Viewers only know of the final cut version of Toy Story, the version that features main characters like Woody and Buzz. If you thought that this was the only version known at Pixar then you thought wrong. Before all the “Hey howdy hey!” and “To infinity and beyond!” the initial plans for Toy Story were to have not a continuation of Tin Toy, but have the main character of this 1988 short, Tinny, feature in his own full length film. During production, this film’s code name was “Toy Story”. Other ideas for the title included “You are a Toy”. None of the ideas like this that were proposed for the title stood up to the name “Toy Story”, so they decided to stick with the original title “Toy Story”.
“You are a Toy” followed Tinny in quest to find his way back home after getting lost at a rest stop while on a family trip. At the rest stop Tinny is found by a junk man, who without a second thought throws Tinny into the back of his truck where Tinny meets his new friend. Tinny’s new friend is a Howdy Doody-like sarcastic ventriloquist dummy who is in a search for a home. Both Tinny and the dummy were abandoned by their owners. Instead of finding their way back to their own homes, the duo decide to stay at a preschool, where they are never outgrown, forgotten, or abandoned.
Of course these are not the characters viewers know. The ventriloquist dummy originally already had a western characteristics, which soon led to the character Woody of Woody’s Roundup. Tinny’s character was changed drastically through numerous revisions. Lasseter believed Tinny was “too antiquated” so he was changed to a military action figure, and given a space theme. Tinny’s name was changed to Lunar Larry, then Tempus from Morph. Finally, Buzz Lightyear was born through several revisions. Tinny became Buzz Lightyear. Buzz was named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Below shows Buzz through his revisions that he went through in order before turning into what we saw on screen. (click on image to view full size)
Written by Alexandra @ The Dream of Pixar. Read my own blog with more Pixar articles just like this one here.