The evolution of Toy Story: How its animation style has changed over the years (video essay)

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

Toy Story through Toy Story 4, Pixar has revolutionized [sic] animation in its nearly three decades of existence. Each new movie requires new technical innovations. Monster’s Inc. helped them create fur, Ratatouille helped them create wet fur, and Finding Dory led them to create an octopus from scratch. In Toy Story 4 they updated Bo Peep, created Forky, and made perhaps the most realistic-looking cat you’ll ever see in animated form. (synopsis via Laughing Squid)

If you want a guide to just how far Pixar animated feature films have come over the last 24 years, take a look at Sid’s scary dog in Toy Story (1995) and then at the almost photo-realistic cat in the just-released Toy Story 4.

While Toy Story remains a masterpiece of animation, the fur on the dog bears no comparison to the luxuriant fur of the antique story cat in Toy Story 4 who honestly looks like it could off that film into a live action counterpart and no one would be any the wiser.

In an illuminating video essay which explores how many advances Pixar has made over 21 feature films, Insider talks about how important things like rendering are for animation, and how this one technique has improved in leaps and bounds, as has, courtesy of Monsters Inc. the way fur looks in cartoon form.

In essence, Pixar has come up with ever more inventive ways to tell its story, courtesy of amazing technical innovations which have allowed their uniquely heartfelt style of storytelling to really come alive and to keep entertaining us all, something that, with this kind of commitment, is likely to continue for many years to come.

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