Tin Toy (1988)

Tin Toy (1988)


First CGI animation of a child , advanced story in a CGI film, first CGI film to win an Oscar

Video (HD 1080p)

CGI making of video


1) The third short film produced by the company's small animation division, it was a risky investment: due to low revenue produced by Pixar's main product (Whilew waiting to technology to allow them to made first CGI full lenght film,they wait and become a hardware company, with their Pixar Image Computer as the core product, a system primarily sold to government agencies and the scientific and medical community), the company was under financial constraints.

2) Tin Toy would later gain attention from Disney, who sealed an agreement to create Toy Story, which was primarily inspired by elements from Tin Toy.

3) The short premiered in a partially completed edit at the SIGGRAPH convention in August 1988 to a standing ovation from scientists and engineers. 

4) First CGI film to win an Oscar. With the award, Tin Toy went far to establish computer animation as a legitimate artistic medium outside SIGGRAPH and the animation-festival film circuit. Tin Toy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 2003.

5) In the spring of 1988, cash was running so short that Steve Jobs convened a meeting to decree deep spending cuts across the board. When it was over, Lasseter and his animation group were almost too afraid to ask Jobs about authorizing some extra money for another short. Finally, they broached the topic and Jobs sat silent, looking skeptical. The short would require close to $300,000 more out of his pocket. After a few minutes, he asked if there were any storyboards. Ed Catmull took him down to the animation offices, and Lasseter started his show. With the storyboards pinned on his wall, Lasseter did the voices and acted out the shots just as story men had done on the Disney lot for decades and thereby showed his passion for the project.The stakes here were much higher than before, however. Ralph Guggenheim, manager of the animation unit, recalled, "We knew that he wasn't just pitching for the film, he was pitching for the survival of the group." Jobs warmed up to the project and agreed to provide the money. "I believed in what John was doing," Jobs later said. "It was art. He cared, and I cared. I always said yes." His only comment at the end of Lasseter's presentation was, "All I ask of you, John, is to make it great".

6) The baby proved difficult to model and animate; "it just became an incredible burden," remembered Flip Phillips, a new member of the team at the time. In early attempts at a model of the baby's head, he appeared to have the face of a middle-aged man. The final version of the baby (known to the team as Billy) had a much-improved face with 40 separate facial muscles, but his skin had the look of plastic. When he moved, moreover, his body lacked the natural give of baby fat and his diaper had the solidity of cement - compromises made necessary by lack of time and the still developing technology.

7) Directed by John Lasseter (Luxo Jr.)

8) Realistic child animation is very hard to do (even just drawing), so its great achievement from Pixar to make the first arttempt.

9) Lasseter and his technical directors slept under their desks at times to get Tin Toy finished before SIGGRAPH in Atlanta in August 1988, but to no avail.