Tin Toy commentary with Director John Lasseter, Modeler Eben Ostby and Producer/Modeler Bill Reeves.


  • (music playing)
  • LASSETER: Tin Toy was created in 1988 for SIGGRAPH again. Um, the origins of Tin Toy was from... I was watching home video that my sister, Joanna, had taken of my nephew, Timmy. And he was an incredibly cute little baby and she sat him on a blanket and surrounded him by his favorite toys and just shot like a half an hour of, of him playing with his toys. And he would take toys and then drool on them and smash them on the ground and drool on them and throw it and, and I thought, "Oh, he's so cute." But imagine being a toy, this cute baby would actually be like a monster. (GASPS) And I just thought, "Oh, there's a story idea." And so I went into Bill's office and Bill, you had just had your, your daughter...
  • REEVES: Yeah.
  • LASSETER: ...Julia.
  • REEVES: Julia was born in '86, but she had just gotten to about this age. You know, was starting to crawl or having crawled a little bit. Yeah, I mean, but it was the right time for...
  • LASSETER: And so he was completely into babies, so um, so I pitched this idea to him and he got all excited and it was really quite a technical effort to try to, to do, uh, to do a human character. It's something we had never done before and hadn't been done too much in computer animation before. And so we took a lot of um... You know, Julia came in an awful lot and we were studying her toes and her fingers. And, and all like that. And so we, we started building the, the model and it was the first, the first time we had really... Bendable...
  • REEVES: Tried to do bendable arms and knees and...
  • LASSETER: Surfaces.
  • REEVES: Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and then the whole facial stuff we tried to do. Maybe a lot...
  • OSTBY: You built... You built a whole bunch of new programs just to be able to do this...
  • REEVES: Yeah.
  • OSTBY: ...this baby.
  • REEVES: Yeah. It was the whole...
  • LASSETER: Little facial animation. It's our first real face, facial animation that had, had been done. Um, and... So out of this also came the first, first time we had ever done toys being alive, um, which has since, it was really the origins of Toy Story. Um... And, and throughout this, through all the short films we... The sound has been done by Gary Rydstrom out at Skywalker Sound. And this was kind of a gift to him. Originally, we were coming up with ideas for what the tin toy would be like. I had a big toy collection and I had just been over to Japan and visited the Yokohama Tin Toy Museum. And, and I was really inspired by doing a kind of old-style tin toy. You could do almost anything you wanted. So we came up with the idea to do a one-man band kinda as a gift for Gary so that... And he, I think, spent more time on the sound of, of, of Tin Toy than he did on all of Cocoon 2 which was... He was doing the sound design at the end. But... This has probably... This also has one of the biggest laughs of any movie we've ever made. Is when Tinny, the little tin toy, goes under the couch and then he looks up and, and you see all the toys that are gathered around under the couch.
  • OSTBY: Can we get everybody in the company to build a toy? So everybody contributed their own toy.
  • REEVES: Yeah. Everybody...
  • LASSETER: Right.
  • REEVES: ...who wanted, had a little bit of time...
  • LASSETER: Yeah, yeah.
  • REEVES: ...took off, off hours to build a character. Yeah.
  • LASSETER: Um, it, it was very satisfying from a storytelling standpoint because, um... It was a big laugh at that point because it all of a sudden explained to everybody in the audience, all of the adults, as to why toys end up under couches and under beds and under... You know, away from the toys and you'd lose them for months at a time. Well, it's because they want to go there because kids tend to, you know, drool on toys and stuff. And I think the audience really understood that for the first time.
  • REEVES: Oh, and this is also that the whole motivation of Tinny coming back out, you know...
  • LASSETER: Right.
  • REEVES: ...and wanting to...
  • LASSETER: To make the baby feel, feel better. And then the tables are turned to where, you know, the, the baby, of course, is far more interested in the package that the toy comes in and the bag that, that he comes in than, than the toy itself. And now Tinny is, is... The roles are reversed and Tinny starts chasing and following the baby to try to get the, the baby's attention again.
  • (Tinny's instruments make noise)
  • REEVES: Remember how those... The baby looked to him on the first couple times coming out of my software? (LAUGHS)
  • LASSETER: Yeah. It was pretty scary.
  • REEVES: John was about ready to pitch a new idea for a film for the first couple times that I started showing him pictures. That was pretty scary.
  • LASSETER: Yeah. Well, one of, one of the challenges was really trying to, to find a caricatured human. You know, and making it more cartoony than realistic and finding that balance, you know. But, you know, it worked, it worked well for the story 'cause it was supposed to be a baby monster, you know. And it still, and it still entertains audiences and this film went on to win an Academy Award. So we're very proud of that.
  • Billy: Mmm... Buh-boy.

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