Study Guide

Toy Story Screenwriter


Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Solokow, Joss Whedon

Since Toy Story went through tons o' changes while it was being developed, that meant there were more than a few writers with names attached to the script.

Andrew Stanton (who would go on to write other Pixar hits like A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., Finding Nemo, and Wall-E) penned the script along with Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (who's claim to fame before being hired to work on Toy Story was writing and directing a musical comedy based on the song "Monster Mash").

Afterwards, Joss Whedon (you might know him from fan favorites like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and a little blockbuster called The Avengers came in to do rewrites on the whole thing over the course of several months.

Yup. This story was one big ol' group effort. And it all paid off when these four screenwriters were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for their work on Toy Story.

Alec Sokolow recounts being a struggling screenwriter with a pregnant wife and only $11 in his bank account:

It was truly a low point as we went to the pawn shop on Saturday so we could buy eggs — without a doubt probably one of the worst moments of my life. Eight months later, Toy Story came out and I was at the Academy Awards and dancing with my wife at the Governor's ball. (Source)

See? Dreams do come true. Just a side note for all you aspiring writers out there—rewrites are your friend.

P.S. Curious about the method to their madness over at Pixar? To this day, they actually have a set of 22 rules that their story team must follow. We've gotta say, we think it's served them pretty well so far. Check it out.

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