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The Return of Buzz Lightyear And Woody
Creating a sequel to one of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time is a daunting undertaking, but for John Lasseter and the creative team, the challenge was well worth it. It gave them a chance to work with established characters that they knew and loved as well as to create a cast of fresh new characters that would complement and add to the story possibilities. Ironically, some of the key plot points for the sequel (the garage sale, the kidnapping, the obsessive toy collector, a squeak toy penguin, etc.) date back to the development of the first feature. Lasseter hatched the idea for "Toy Story 2" one day over lunch with his colleague Pete Docter (who received a story credit on the first film). Andrew Stanton, who helped create the story and screenplay for the original "Toy Story" and went on to write and co-direct "A Bug's Life" with Lasseter, helped to flesh out the story and characters with a draft of the screenplay. A trio of other screenwriters — Rita Hsiao ("Mulan"), Doug Chamberlin & Chris Webb — are also credited with adding structure and dimension to the final film. Story development for the sequel officially began in the spring of 1996.

Lasseter notes, "The most exciting part about 'Toy Story 2' is that we get to see Buzz and Woody again. In making the first film, we created these characters and got to know them so well that by the end of the production they were our friends. When the film played around the world, audiences came to love them as much as we did and they became popular beyond the boundaries of the movie. It's been so much fun to go back to these friends of ours and create a new adventure for them.

"When we were done with the first film," he continues, "we felt that there were so many more ideas and stories with these toys being alive that we hadn't dealt with. One of those was the notion of a toy being outgrown by its child. If you're lost, you can be found and everything will be okay. If you're broken, you can be fixed. But for a toy, being outgrown is the worst thing that can happen. That's it."

Another idea for the sequel came from Lasseter's personal experiences as a toy collector. He explains, "I have five sons and my four little ones love to come to Daddy's office and play with my toys. A lot of them are antiques and one-of-a-kind items. I love my boys and I wanted them to play with these toys, but I found myself saying, 'No, no, you can't play with that one. Oh, here play with this one instead.' And as I looked at myself I began laughing because toys are manufactured and put on this earth to be played with by a child. That is the essence of 'Toy Story 2' and the core of the toys being alive. Everything that prevents them from being played with by a child causes them anxieties in their life."

Drawing on a talented group of storytellers, the plot for "Toy Story 2" began to take shape. Screenwriter Andrew Stanton observes, "Our responsibility as writers is to analyze the story, discover the truth and utilize it. The hardest part of writing a feature is to come up with characters that are 3-dimensional and worth spending time with for the entire film. You pretty much spend every waking minute until the thing is in the can trying to make sure you've done it right. In the case of a sequel, I already knew who the characters were. It was great because I could sit there and go, 'Oh well, Buzz would say this' and 'Woody would say that.' There's three balls that you have to juggle when you're writing — plot, character and what I call drive, the thing that keeps an audience interested. With the main characters a

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