• May 29, 2024

“Toy Story”: Flying into space, immensity

In 1995, Pixar, which Jobs still owned, produced the world’s first computer-animated film, Toy Story. The film grossed $357 million at the global box office and became the No. 1 film in North America that year.

It was Pixar’s first feature-length animation, and it set the stage for 27 years of creative ingenuity: 2002’s Monsters, Inc., 2007’s Wall-E, 2008’s Wall-E, 2013’s Monsters University, and 2022’s Metamorphosis of Youth… Toy Story opened a new chapter in 3D animation and laid a solid foundation for Pixar to become a god.

On June 17, the Chinese and English versions of Light-Year, an animated film spin-off from the Toy Story series, will be released simultaneously on streaming platforms. Would you, would you buy another ticket for childhood?

1. An epoch-making masterpiece

Some people say that Pixar is a creative land full of magic.

This is indeed true. For years, brilliant ideas and near-perfect technology made Pixar the leader in computer animation. Pixar’s president, Edwin Cat more, has said that he has confidence in his team and that he is not afraid of Pixar’s ideas leaking out, because he believes that no studio in Hollywood can clone Pixar’s unique culture.

In the early 1990s, the traditional 2D musical films represented by Disney gradually declined, and the market urgently needed new blood and new elements to impact the audience’s increasingly numb fatigue watching films.

At Pixar, no one had ever made a film longer than five minutes, and because it was the first computer-animated film, there was no guidance. At the time, the making of Toy Story was far more complicated than fans might have imagined.

The modeling of the characters in the film is rough, because the studio paid so much attention to the workmanship of the toys

After settling on a basic story, Pixar’s different special-effects teams began creating characters, sets, and props, then using computers to create three-dimensional models of them. Animators use control points on the model to refine the character’s movements and expressions. Woody, for example, has about 100 control points on his face alone.

Then the characters and props are placed in the scene, and different shots are taken with the virtual camera to capture the mood and the point of the story. Using software to control the character’s expressions and movements, the final stages are coloring, lighting, animation rendering and finishing touches.

The rendering alone required 117 computers to work 24 hours a day; Depending on the complexity of the time, each frame took anywhere from 45 minutes to 30 hours, or 1,800 minutes per frame on average; A total of 114,240 frames need to be rendered; The film runs for 81 minutes and contains 1,561 shots.

As the first fully computer-generated animation, each frame took between four and 13 hours to produce, depending on the simplicity of the shot. The system consists of 87 dual-CPU and 30 4-CPU Sparc workstations, and a Sparc1000 server.

To perfectly embody the movement of the toy soldiers, animators glued sneakers onto wooden boards and walked in them to find the feel.

It all had a certain “groundbreaking” feel to it, but Pixar did it, and for its relentless and relentless work, it won the 68th Academy Award for Special Achievement in 1996.

Watching the film 27 years later, its flaws are indeed numerous, including the distortion of human faces, the immaturity of the production and the dragging of the pace. However, it is the bold innovation of this film that has taken a solid and steady step for the production of many 3D animated films of later generations, and animated films have entered a new era.

2. The homage and reference of “American horror”

Toy Story is a utopian fantasy in which toys in a child’s room become human beings. Have you ever wondered what happens to the dolls on your pillow or in your box when you fall asleep? In this film, Pixar gives audiences just such a whimsical showcase.

Woody the Cowboy is Andy’s favorite toy, along with such toys as Shepherdess, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head and dinosaur. Until one day, space Ranger Buzz Light-year “enters” everyone’s life. Obviously, Buzz Light-year is more master Andy’s pet; feel out of favor Woody staged a “harem” drama.

One day, he staged a play in which he tried to trick Buzz Light-year by pushing him under a table. I didn’t think, but I accidentally pushed Buzz Light-year out the window. In the public criticism, Woody bravely jumped out of the window, launched a journey of self-redemption adventure.

I loved the scene when the two of them stumbled into the house of Andy’s mischievous neighbor kid Sid. Here, it’s hard to stare at a sinister scene: talons on springs, baby heads attached to robotic arms, doll legs attached to fishing rods…

The clever application of so many elements of the Uncanny Valley really left an indelible wound to me when I was young.

Toy Story is not a horror film, but it reminds me of the sophistication and production process of American horror (or Hollywood horror). Roughly speaking, in European and American movies, terror mainly comes from grim scenes, scary faces and jump scare.

Although the audience presented such a few acts of “children’s cult”, but there is no doubt that the educational color of the film is very rare.

For children, of course, cannot be left to chance. As parents, schools and even the society, we should step by step and allow him to be a bear, but also clarify the pros and cons. If he makes a mistake, he should be punished.

I think that after this living lesson, Sid and even the children in front of the screen will treat things around him, family and friends with a little more awe and a little more restraint in the future.

3. Embrace yourself and achieve perfection

I’m a good friend. You don’t have to worry about anything. The road is rough and difficult, to ten thousand miles to the door, you just think of me around you. I’m your friend! Oh, yes, I’m your friend! There are men more capable than I am, stronger than I am, strong enough to walk proudly, but none can love you like I do, to you without reservation. How many years, our fate is closely linked, our friendship is deeper. I’m your friend! Oh, yes, I’m your friend! I’m a good friend.

Toy Story tells a simple and simple story, and I think the most important thing that the story tells through the adventures of Woody and Buzz Light-year is that you should be happy with yourself.

Let’s start with Woody.

In the film, at the beginning, Woody feels self-centered. He is loved by his master Andy, trusted by his lover Bo Peep, and surrounded by a lot of small friends. Gradually, he loses himself in the “stars and stars supporting the moon”.

Buzz Light-year’s arrival, make him jealous, he is afraid that he slowly will not be loved, and then slowly into the cold palace. He had forgotten that his mission as a toy was to make people happy, and that the rest was a bonus. Just like becoming a celebrity, being famous is an accessory, while creating value for society is the means and the end. If you put the cart before the horse, you will only easily lose yourself in the illusion.

Fortunately, in his dealings with Buzz Light-year, he gradually understood that the gap between people is like the Mariana Trench as unbridgeable. He confesses to Buzz Light-year, “Any toy would love to be made to look like you. You have flying wings, you flash in the dark, and you can talk. Your helmet goes all over the place. You’re a cool toy. To be honest, you’re incredibly cool…”

Woody didn’t understand that he was cool, too, that he had lines that he had the cool, righteous look of a cowboy, and more importantly, that he had a brave heart that would do anything for a friend.

He did not know that the master was also worried about his safety, fearing that he would never be found again. In fact, he and the master already established a deep bond, he is the master’s toy, but also to the master’s childhood brought company and joy.

Or Buzz Light-year.

Buzz Light-year always thought he was a space ranger sent by headquarters to explore the outer planets, all the time; he is able to fly freely in the universe, save people as his mission. At the moment, it’s just that the ship crashed and the plan was temporarily put on hold.

Until he sees an advertisement in an amusement park and discovers that he is a mere replica of a thousand living things, that his body parts are “made in Taiwan,” and that his spaceship is a simple piece of cardboard.

He looked out at the birds and thought he would make one last bold attempt to fly out of the window. The reality was cruel. He fell hard to the ground and broke his arm.

Buzz Light-year realized: I’m not a space Ranger; I’m a toy, a stupid, insignificant toy…

He was like a walking corpse, soulless, self-indulging. It’s like a world view that you’ve always believed in, and it’s cracked by an external force with little effort, and in an instant, the edifice of faith is blown away in the sky.

Everyone has to be appreciated by others, a person who knows how to appreciate, will certainly be pleased with their own. Face their own failure; calm their own success, not to enjoy things, not to have sadness, the power to change the fate in their own hands.



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