Based on original Pixar short “Tin Toy,” an early rough draft of “Toy Story” was a disaster.
Here’s how it was described by Amy Pascale in the recent “Joss Whedon: The Biography“: [T]he movie was unwatchable. The story had lost the heart that Tin Toy had; the leads, Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear the astronaut, were sarcastic and unlikeable—not exactly ideal heroes for a children’s movie.” Notably, the lead character of cowboy Woody was “a bitter toy who berated and insulted all the other toys and was bound and determined to destroy Buzz.”
It wasn’t until Whedon, who had recently created “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” was asked to step in and help refocus the entire script that the film started to look more like the version of “Toy Story” we know.
“They sent me the script and it was a shambles,” Whedon recalled in “Joss Whedon: Conversations.” “But the story that [John] Lasseter had come up with was, you know, the toys are alive and they conflict. The concept was gold.”
What was originally planned to be a three-week job turned into more than six months of working with Pixar.