Released on November 22, 1995, Toy Story is directed by John Lasseter and featuring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. The film was co-produced by Ralph Guggenheim and Bonnie Arnold and was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, and Alec Sokolow, and featured music by Randy Newman. It was the first feature film released to use only CGI. Toy Story follows a group of toys who come to life whenever their owner is not present, focusing on Woody, a pull-string cowboy doll, and Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut action figure.
The top-grossing film on its opening weekend, Toy Story went on to earn over $191 million in the United States and Canada during its initial theatrical release and took in more than $361 million worldwide. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, praising both the technical innovation of the animation and the wit and sophistication of the screenplay.
In addition to DVD releases, Toy Story-inspired material has run the gamut from toys, video games, spin-offs, and merchandise. Toy Story was selected into the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" on its first year of eligibility.
Old-fashioned cowboy pull-string toy Woody coordinates a reconnaissance mission around his 6-year old owner Andy’s birthday party in the days before Andy's family move to their new house. To Woody's dismay, Andy receives a new action figure, space ranger Buzz Lightyear, whose impressive features soon see Buzz replacing Woody as Andy's favorite toy. Woody, the former de facto leader of Andy's toys, is disappointed and resentful at his replacement. Meanwhile, Buzz does not understand that he is a toy, and believes himself to be an actual space ranger, seeing Woody as an interference in his "mission" to return to his home planet.
Later, Woody wants to replace Buzz on a family outing. He intends to trap Buzz in a gap behind Andy's desk, but the plan backfires and Buzz is knocked out of the window. The other toys accuse Woody of attempting to murder Buzz out of jealousy, but are unable to punish him before Andy leaves the house with Woody for an outing at the space-themed Pizza Planet restaurant. Buzz sees Andy getting into his mother's car with Woody and manages to climb aboard, seeking revenge on Woody. At the gas station, while Andy's mother refuels the car, Woody ponders how he can return to Andy's room alone. Buzz suddenly appears, and angrily argues about what Woody did to him. The two fight and accidentally land outside the car, which drives off and leaves the two stranded.
Woody spots a truck bound for Pizza Planet and plans to rendezvous with Andy there. Realizing that he will face the wrath of the other toys if he returns alone, Woody convinces Buzz that the truck will take them to a spaceship. Once at Pizza Planet, Buzz makes his way into a claw game machine shaped like a spaceship, thinking it to be the ship Woody promised him. While Woody clambers in to try and rescue him, Buzz and Woody are captured by Andy's next-door neighbor, the toy-destroying Sid Phillips.
The two desperately attempt to escape from Sid's house before Andy's family's moving day. There they encounter nightmarish mutant toys inhabiting his room, as well as Sid's vicious dog Scud. Buzz sees a commercial for Buzz Lightyear toys just like himself. Crestfallen and in denial that he is a toy, Buzz desperately attempts one last time to fly out of the window but falls and literally breaks his arm off. Woody is unable to get a depressed Buzz to participate in his escape plan, even when the mutant toys show their true colors and repair Buzz's arm. Sid prepares to destroy Buzz by strapping a firework rocket to him, but is delayed by a thunderstorm. Woody convinces Buzz that life is worth living even if he is not a space ranger, but despairs that he himself stands no chance of being Andy's favorite. Buzz regains his spirit, but Sid wakes up before they can escape and takes Buzz (still strapped to the rocket), to his backyard launchpad. In cooperation with Sid's mutant toys, Woody stages a rescue of Buzz and terrifies Sid into running away in fear of his own toys. But even after their efforts, the two miss Andy's car as it drives away to his new house.
Climbing onto the moving truck, they attract the attention of Scud, Sid's dog, and Buzz sacrifices himself to save Woody by tackling the dog. Woody attempts to rescue Buzz with Andy's RC. The other toys in the moving van mistakenly believe Woody is attempting to get rid of another toy, and toss Woody onto the road with Buzz. The toys spot Woody riding on RC with Buzz, realize their misjudgment, and try to help them back into the truck, but RC's batteries become depleted, and Woody and Buzz are left behind. Woody then realizes that he can ignite the rocket Sid put on Buzz's back, and manages to toss RC into the moving truck just as Woody and Buzz go soaring into the air. Buzz manages to free himself from the rocket, and he and Woody glide in the air until they land safely inside Andy's car.
On Christmas Eve at the new house, a reconciled Buzz and Woody stage another reconnaissance mission to prepare for the new toy arrivals. As Woody wonders what gift may be worse than Buzz, a bark is heard downstairs; Andy has received a puppy, something which leaves Woody and Buzz feeling uneasy.