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  • The third notable short from everyone's favourite 3D animation studio (or fourth, if you're generous to 'Andre and Wally B'), 'Tin Toy' came about when Pixar were clearly gaining more confidence and expertise in their technical field, following 'Luxo Jr' and 'Red's Dream', two very simple but effective shorts revolving around inanimate object characters. Usually credited as the forerunner to the excellent 'Toy Story', 'Tin Toy' is a worthy predecessor even if it has long since been surpassed by the likes of Woody, Buzz and Mr Potato Head, and very enjoyable as a stand-alone film.

    Unlike the following year's 'Knick Knack' (made famous once again by its recent theatrical coupling with 'Finding Nemo'), the animation isn't quite so timeless in all regards that it could easily pass as an animated short made in this day and age, but it's not too far off. There are many aspects which sport real flair and improvement over their previous efforts, but others which are only too telling of the limitations the studio was currently facing.

    No complaints with Tinny, the 'tin toy' of the title - he's a very charismatic creation indeed, and extremely well-animated. This being a non-dialogue film, it's up to his facial expressions to do the talking, and they do it well – awe, confusion, pleasure, terror, empathy – rendering him another very memorable and sympathetic character in Pixar's canon, and at the same time setting the ball rolling for the wider range of emotions that would later immortalise the heroes of 'Toy Story'. The human baby, on the other hand, is the short's biggest visual weakness - a bold attempt to combine 3D animation with real human mannerisms, something which it isn't entirely successful in (compared to the vivid realism of all his inorganic co-stars, this chunky little infant can't help but stick out like a sore thumb). Some of his actions are nicely rendered, particularly the drooling and sneezing (pure gold), but on the whole he does look and move rather awkwardly - so, while a good effort, the end result there is a little patchy.

    Once again, it's the original and surprisingly powerful story that we can really thank for still making this short such stellar viewing today - proving very thoroughly that plot and character are always the wisest investments. 'Tin Toy' presents us with a toy's eye-view of a curious new world that initially seems very inviting, but soon reveals a much more unsettling reality that all local toys live in fear of. Even something as benign and innocent as a human baby from our usual POV can seem positively terrifying from the perspective of a small toy, as this short deftly captures. Its overall air, however, is very sweet, gentle and endearing, and has enough basic charm to be a real winner in the feel-good field.

    And I got the message well enough too - sometimes there better solutions to our problems than just running and hiding from them.

    Grade: A-
  • It's wonderful to watch a short animated film like Tin Toy and then watch one like Geri's Game or For The Birds, because you can really see how far Pixar has come over the years. In Toy Story, one of the things that they never got quite right was the look of human faces, but it is clear after watching Tin Toy that they have really improved in that area as well. What you have in Tin Toy is an extremely simple story of a new toy that is at first fascinated but soon understandably horrified by the hideously misshapen baby that he sees terrorizing toys all around him. Besides foreshadowing a huge amount of the plot of the later Toy Story, this short film also contains a lot of symbolism and adheres to a story structure that dates back to medieval literature.

    This baby is the representation of the horrible monster that can be found in stories around the world, holding people in horrible fear under its control, waiting for some hero to come along and rescue them. The heroic tin toy spends a few minutes fleeing from the horrifying baby (whose approach is far more fearful than ANY Tyranosaurus Rex), but then when the massive baby falls and begins to cry, the toy realizes his purpose and goes out to amuse the baby ("You're a cool toy!"). Okay, this part never really happened in any of the classic romances where people are held captive by a huge monster, but this is where the film turns from the classic story structure and begins to concentrate on the reality of modern children.

    One of the more appealing things about this short film is the closeness with which it portrays real children (although they were horribly far off on the physical appearance). Even the child's momentary pause before sneezing is surprisingly realistic, but there are also behavioral things that are captured here, such as the notorious habit of children becoming more interested in the box that their toy came in than they are in the toy itself. Pixar clearly started off early depicting the interests and behaviors of children on screen, and their films have progressed enormously from short films like this one. Tin Toy is not terribly remarkable compared to the later films from Pixar, but from shorts like Tin Toy it can be seen that they have always worked very closely within this particular genre, which is likely a good reason why they are now making children's films that easily rival even the classic Disney masterpieces.
  • 'Tin Toy' is a wonderful piece of computer animation. It's especially interesting to view after looking at Pixar's 'Toy Story' which was made several years later. I like to see this film as a new twist on the giant monster movie. Here the monster is a drooling baby in pursuit of a wind up toy. The baby stomps around the room with the grace of Godzilla (which is to say no grace at all). Often seeing the baby from the little toy's point of view helps create this monster movie feel as well. This is a hilarious film, with an ending that's all too true to life.
  • "Tin Toy" is a simple short with only two main characters. A little tin toy band member that walks around and plays the symbols is the protagonist, and the destructive little baby is the antagonist. It's a simple story that follows the very childlike statement that "You don't want something unless someone else does." and vice versa.

    A little tin toy is lonely. A baby crawls into the room and the tin toy can't wait for the baby to play with it. Soon it finds out this baby is a destructive force, tearing apart and drooling on everything it sees. The tin toy has several changes of heart which end in a bit of a twist ending.

    This is one of Pixar's earliest shorts, and the animation is far from perfect. It doesn't have the fluidity seen in their later productions, but you can't blame them, this was '80s computer animation. One thing that Pixar has kept over the years it's their perfect way of portraying emotion. Just through little movements of the face, they give great emotion, which is what this short relies on, as there is no dialogue. It's a good and sweet natured short.

    My rating: *** out of ****. 5 mins.
  • This Academy Award winning animated short is about some little toys and their efforts to avoid a very rough and drooling baby. While the story is very simple, it's quite funny and worth a look--especially if you want to see what old-school CGI looks like.

    If you see this film today and know nothing about the history of computer generated animation, then you will probably not be all that impressed. After it all, while entertaining and cute, you may focus on just how ugly and unrealistic the baby is in the short film--not realizing just how much effort it took to make this ground-breaking film. You must realize that all this was made before the Windows operating system was available. There were no Pentium processors--nor even 486 processors. Heck, even the ancient 386s were too new to have been of much use to the Pixar folks. Instead, this was the product of huge computers with rendering software developed by Pixar on whopping big computers. This was also years before their first full-length film, TOY STORY. Technology-wise, it was just a short jump from Pixar's first releases, such as LUXO JR. or RED'S DREAM. In light of all this, then this animated short is brilliant and deserving of great praise. Give this one a look!
  • This animated short is about the constantly changing interaction between a toy marching band figure and a baby.

    The story is simple but engaging. The marching figure has a mind of its own, first avoiding the terrible baby who terrorises toys (and even the boxes of the toys). When the baby cries, the marching figure decides that he has sympathy and compassion, and bravely goes back out to cheer the baby up. I got alarmed when the baby puts a bag on his head, and I was lifted up by the bravery of the marching figure.

    The animation looks sub standard in modern day standards, but when I look back twenty years ago, the 2D animations I watched when I was a child were nowhere as good as this.
  • kamerad2 July 2002
    With "Tin Toy", Lasseter pushes the boundaries further than he did with "Luxo Jr.". The character of Tinny has truly believable facial expressions including joy, fear and puzzlement. I especially like the part when Tinny first comes out of the box and sees the baby put another toy in his mouth. The horrified look on Tinny's face is a priceless comic moment. True, the baby doesn't look quite right (at least it sounds cute), but I think Lasseter did the best he could with the technology of the time. I still felt bad for the baby when he fell down. After all, ugly or not, he is just a baby!
  • I still think cartoons, or "animated short features" as some call them, should be funny, unless you know in advance you are going to get a "message," such as moral one or a politically- slanted one

    I say that because many of these modern-day cartoons seem to be concerned with showing how clever they can be instead just plain "yuks," if you will. I am not knocking this particular effort: it's certainly different, but it wasn't that funny. If anything, at times, it was almost scary, at least if you sat and openly rooted for the little toy soldier which, I presume, we all did. It certainly showed how little babies, in their youthful ignorance, can be a little too rough with things. Ask your little dog or cat, if you have any doubts.

    What was very well done to me were the camera angles and facial expressions that made this little baby almost look like a terrifying Godzilla-like monster. I guess he would look like that if you were a little toy and were human. Babies can play rough! I don't know if we needed a "cartoon," however, to illustrate that fact. All of us already know that, don't we?

    Yes, this was "clever," but give me Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Felix The Cat or Pink Panther cartoon any day, something that will make me laugh out loud. Save the "executed brilliantly" and "gives us a wide range of emotions" movies to the feature films.
  • "Tin Toy" is one of Pixar's earliest films that has something to do with one of their first movie "Toy Story." The story is this: A toy soldier (well, it's more of a one-man band, wind-up toy) meets a baby who tries to eat him.

    The computer animation is pretty good. The baby looks pretty bad, but the light and shadows look realistic. The toys look good too.

    The film isn't too funny however. It's a nice start for Pixar, but I would recommend "Luxo Jr." and "For the Birds" over it.


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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Tin Toy" is an enjoyable early Pixar short and surprisingly the only Academy Award for Pixar guru John Lasseter so far. It's the fourth film from the company and Lasseter's third. In some ways, this can be described as a toy story as well as not only the lead-character is a toy brought to life, but also there's some other similarities, like the toys hiding under the bed felt like they could have been taken right out of the Toy Story universe.

    The premise was very simple here, but smart execution and character animation makes this short film a good one. It's funny how the relationship from the toy to the baby changes so frequently in only slightly over five minutes. From attention-seeking, to joy, to fear, to full panic-mode, to sympathy and finally back to attention-seeking. Pixar's attention to detail (down to insignificant additions like the baby's freckles) fully shines in this one and was truly deserving of the Oscar win. I like it more than the other two nominees and even 25 years later, it's still pretty entertaining. A must-watch for animation enthusiasts.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I first saw this short on YouTube but someone had changed the sound effects and music. Whilst renting the first volume of Pixar shorts on DVD, I got the chance to watch it with the genuine music and sound effects.

    Although the music is sparse, I liked the opening piece of classical music that I'd heard before as well as the random tunes the one man band toy plays and the sound effects are realistic, especially the baby's babbling, giggling and crying. The toys are cute and brightly coloured but the baby looks somewhat creepy and moves roughly at times. I even saw this short as earlier versions of the 'Toy Story' franchise and 'One Man Band.' The plot is rather straightforward if not as easy to follow in other Pixar shorts such as 'Knick Knack (my favourite of the 80s Pixar shorts)' and 'Geri's Game' to a certain extent.

    To sum up, this is another decent early Pixar short for its time. 8/10.
  • Although some of their features/short films are better than others, anything by Pixar by my standards is worth watching. Tin Toy is one of their early efforts, and while not one of their best short films like Geri's Game or Presto it is definitely worth watching. The animation is not terrible, but their more later efforts had a more sophisticated look. There are some nice colours, and Tinny is beautifully done with dead-on facial expressions, but fluidity is lacking at times and the baby is more scary than cute. The music is beautiful though, there are a few amusing moments amidst the more compassionate tone and the characters are engaging with Tinny being one of the Pixar title characters I identify most with. Overall, definitely worthwhile, but Pixar have done better in my view. 8/10 Bethany Cox
  • This is an incredible short in many ways! The computer graphics are great and the storyline is very well-developed and executed brilliantly. This is a most innocently destructive toddler-in other words, a typical baby. As anyone who has spent time in the company of a toddler knows, they are a force of nature not unlike Godzilla! This one here is more qualified than most. Atilla the Baby, as it were. My sympathies lie with the toy. Phenomenal piece of work worth hunting for. Wholeheartedly recommended. He shoots, he scores!
  • Lasseter as director, anthropomorphic toys and a nightmarishly destructive baby. Yes, Tin Toy was what Disney desired after it won Pixar's first Oscar and acted as the primary inspiration for the much beloved 'Toy Story'. Again, much like with 'Red's Dream', there are several aspects which are admirable and others that proved too challenging at the time. The star of the short, Tinny the one-man band player, is the crowning glory. Beautifully rendered with fluid computer animation where a layer of gloss acts as a reflective surface, allowing another level of aesthetic detail. The environmental scenery, that of a lounge, is full of texture and vibrancy (given the limitations of technology back in 1988). The story is short, sharp and sweet, profoundly more optimistic and fun in comparison to the melancholic 'Red's Dream'. The difficult challenge was animating a human baby, relying on several facial muscle movements to express emotion. Alas, it's aged incredibly badly. The body movement was jagged and unnatural, the skin looked plastic and overall is enough to give anyone nightmares. Indicating that technology and time were factors that became a detriment to this particular model. And as always, these shorts are nearly instantly forgettable, acting as a proof of concept as opposed to an endearing narrative. However, Tin Toy established computer animation as a legitimate art, and so for that I am thankful for Lasseter and his team of animators.
  • gavin694211 November 2015
    So this was "Toy Story" before the film was fully realized. How interesting. Today, it looks pretty choppy, especially the baby and its diaper. That is a creepy kid. But I was around in the 1980s as computers were really starting to blossom, and there is no way we could have made a cartoon like this. These guys really changed the industry, and this short is a great example of how. I am not the least surprised that it won an Oscar. It deserved to.

    Now, whether or not that baby is Andy, I don't know. It looks like the credits say his name is Billy, so unless there's some retcon action going on, it must be a different kid. Not that it matters.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is yet another good early Pixar short. This is known to be an earlier version of Toy Story. And has some good improvements on the animation. Contains 2 main characters and some extras as well.

    One is a Tin Toy named Tinny, and the other is a Baby who is named Billy(which said so on the credits). The Baby is very realistic looking. And through out the short Tinny sees the Baby as a monster figure.

    This short film is very memorable, and makes you wish you have your very own Tinny Tin Toy.

    You're able to see it on either the Toy Story DVD or the official website.

    Every Pixar fan should see this short. I give it: 8/10 Note: Look for the old Pixar logo on the shopping bag
  • Tin Toy (1988)

    *** (out of 4)

    Oscar-winning short from Pixar has an extremely ugly, destructive and drooling baby breaking many of his toys. One particular toy decides he doesn't want drool on him and he doesn't want to be destroyed so he tries to make a getaway. This is a pretty nice little short that does a lot of very good things. What I liked most was the actual story, which is pretty reasonable as I'm sure kids would look scary to a small toy. That's the entire gimmick here and it works for many good laughs. The over sized baby comes off as a Godzilla like monster and this was a nice touch. I'm not sure if they meant to make the baby so ugly but it does work well with the story. I loved the entire sequence under the furniture where other toys have also found a hiding space. The early animation is certainly enjoyable if very simple.
  • RainDogJr16 August 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    Toys with life and the first human character; everything begins just fine for our toy Tinny and he sees his baby owner just like parents sees their babies. Is a weird baby and of course is cute but not when you put in the shoes of Tinny or any other of his toys. From here we have a very cruel situation for Tinny, for us is quite unique and definitely funny, who's own body is nothing but a real charge in his "escape from the monster baby". Is also quite unique, definitely great and definitely why Tinny is more than just a great character when he kind of realize his own purpose or better his own reason to be there, of course to make a better time for some kid this time a baby and is really bad luck for Tinny to be the toy of that specific baby (hilarious moment, more defenceless toys) but is kind of more bad luck to be a toy without attention. The toys begin for Pixar and this is a near perfect short film. Watch it!
  • Hi,

    For those of you wondering about the music at the beginning of "Tin Toy",I believe it is Captain Kangaroo's theme music, also known as Puffin' Billy" by Edward White. It was originally written about a British steam engine. With the lyrics added in 1957 by Mary Rodgers the tune became the theme "Captain Kangaroo".

    I've always enjoyed "Tin Toy" and it's ability to pull you into the world of the toys' perspective. The baby is a bit primitive compared to the toys in the short, but I don't let that get in the way of enjoying the voyage of the little musicians' discovery of his purpose.

    Pat Larson