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As the fourth film in the Toy Story franchise, Pixar knew Toy Story 4 had to go above and beyond. Luckily for the 1,247 Pixar employees who worked on the film, technology has come quite a long way since the first Toy Story premiered in 1995.
When SYFY WIRE and other members of the press visited Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California, for a press day on all things Toy Story 4, we picked up quite a bit of information. Throughout the day of screenings and presentations, we learned about all the details that went into making the film. And, boy, are there a lot.
With Toy Story 4 advance tickets on sale today, we thought we'd break down the coolest and most important details we learned onset. Read on for more, and let us know in the comments what you're most excited to see in Toy Story 4.
Toy Story 4 premieres in theaters on June 21.
Pixar's artists built over 10,000 individual props for the antique mall featured in much of the film.
As overwhelming as that number might seem, there is a method to the madness in the antique mall. Different areas, referred to as "neighborhoods," are marked by different colored carpets, and each neighborhood has a specific ware or theme, ranging from "kitchen wares" to "shabby chic."
According to Rosie Cole, who works on modeling and set dressing at Pixar, the Toy Story 4 team took countless trips to antique malls in search of reference points and design ideas over the course of the two years that Pixar worked on the antique mall. They eventually settled on the Art Deco style you'll find throughout the mall and, over those two years, designed everything from the ground-up.
Oh, and the Easter eggs? Insane.
Hidden within those 10,000 props in the antique mall as well as beyond its walls are more Easter eggs than you can count.
Keep an eye out for a painting of the Up dogs playing poker, Merida's bow from Brave, miniatures of the guitar from Coco as a carnival prize, and many, many, many more.
It's all in the character details...
Everything from the ways the tiles on the outside of the antique mall don't fit quite right together to the subtle pilling on Woody’s clothing is taken into account.
It was important for the Toy Story 4 team to show not just how the world around these toys has aged, but the toys themselves, as well. Take a closer look at Buzz Lightyear, and you'll see the scratches across his suit and the way his stickers have faded and bubbled up over time. These toys are well-cared for, but showing how much they’ve been loved by first Andy and now Bonnie requires them to age in their own special toy ways.
And then there's Bo Peep, who was redesigned from the ground-up for Toy Story 4. The team in charge of working on Bo paid particular attention to the fact that she's made of porcelain, which includes noticing the way the glaze across her body has cracked and changed over time and how easy it would be for her to break an arm (hence the bandages).
The new Bo is a combination of the most badass women in fiction and real life.
When redesigning Bo and considering how she might move, look, and fight, Team Bo looked to several specific characters and real-life inspirations.
Those characters and people include Star Wars' Rey, the Bride from the Kill Bill films, and Dottie from A League of Their Own, as well as dancer Sharna Burgess, gymnast Aly Raisman, and various bo staff martial artists and spear throwers.
The toys are 'safe' when it's dirty.
In the Toy Story world, it's important that humans not know toys are sentient. Imagine the chaos that would ensue. So, in places such as the antique mall, toys have to know where it’s safe to roam without fear of being seen. That's where much of this detail comes into play. When there’s a layer of dust on the ground or cobwebs clinging to corners, that likely means it's unreachable or unnoticed by humans, which is why it hasn't been cleaned — think beams on the ceiling or the hard-to-reach spaces under cabinets.
A.I. spiders are Pixar's best friends.
Cobwebs are actually a new element in Toy Story 4 never before seen in any of the previous installments. Applying a similar technology to that used to render hair or grass blades, Pixar developed a new software to create cobwebs. What resulted were "artificial intelligence spiders" that could make cobwebs with the clicks of a few buttons.