"To infinity and beyond!"
The iconic catchphrase made famous by Buzz Lightyear debuted back in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, which made history by becoming the very first computer-animated feature film. Since then, the Toy Story franchise has proved to not only be one of the most beloved animated franchises but also one of the most influential. With the release of Lightyear on June 17, here's how to watch every Toy Story movie.
The film that started it all. Toy Story introduces Andy’s toys Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and many other characters that would become mainstays of the franchise. After Woody inadvertently knocks new toy Buzz Lightyear out of a window, the toys go on a journey to get back home. The film was a huge hit at the box office, becoming one of the highest grossing films of the year. Toy Story also remains as one of the most highly acclaimed animated films ever released.
The Oscar for Best Animated Feature did not exist at the time (it was introduced in 2002), but the film was nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Original Screenplay, Best Score and Best Song for Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me"). Toy Story did, however, win a Special Achievement Academy Award "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film."
Picking up sometime after the events of the first film, Toy Story 2 has Andy heading off to summer camp and leaving Woody behind. Through a series of hijinx involving a yard sale, Woody is stolen by an avid collector and Buzz Lightyear is forced to lead a group of toys to get him back. Toy Story 2 expanded the world of the franchise, featuring far more locations outside of Andy's room, including Al's Toy Barn. The film also introduced a bevy of new characters, including Jessie (Joan Cusack).
Like its predecessor, Toy Story 2 was a huge hit at the box office, becoming one of the highest grossing films of 1999. Randy Newman was once again nominated for the Best Song Oscar, this time for "When She Loved Me."
Toy Story 3 represents a change in the status quo for the franchise. Released in 2010, the film follows Andy as he prepares to go off to college and leave behind the toys that we know and love. When the group of toys are accidentally donated to a local daycare center, they soon come to realize that the head toy there, Lotso (Ned Beatty), may not be as welcoming as he seems.
Toy Story 3 represents the "end" of the storyline that started all the way back in 1995, and provided an emotional good-bye between Andy and the toys. The film was a colossal hit, making over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Toy Story 3 received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film won three Oscars, including Best Animated Feature and Best Song for Randy Newman's "We Belong Together."
In 2019, Woody and Buzz returned. When their new owner, Bonnie, and her family go on a road trip, she decides to bring the beloved gang of toys along with her. Along for the ride is Bonnie’s newest toy, Forky (Tony Hale), that she made at school. While on the road trip, Woody tries to teach Forky how to be a proper toy, and all about the joys of being loved by a child. But Woody's world is turned upside down when he reunites with Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who he hasn't seen since the years preceding Toy Story 3.
The fourth installment brings back the "road trip" element of Toy Story 2, featuring locations such as an RV park, a carnival, and a spooky antique shop, all while tying up loose ends left behind by previous installments. The release of Toy Story 4 marked the end of the franchise, but left the door open for potential future installments. The film was yet another massive hit, once again bringing in over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Animated Feature and Best Song for Randy Newman's "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away." Toy Story 4 won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
What to Watch: Beyond Infinity: Buzz and the Journey to Lightyear on Disney+
The first theatrical spin-off in the franchise, Lightyear is presented as a blockbuster movie that takes place within the Toy Story universe. Fans of the franchise will learn all about the "real" space ranger that inspired the toy, as Buzz Lightyear attempts to make his way home after being marooned on a hostile planet where an army of evil robots threaten the safety of the galaxy.
Featuring the voices of Chris Evans (as Buzz), Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, James Brolin, Uzo Aduba and Bill Hader, Lightyear marks Pixar's first domestic theatrical release since 2020's Onward.