“It almost didn’t happen. It almost fell apart on Nov. 19, 1993 — a date that the makers of Toy Story refer to as Black Friday.
That was the day a creative team from Pixar Animation Studios brought to their bosses at Disney, who had already agreed to back the Toy Story project, a collection of story reels — filmed storyboards edited into a photoplay over a rough soundtrack. The reels of Toy Story presented on Black Friday were hardly the rollicking light fare that opened to $39 million and critical raves over Thanksgiving weekend. In those reels, the movie was a flat, unexciting endeavor, in which the toy heroes Buzz Lightyear and Woody the cowboy were sarcastic, contrary, unlikable sorts — not the kind of figures children would embrace, much less pick off the shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us. And despite the bouncy vocal tracks supplied by Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz, the awkward chemistry between the two main characters, who vie for supremacy over a child’s roomful of toys, was apparent to everyone in the room.”