Pixar Studios’ 3D animated features are known not only for their visual artistry, but for their superior storytelling, as well. Andrew Stanton gets top billing as the writer of just about every Pixar screenplay – Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Monsters, Inc. “I know. I didn’t mean to do that, but I’ll take it,” he chuckles, before pausing to consider the matter. “No, I think that’s truly been my strongest contribution to all the movies.”

To Stanton, writing an animated film is very different than writing a live-action feature. And, then again, it isn’t. “A big difference is that you are writing for a medium that is much more dependent on visuals – not that film itself isn’t a very visual medium, I don’t want to shortchange that – but there is definitely an understanding of what the strengths are in animation for your entertainment dollar… The biggest thing is that it’s a lot of pantomime … a lot of visual metaphors,” he explains. [Neuwirth. 2013:110-111]

“So much of Toy Story, from the writing to the execution of an effect, was driven by sheer desire to see something we had not seen in a log time: an animated movie that we were dying to see!” Andrew Stanton continues. “Whenever we would set our bar, we would set it for the favourite movies we had, not the favourite animated movies. We just said we’re gonna take that label off. And I think the desire was so palpable to just want to break that mold, to just make something better. There had to be room to make something better”. [Neuwirth. 2013:113]

Pixar is an animation company which started in 1979 and is part of the Disney Corporation. It is mostly credited with producing Toy Story as the first full length CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), it gave the permission to the industry not to hand draw every image. This was a very big change in attitude and technique which allowed animation to takes its next step in its creative journey.

Andrew Stanton is a Director, Screenwriter, Producer and Voice Actor and he co-wrote all the three Toy Story films. He talks about writing for animation is quite different than for live-action films and you are writing to enhance the visual effects that are the wow factor when an animated film is seen it the cinema.

I really appreciated when he explains there is a value added effect when using animation to get the most out of your entertainment dollar. He says that animation has a lot of visual metaphors which ties into the well known phrase ‘A Picture Paints A Thousand Words’.

Andrew Stanton has explains to us that much of Toy Story came about because the team working on the project wanted to see some think new or something they have not seen before and would excite the audiences.

The team at Pixar have managed to produce audience pleasing films that reflect a simple story that reflects verbal and visual originality, presented with technical brilliance with storytelling which has made us love the trilogy.


Neuwirth, A. (2013) Makin’ Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows And Movies. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xEctAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT2&dq=1581152698&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=1581152698&f=false (Accessed: 31 January 2017).