Script To Screen: “Toy Story”

October 30th, 2013 by

The opening scene from the 1995 movie Toy Story, screenplay by Joss Whedon and Andrew Stanton and
Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow, story by John Lasseter and Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton and Joe Ranft.

FADE IN:

INT. ANDY'S BEDROOM

A row of moving boxes lie on the floor of the room.  They
are drawn up in crayon to look like a miniature Western town.
The bedroom is lined with cloud wallpaper giving the
impression of sky.

One of the boxes has a children's illustrated "WANTED"
poster of a Mr. Potato Head taped to it.

A MR. POTATO HEAD DOLL is set in front of the poster.  The
VOICE OVER of ANDY, a 6-year-old boy, can be heard acting
out all the voices of the scene.

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            Alright everyone, this is a stick-
            up!  Don't anybody move!  Now empty
            that safe!

A GROUP OF TOYS have been crowded together in front of the
"BANK" box.

Andy's hand lowers a CERAMIC PIGGY BANK in front of Mr.
Potato Head and shakes out a pile of coins to the floor.  Mr.
Potato Head kisses the coins.

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            Ooh!  Money.  Money.  Money.
                   (kissing noises)

A porcelain figurine of the shepherdess, BO PEEP, is brought
into the scene.

                         ANDY (AS BO PEEP)
            Stop it!  Stop it, you mean old
            potato!

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            Quiet Bo Peep, or your sheep get
            run over!

The companion porcelain sheep are placed in the center of a
Hot Wheels track loop.

                         ANDY (AS SHEEP)
            Heeeeelp!  BAAAAA!  Heeeelp us!

                         ANDY (AS BO PEEP)
            Oh, no!  Not my sheep!  Somebody do
            something!

WOODY, a pull-string doll cowboy, enters into the scene
opposite the inanimate spud.

Andy's hand pulls on the ring in the center of Woody's back.

                         WOODY (VOICE BOX)
            Reach for the sky.

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            Oh, no!  Sheriff Woody!!

                         ANDY (AS WOODY)
            I'm here to stop you, One-Eyed Bart.

Andy's hand pulls out one of Mr. Potato Head's eyes.

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            Doooooh!  How'd you know it was me!

                         ANDY (AS WOODY)
            Are you gonna come quietly?

                         ANDY (AS POTATO HEAD)
            You can't touch me Sheriff!  I
            brought my attack dog with a built-
            in force field!

Andy places a TOY DOG, with a SLINKY for a mid-section, in
front of Mr. Potato Head and stretches him out.

                         ANDY (AS WOODY)
            Well I brought my DINOSAUR, who
            eats force field dogs!!

Andy reveals a PLASTIC TYRANNOSAURUS REX, who stomps on the
Slinky Dog.

                         ANDY (AS DINOSAUR)
            AAAAR!  ROAR-ROAR-ROAR!

                         ANDY (AS SLINKY DOG)
            YIPE!  YIPE-YIPE-YIPE!

                         ANDY (AS WOODY)
            You're goin' to jail, Bart.

Andy picks up Mr. Potato Head and places him in a baby crib
in the room.

A cardboard sign is taped to the bars with the word "JAIL"
written in crayon.

                         ANDY (AS WOODY)
            Say good-bye to the wife and
            tatertots.

Andy's 1-year-old sister, MOLLY, crawls over and picks up Mr.
Potato Head.  She sucks on him for a beat then proceeds to
pound the toy repeatedly against the rail of her crib,
forcing some of his parts loose.

Andy, wearing a cowboy hat himself, picks up Woody off the
floor.

                         ANDY
                   (pulling Woody's string)
            You saved the day again, Woody.

                         WOODY (VOICE BOX)
            You're my favorite deputy.

Here is the movie version of the scene:

One thing about Pixar movies: They reflect almost beat for beat what is written in the script.

And while we’re at it, check out this live action version of the movie.

This is just one of many other live action iterations of Toy Story including some in different languages.

One of the single best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.

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