires people to this day. Students of computer animation owe their careers to Toy Story and Pixar. The two sequels have drummed up feelings of wonder and awe in kids of all ages from one to one-hundred-and-one. John Lasseter, director of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and the upcoming Toy Story 4 said "There will always be something special about the characters from Toy Story. They were the first." And he's right. Toy Story is a film series that has inspired the current generation (hi) and will continue to inspire generations to come. I'm not alone in saying this but I love Toy Story.