25 years of Toy Story: Pixar releases unseen early concept art – and it's delightful

Toy Story
(Image credit: Pixar)

It might feel like it's been around for infinity, but the original Toy Story film was released 25 (light) years ago today. The animated adventure featuring Woody, Buzz and countless more iconic characters hit screens in 1995, and Pixar itself has joined in the celebrations, sharing some delightful early concept art.

The sketches reveal original designs for toys including Woody, Buzz and Rex – and while some characters remained true to their early sketches, others ended up looking rather different. If you're looking for tips, our character design guide is packed with inspiration. 

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Woody (above) looks pretty unmistakeable, with that same friendly face fans have come to know and love. All that's missing is his signature hat, while the scarf around his neck is a little larger than the final design. 

Buzz Lightyear, however, looks rather different – the most noticeable difference being his tiny body (or is it just an extremely large head?). With his more well-proportioned body, the final Buzz Lightyear doesn't look quite as childish as this concept version – although we're loving the latter's appropriately smug expression. 

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The concept art also reveals a slightly more terrifying version of Rex the dinosaur (above), complete with razor-sharp teeth and claws. That perpetually worried expression is still there though, which suggests his hilariously incongruous anxiety was always part of the character. Along with the concept art, Pixar also shared a brand new 25th anniversary illustration (below) depicting many of Toy Story's most famous characters.

Toy Story illustration

Pixar shared a 25th anniversary illustration along with the concept art (Image credit: Pixar)

Disney+ has also got in on the action, insisting (below that the only appropriate way to celebrate the franchise's 25th anniversary is with a full, four-film marathon. The entire Toy Story series (along with every Pixar film) is available on the service – here's how to get 15% off Disney+.

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It's hard to believe that Toy Story is 25 years old – even by today's standards, many of the film's animated set-pieces are truly impressive. Even more impressive, though, is the amount of work that goes into them – as shown by these 8 mind-boggling facts about the making of Toy Story 4.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.