BEWARE: SPOILERS FOR TOY STORY 4 AT END OF ARTICLE
Now that the fourth film in the Toy Story franchise has been released, it is time to look at the whole story as told in the movies. Let’s take a look at the story of Toy Story:
Toy Story (1995)
In Toy Story we meet the cowboy doll Woody, who’s the leader of a group of toys of a child called Andy. Notable other toys are Rex, Hamm, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head and Bo Peep (Woody’s love interest, we’ll get back to her later). Woody is the notable leader of the group and Andy’s favorite toy. That all changes once Buzz Lightyear arrives, the cool new toy every kid wants to have! Woody is jealous of Buzz’s status and gets even more annoyed by the fact that Buzz thinks he is a real Space Ranger, not a toy. Due to an accident, Buzz gets thrown out of the window when Andy gets to choose one toy he can take with him to Pizza Planet (which always seemed like one of the coolest restaurants ever to me).
Woody goes with Andy, but meets Buzz during the way there and they get into a fight, leaving them both left behind. They catch a ride on a Pizza Planet truck (which we are going to see again in a lot of Pixar movies later) and try to catch up with Andy, but get caught by Sid instead. Sid is Andy’s neighbor who loves to destroy toys in the most gruesome way. Whilst at Sid’s house, Woody and Buzz reconcile and Buzz finally realizes that he is a toy and that they should go back to Andy. The only problem is, Buzz is strapped to a rocket and is due to be blown up. Woody, with the help of Sid’s deformed toys, rescues him and teaches Sid a lesson about playing with toys along the way. Buzz and Woody make it back to Andy and have started a friendship that will last throughout the rest of the movies.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
The second film starts off once again in Andy’s room. Woody is going to cowboy camp with Andy, but due to an accident during one of Andy’s play sessions, Woody’s arm gets torn and has to stay on the shelf at home when Andy leaves. Woody notices Wheezy on the shelf with him, an old toy from Andy with a broken squeaker that Andy’s mom would fix. Wheezy and Woody notice a yard sale being prepared by Andy’s mom and Wheezy is one of the toys that gets taken to it. Woody manages to rescue him, but gets taken by a toy collector named Al. It turns out that Woody is a rare toy based on an old TV show and is part of a set along with Bullseye (his trusty horse), Jessie (a cowgirl) and Stinky Pete (The prospector, who has never been taken out of his box). During his time with these toys, Woody begins to accepts that Andy isn’t getting any younger and that it might be better to stay with them, as the set is going to be send to a museum in Tokyo to be adored for the rest of their lives.
Meanwhile at Andy’s room, Buzz Lightyear (along with Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Rex and Hamm) are going to rescue Woody and bring him home. When they find him at Al’s apartment, Woody initially refuses to go but changes his mind later, urging the rest of the set to come with him. The prospector (who got himself out of his box) prevents them from leaving and Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and himself are put in a suitcase and taken towards the airport. Buzz and the gang follow them in a Pizza Planet truck (you see, it shows up again in this film as well) eventually catching up with them at the luggage department of the airport. The prospector gets his comeuppance and gets taken by a girl who loves to decorate her toys and Jessie and Bullseye go with Woody, Buzz and the rest to live a happy life with Andy.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 starts of several years later after the end of Toy Story 2. Andy is all grown up and is going to college. He hasn’t played with his toys for years and has already sold (or donated) a lot of them, including Woody’s love interest Bo Peep. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Mr and Mrs. Potato Head, Slinky, Rex, Hamm and three Alien figures from Pizza Planet are the only toys that are left. When Andy has to clean up his room, the toys accidentally get thrown out (except Woody, who Andy wants to take with him to college) but they manage to escape before being crushed in a garbage truck. Feeling betrayed, the gang decides to jump in the car with Andy’s mom, who’s going to take some old toys to Sunnyside Daycare.
Woody gets in the car with them, to convince the group that it was an accident but they don’t believe him. Once the group gets into Sunnyside, they meet Lots O’ Huggin Bear, who runs the place. Woody leaves to get back to Andy, leaving the group behind in a playroom intended for toddlers, who leave them broken and dirty. Buzz, who believes that there has been a mistake, wants to talk to Lotso but gets captured and is reset to his factory setting, making him believe that he is a real Space Ranger again. Woody meanwhile gets taken by Bonnie, a girl who’s mom works a the daycare. She takes him home, where he meets her toys. They tell him the story of Sunnyside and that his friends are in grave danger. He decides to go back to rescue them.
Once he gets there, they create a plan to escape and try to reset Buzz, but they accidentally turn on his Spanish mode. The group almost make it out, but are stopped by Lotso and end up in a garbage bin that gets picked up and taken to the garbage dump (where Buzz gets back to his normal self). Whilst there the group gets betrayed by Lotso (who they earlier rescued from being shredded) and almost get incinerated but are saved by the three alien figures from Pizza Planet. The group get back to Andy, where Woody gets second doubts about going to college with him and writes a note for Andy to donate the toys to Bonnie. Andy does so and plays with the toys, alongside Bonnie, for one last time.
BEWARE: SPOILERS FOR TOY STORY 4 AHEAD
Toy Story 4 (2019)
That brings us to Toy Story 4, where the group is part of Bonnie’s toy collection for a while. Whilst most of the toys have successfully integrated in Bonnie’s playroom, Woody has had difficulties coping with the fact that he is no longer a child’s favorite toy. Bonnie has to go to her kindergarten orientation day, but is not allowed to bring a toy. Woody sneaks into her bag, where he sees that Bonnie is unhappy and ignored at kindergarten, leading him to gift her some objects of which she makes Forky. Whilst on the way home, Forky becomes alive and is distraught as he believes he is trash and not a toy. The family goes on a road trip in a van and Forky (who is now Bonnie’s favorite toy) and all the other toys are taken along. Whilst on the road, Forky trows himself out of the window, leading Woody to follow him.
On their way back to the family, they come across an old antique store where Woody sees Bo Peep’s old lamp. Once inside, they meet Gabby Gabby, an old toy who has a broken voice box and therefore has never been played with. She wants Woody’s voice box, which he refuses and he escapes, whilst Forky gets taken hostage. Meanwhile, Buzz is heading towards the same antique store in order to save Woody. He ends up as a price at a fun fair, where he meets Ducky and Bunny, who go along with him once he escapes. At the same time, Woody is reunited with Bo Peep at the same fun fair. She has been an independent toy for several years now, helping other toys to find owners. She agrees to help Woody retrieve Forky and Buzz (along with Ducky and Bunny) meet up with them.
The group get to the antique store, where they manage to rescue Forky. Gabby Gabby explains her story to Woody, who agrees to give her his voice box. Woody, Buzz and Forky need to get back to to the van and travel across the fun fair to get there. Gabby gabby gets taken by a girl who is lost, and has finally found the love she always desired. Once Woody, Forky, Buzz, Bo, Ducky and Bunny reach the van, Woody hesitates to go with them. He decides to stay with Bo Peep, to help other toys and he parts ways with all of his friends.
So that is the story of Toy Story. However if you want to watch even more Toy Story, there are a lot of short movies about Toy Story as well. For instance, there are Toy Story treats, which were broadcasted during commercial breaks at ABC in the 90’s. Check them out!