An early version of Lotso can be seen in Toy Story (1995) during the staff meeting. Woody asks if the toys "up on the shelf can hear" him, and we see a shot of a big, pinkish bear. John Lasseter wanted to use Lotso in the original Toy Story, but Pixar had trouble getting the fur right.
For inspiration for the Sunnyside escape, the Pixar staff watched numerous prison movies. Director Lee Unkrich said, "There are a lot of prison movies out there, and I think we watched every single one of them."
For Big Baby's one line for the entire movie ("Mama"), the crew had a lot of babies audition by recording them saying the line. The baby that was chosen was named Woody. In fact, director Lee Unkrich joked that was the reason why they chose that baby.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen insisted that they record their lines together, which they had previously done for one day during the making of the original Toy Story (1995), but which is rarely done with animated films. They loved the chemistry their characters shared on-screen.
By the time Toy Story 3 (2010) was made, Pixar animators had figured out how to animate things like water and fur. Although being able to realistically animate fur was originally a concern for Toy Story 3 (2010) animators, the real animation challenge was trying to animate the trash bags in the movie. Since trash bags have special properties, such as how it reflects light, animators spent weeks trying to get the trash bags correct.
When Barbie is going through Ken's closet, they come across a blue and gold letterman's jacket with a "K" embroidered on the breast and a "State" pennant laying across the front. Michael Keaton, the voice of Ken, graduated from Kent State University, whose colors are blue and gold.
During the early development stages, when the people behind the film sat down to look at their work from the first Toy Story (1995), they found they could not edit any of the old 3-D models because advances in technology rendered the digital files containing the models incompatible with newer software. As a result, everything had to be re-created from scratch.
Lee Unkrich voiced the Jack-in-the-Box that yells, "New toys!" to Andy's toys, when they arrive at SunnySide. He also provided the vocal effects of the cymbal-banging monkey, that looks through the daycare's security footage.
FRANCHISE TRADEMARK: The Pizza Planet delivery truck, which has appeared in every Pixar film, except The Incredibles (2004), is the truck that Lotso and his friends hitch a ride on, in a flashback sequence. Andy has a calendar from Pizza Planet in his bedroom. It appears again during Chuckles the Clown's flashback, where he rides on the rear bumper, in the rain, with Lotso.
Andy's surname is Davis. Near the beginning of the movie, Woody is looking at photos on the bulletin board, and underneath one is a certificate with the name "Andy Davis" on it. This is the first time it's been mentioned.
Originally, a sequel was planned when it seemed that Disney and Pixar would split over creative differences in 2004-2005. Disney started up an animation division titled 'Circle 7,' which would have been in charge of churning out sequels for Pixar films, that would not involve the original creators at Pixar. Entertainment Weekly published an article that said the original plot for Toy Story 3 was going to be about Buzz Lightyear having a defect. Buzz would then be shipped to Taiwan to be fixed, but the other toys find out that the toy company is just replacing the broken Buzz toys with new ones, so they ship themselves to Taiwan to rescue him. This script had to be canned when Pixar and Disney made amends. Part of their agreement was not to further develop projects that had been planned during their fallout.
The final shot in the film before the end credits is that of white clouds against a blue sky. This is a reference to the very first frame of the movie, which is also the same as the first frame of the Toy Story trilogy, that of white clouds against a blue sky in the wallpaper on Andy's room.
Ken's line, "Take him to the library (pronounced as 'lie-berry')," after capturing Buzz, was an intentional mispronunciation as an improvisation by Michael Keaton. Director Lee Unkrich liked it so much, that he kept it in the film.
The phrase "I'd like to join your posse, boys, but first I'm gonna sing a little song" had not yet been said by Woody's voice box in the final cut of any Toy Story film until now, but it did exist as far back as Toy Story (1995) in a deleted scene where Sid tortures Buzz and Woody.
At one point in the film, Mr. Potato Head scurries across a toy piano. The notes the piano plays are the "Petrushka chord," a recurring motif from a ballet composed by Igor Stravinsky about a puppet who comes to life.
The beginning was meant to mirror the beginning of Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999), with Mr. Potato Head presenting his attack dog with a force field, Woody responding he had a dinosaur that eats force field dogs with Evil Dr. Pork Chop and Death By Monkeys, with added things (Mrs Potato Head, Little Green Men, The Orphans, The Train, and Evil Dr. Porkchop's battleship).
FRANCHISE TRADEMARK: The letter and numbers "A113", which appears in most of the Pixar films, makes an appearance on a license plate on the back of Andy's mom's car. A113 is a reference to the room at CalArts where the Pixar Animators studied. The car itself bears a lot of resemblance to an Opel/Vauxhall Zafira.
John Morris, who voiced young Andy in Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999), voices the now older Andy in Toy Story 3 (2010). Since nobody at Pixar had spoken to him since he was a child, they weren't sure if his voice would still be suitable for voice acting. They called him up and got his answering machine the first time. Just from hearing his voice on the machine, they knew they had to have him play Andy again. On the other hand, Charlie Bright provides the voice of the younger Andy in the film's opening sequence, and also voiced Peatey, one of the toy Peas-in-a-Pod at Bonnie's house.
A trio of plastic Hamburger, Soft Drink, and Fries toys appear in the crowd of toys that greet Woody and his friends at the day care center. These three toys are based on three puppets (called "Hamburger", "Soft Drink", and "Fries") that appeared with Ronald McDonald in 1980s television commercials for McDonald's Happy Meals.
1225 Sycamore Street (Bonnie's house) and 234 Elm Street (Andy's house) do exist together in two cities: Cincinnati, Ohio and Denton, Texas. Though they are, in reality, much farther apart in Cincinnati, in Denton, they intersect. Elm Street is similarly surrounded by roads with names of trees (Maple, Walnut, Hickory, Oak) as seen in the scene where Woody uses the computer to find his way home.
Pixar is known (at least by devoted Pixar fans) for referring to a character in their next movie to come out in their most recent one. A poster showing Finn McMissle (from Cars 2 (2011) appears (but not in the trailer) as Woody sighs as he looks around teenage Andy's room.
This is the first Toy Story film to receive the Oscar for Best Original Song with the song "We Belong Together". The first Toy Story movies lost the category for non-Pixar Disney films. "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story (1995) lost to "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas (1995) and "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2 (1999) lost to "You'll be in My Heart" from Tarzan (1999). "We Belong Together" won over the non-Pixar Disney film Rapunzel (2010) song "I See the Light".
The lunch box Buzz grabs to save himself from the shredder on the conveyor belt is a replica of an actual The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) lunch box Lee Unkrich had in his childhood, his favorite one.
When Woody comes back to Sunnyside to save the toys, and enters the Caterpillar room through the ceiling, he lands on top of a shelf and runs past bins labelled "Toys", "Glue", et cetera. The font used is called "Andy".
In the scene where Barbie goes through Ken's clothing collection, she pulls out a Nehru Jacket and asks, "This is from what, 1967?" The famous James Bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who popularized the Nehru style in film culture, made his first formal appearance in You Only Live Twice (1967). Additionally, the shirt resembles the same style worn by The Beatles on the cover of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, which was also released in 1967.
One of the toys in Bonnie's room is a plush Totoro, from Studio Ghibli's Tonari no Totoro (1988) ("My Neighbor Totoro"). Disney is the American distributor of Studio Ghibli's films, and John Lasseter serves as Executive Producer for their American DVD releases. Another one of her toys is a hedgehog that resembles the Shalom Sesame character Kippi Ben Kippod.
According to Ed Catmull's book "Creativity, Inc.", this movie was reportedly the first Pixar film without "any major meltdowns". During production, Steve Jobs called Catmull checking on how the film was coming together. When Catmull reassured him that everything was going smoothly with no major incidents, Jobs responded to him saying "Be careful. That is a dangerous place to be."
Initially was intended to conclude the Toy Story franchise, with Andy saying goodbye to his toys, having had no plans to do a fourth film at the time. But after the film was a huge success, it allowed Pixar to continue the franchise following the toys' new life at Bonnie's, with three shorts, two television specials, and eventually, a fourth film.
Lotso's thick Southern accent, initially soft-spoken demeanor, and many of his iron fist policies as "Warden" -- including throwing uncooperative prisoners into "the box" -- are clear references to "The Captain," Strother Martin's character from Cool Hand Luke (as well as Lotso's voice actor, Ned Beatty's previous character, Sheriff J.C. Conners, from White Lightning).
Near the beginning of the movie, a sticker resembling the Clemson Tigers helmet can be seen on the toy box. It is actually a reference to Lee Unkrich's high school alma mater, the Chagrin Falls, Ohio Tigers.
When asked about the cameo of Totoro in Toy Story 3, John Lasseter said, "We do little homages in our films, and we thought it was a very appropriate homage to let [Miyazaki and his film company] Studio Ghibli know how much they mean to us." Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter have been longtime friends, and Pixar has helped with the localization of several of his films. John Lasseter is a self-professed fan of Hayao Miyazaki and all of his Studio Ghibli films. When Disney made a deal with Studio Ghibli to release a majority of their films in the U.S., Lasseter introduced all of the films and narrated a majority of the extra contents in the DVD releases.
When Barbie is going through Ken's outfits, she declares the space suit is called "Mission to Mars", which was the name of one of the original rides from Disney World's and Disneyland Park's Tomorrowland. The former is now another attraction called ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, and the latter is now a restaurant called Redd Rockett's Pizza Port.
Numerous visual references to Pixar Animation Studios' hometown of Emeryville, California, are visible in Andy's room, such as the poster for a fictional Baja 1000-style off-road race that finishes in the city of Emeryville. In addition, a ticket stub can be seen on the cork board above Andy's desk for a concert in Emeryville featuring the New Jersey pop/punk band Humble Beginnings, which may also be a reference to the "humble beginnings" of Pixar itself.
In the scene, where the toys send Buzz to see Lotso, about transferring them to the Butterfly Room at Sunnyside, Buzz mentions the "transom". In the script, Rex says "What's a transom, Buzz?" as an homage to Drugstore Cowboy (1989). Michael Arndt had repeatedly begged Lee Unkrich to include the line in the movie, but Lee didn't think it was necessary, so it was not used. It is, however, mentioned in the DVD commentary.
When all the bad guys are hanging out in the teacher's lounge, a battery is seen on the table and it is actually a Re-Volting battery. This is of course a shadow to the Re-Volting car from Cars (2006).
Many viewers wondered why Andy simply didn't give his toys to Molly before he went to College. The DVD commentary stated that Molly had grown to the age where she was no longer interested in toys, preferring electronics and magazines.
This is the first feature film released in Dolby Surround 7.1. The Dolby Surround 7.1 format is made up of eight channels of audio, with the following channel layout: Left, Center, Right, Low-Frequency Effects (LFE), Left Surround, Right Surround, Back Surround Left (new), and Back Surround Right (new).
First Pixar film to be a follow-up to a previous Pixar film, since Toy Story 2 (1999). Both of these films are part of the same franchise. Pixar considered doing a third Toy Story from the get-go, based on the success of the second film, but Disney wouldn't allow them to do it, or any other follow-up films, until after they acquired/purchased Pixar in 2006.
Chuckles originally (as shown in flashbacks in the movie) smiled all the time, and his hair was up. But after his time in Sunnyside, he became depressed and only frowned with his hair down (the latter possibly being a result of wandering in the rain during his flashback).
Even though Chuckles never smiled around Woody and Bonnie's toys after his horrible time at Sunnyside, when he goes into toy mode, he actually smiles when the humans are present. Though if one looks closely in the scene where the toys meet Bonnie's toys, Chuckles can be seen smiling when he is greeted by Mrs. Potato Head.
John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Bonnie Hunt (Dolly), Richard Kind (Bookworm), and Michael Keaton (Ken) appeared in Cars (2006). John Ratzenberger played the voice of Mack, Bonnie Hunt played the voice of Sally, Richard Kind played the voice of Van, and Michael Keaton played the voice of Chick Hicks.
Having smaller kids in the Caterpillar Room and bigger kids in the Butterfly Room is a reference to how caterpillars turn to butterflies. When small kids get older, they become big kids. When caterpillars get older, they become butterflies.
Sparks appears to be based on the sparking-action Transformers toys from the 1980s. These toys were considered dangerous, and are no longer able to be produced. None of the current Sparks toys made include the sparking feature; the only Sparks toy currently manufactured (the Thinkway Toy version, seen in the picture above) has a light in its chest replicating the sparking feature. The reason for the discontinuation of sparking toys was actually due to an instance of a Rollerblade Barbie doll released at the same time as the sparking Transformers that sported metal wheels which produce sparking effects when rolled, allegedly setting a child's underwear on fire.
In one scene, Dolly is portrayed as an evil witch in Bonnie's imagination. This is similar to how Andy portrays Hamm as a super-genius dictator, Evil Dr. Porkchop and Mr. Potato head as a thief, One-Eyed Bart
In a part of the flashback scene about Lotso, Chuckles voice sounded somewhat different, implying that his voice likely changed over time. However, it is unknown as to why Chuckles had a silly, high-pitched, clownish voice (performed by Bob Peterson) when he is mostly heard speaking using animator Bud Luckey's primary gruff, reserved, elderly-sounding voice. It could be that his voice sounds more silly when he's happy, and gruffer when he's sad.
When Andy is at his toy chest, deciding whether he should keep Woody or Buzz, it echoes the first film when he decides which to sleep with. In Toy Story, Andy chooses Buzz to sleep with in his bed. In Toy Story 3, he chooses Woody to take with to college.
Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head) and John Cygan (Twitch) died in 2017 a month apart from each other. The year afterwards had R. Lee Ermey (Sarge) and Bud Luckey (Chuckles) both pass away in 2018 year 2 months apart from each other.
In the opening toy fantasy scene, the locomotive has the number 95, the racing number for Lightning McQueen, from Cars (2006) and its sequels. The music used for when Dr. Pork Chop was driving away, was re-used as the spy car's theme for Cars 2 (2011).
On the kids' shelves (which is seen twice in the film, first when Woody return to Sunnyside through Bonnie's backpack and during the credits when Stretch puts Ken's letter in the backpack to Woody and the gang) you can see the names Max, Hannah, and Alice beside Bonnie's shelf. Those are the names of Lee Unkrich's children.
Lotso seems to disapprove of bookworm, if not dislike, him. This can be seen after he tosses Buzz Lightyear's manual at his feet, Lotso gives him a somewhat disapproving glance. This may also imply that Bookworm did not enjoy being one of Lotso's gang.
In the film, Andy has a sign on his bedroom door that says "Newt Xing". That is a reference to another film called "Newt", that Pixar cancelled during production, because it's plot was too similar to Fox Animation's Rio (2011).
Just like in the first two films, when Andy's mom is pulling out of the driveway and heading to Sunnyside Daycare, above the license plate, you will only be able to see this if you have glasses, or it is the Blu-ray version. But above the license plate, it says "10", which is a reference to when the film came out in 2010.
When Chuckles got broken, even though this is never said in the film, it may be possible that it was not by one of the kids at Sunnyside. Lotso may have been the one that broke Chuckles (like how he broke Chatter Telephone). When he lifts his right armpit while explaining he was broken, you can see the stitching on the right side of his body.
Real-life dachshunds are believed to have a lifespan of around 14-17 years, so Buster would be considered quite old, 10 years old by Toy Story 3. And it's possible that Buster had already passed away before the events of the upcoming fourth movie.
Chatter Telephone's first appearance is when he bumps on Woody's legs several times, trying to talk to him (realizing Woody is the Only Sane Man among the group of Andy's toys). But he cannot talk to Woody directly because Lotso was there (and he does glance at Lotso in this scene). Two of his later lines to Woody also set up later events: "There's only one way toys leave this place" (the trash chute) and then "Trash truck comes at dawn, then it's off to the dump." The trash chute is what the toys use to get out of Sunnyside, and the climax takes place at the dump.
Mr. Pricklepants is from the Waldfreunde (Forest Friends) collection of premium imported plush toys made in Germany, presumably a reference to Steiff plush toys. It has been said that Thinkway Toys made a Toy Story collection of Mr. Pricklepants along with Dolly and Buttercup. It has been sold in countries outside the US.
The way in which Big Baby throws Lotso into the dumpster mimics a scene in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, in which Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, throws Emperor Palpatine into the reactor shaft of the Second Death Star to save his son Luke Skywalker.
In Lotso's flashback about Daisy, the truck that Lotso, Big Baby, and Chuckles ride on the bumper on is the same Pizza Planet truck in Toy Story 2 that Buzz, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, and Slinky Dog drive to the airport to catch Al.
As of 2018 Toy Story (1995) is the first animated franchise to have feature films released every two decades with Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) released in the 1990s and Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019) released in the 2010s.
Much of the film takes its inspiration from The Brave Little Toaster, which had many future Pixar employees working on it, including John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, and others. It even had the usual A113 moniker in it.
At the poker night in the vending machine, the veteran toys predict the new toys (Andy's) are headed for the "landfill", and are "toddler fodder". Obviously the former proved correct, and you could interpret the latter as the toys eventually joining Bonnie.
When Mr. Potato Head was first invented, he was, indeed, just a set of eyeballs and hands and things that kids could stick into real vegetables. The company introduced the plastic potato a few decades later when parents became worried that the poles needed to stick into a real potato were too pointy and sharp.
The scene where Barbie and Ken see each other for the first time, and the song Dream Weaver is playing is highly reminiscent of the scene where Wayne sees Cassandra for the first time in Wayne's World.
The scene where brainwashed and reprogrammed Buzz is bossing around all the toys being held captive at Sunnyside Daycare is a clear reference to Cool Hand Luke. The film has a scene where any infraction (losing a spoon, wearing dirty pants, messing up laundry cycle) is punished with "A night in the box." The toys meet the same fate, except in this case "the box" is filled with sand. Befitting for a Great Escape movie.
Lotso Huggin' Bear himself is a Shout-Out. Between the name, nature, appearance, and the Viral Commercial for the toy, he's obviously meant to be one of the Care Bears gone horribly, horribly wrong. And he's paraphrasing a quote from The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Each Toy Story Movie is either 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, or very near 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. With Toy Story 1 & 2 having 100%, And Toy Story 3 having 99%. This could continue if Toy Story 4 is 100% or 99%.
Each Toy Story movie is 11 minutes longer than it's predecessor. With Toy Story 1 being 81 minutes long, Toy Story 2 being 92 minutes long, and Toy Story 3 being 103 minutes long. This routine could continue if Toy Story 4 is 114 minutes long.
Ned Beatty and Michael Keaton both appeared in early DC films. Beatty was one of Luthor's henchmen in the Superman (1979) series, and Keaton starred as Batman in Tim Burton's take on Batman (1989). Both also starred as villains in comic book films. Beatty's role was the henchman mentioned before, and Keaton was the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016).
The monkey looks like the experimental monkey from the 1988 American horror film Monkey Shines. Curiously, the Monkey also appears in the movie Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, where the Grinch builds a giant cymbal-banging monkey very similar to the movie.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Bo Peep was omitted from the film, because her surviving the incinerator was deemed highly unlikely, as she was made of porcelain. Although she made a brief cameo appearance in the beginning of the film.
At the end of the original Toy Story (1995), Rex said he hoped Andy would get another dinosaur, preferably a "leaf eater" so he could act as the dominant predator. In Toy Story 3 (2010) he gets his wish, because his new owner, Bonnie, has Trixie.
Pixar came with the idea of using a teddy bear as a villain for the first time in 1990, when they were planning "A Tin Toy Christmas", the never produced sequel to Tin Toy (1988). In the planned short, Tin Toy would get lost in a mall ruled by a gang of old toys bitter for not having been bought and played with for years, and the teddy bear would be their leader. Some of the ideas were used in Toy Story 2 (1999).
In an interview with KCRW's movie industry radio show "The Business", Joan Graves, the chair of the MPAA's Classification and Ratings Administration, admitted that (based on the response she and her board have gotten from parents) giving Toy Story 3 (2010) a G rating was a mistake, and that it should have gotten at least a PG (especially because of the incinerator scene), and that the lesson learned in that case would be applied to future movie ratings so that movies would no longer be given the "benefit of the doubt" while being rated.
The plot of the movie is loosely based on the original treatment for Toy Story (1995), which had Tinny (from Tin Toy (1988)) getting lost at a rest stop, and being found by a junk man, who throws him into back of his truck. Tinny meets a ventriloquist dummy, and they both decide to stick together. But in the end, they end up in a preschool, where they'll never get lost, or outgrown.
Several toys from previous movies are not present in this film. Bo Peep, Etch, and Wheezy are mentioned. Wheezy does appear (briefly) during the opening sequence with Andy taking down the toy's heights on the wall (he's stacked up on the wall).
A piece of concept art found in the book "The Art of Toy Story 3", shows that originally, Trixie the blue dinosaur was envisioned to be part of Lotso's gang at the daycare center. However, in the final movie, she is one of Bonnie's toys, and is a friendly character.
This is the only film in the Toy Story franchise where Andy says the names of his toys, in the scene where he hands them over to Bonnie. In the previous films, he only mentioned the names of Woody and Buzz.
When Lotso is helped to the Emergency Stop button on the trash conveyor belt, instead of pushing the button to stop the belt and save the other toys, he glares at them and yells, "Where's your kid now?" This is a wink to the Billy Crystal routine making fun of the incongruity of Edward G. Robinson being cast in De Tien Geboden (1956): "Where's your deliverer now, Moses?" This supposedly sparked the Internet meme of "Where is your god, now?", which Lotso's statement echos.
Lotso can be assumed as one of the most evil and most depraved Pixar villains for his many cruel and ruthless deeds: Lying to Big Baby. Forcing his former friends to follow him into darkness. Causing toys to be broken by kids in the Caterpillar Room. Beating Chatter Telephone. Yelling at Big Baby and attacking him. Almost getting Andy's toys killed, despite being saved by Woody and Buzz.
Lotso shares a lot of character traits with Stinky Pete. They both seemed to be loving at first but were eventually revealed to be cruel tyrants in the end. This is mainly because of a sense of feeling rejected or unloved, which were clearly seen in both Pixar villains. Lotso's fate by the end of the film is quite similar to Stinky Pete's fate. Both are unexpectedly found, and then, they find themselves in an unwanted predicament: Stinky Pete becomes stuck with a girl who likes to draw on her toys, while Lotso becomes a fly attractant for a garbage truck. However, after Toy Story 2, it has been stated that Stinky Pete got used to it and he liked it, while it is unclear if Lotso, after Toy Story 3, has ever got used to it because it has never been stated. Also, the two villains never met Andy, who is, in fact, a good kid. Oddly enough, the music that played during Lotso's defeat was the same music heard during Stinky Pete's defeat.
Lotso's comeuppance is fitting because it has given him two things he had been asking for: The true meaning of love, which he got from the garbage man, who remembered having a Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear toy himself as a child. A fitting end to a considerably miserable life, which he would face from the elements, bugs, and mud; or from eventually being thrown away again, leading him to die in the shredders or the incinerator.
Lotso is easily considered one of the darkest and most evil villains in a film by Pixar alongside Hopper from A Bug's Life (1998) and Syndrome from The Incredibles (2004), however unlike those two he does not die.
This is the third Pixar film where a protagonist loses a love interest after Finding Nemo (2003) with Marlin who lost Coral and Up (2009) with Carl Fredricksen who lost Ellie Fredricksen. Unlike Coral and Ellie Fredricksen Bo Peep's loss does not result as death.
Technically, Lotso became evil for no reason. Daisy was just a little girl and did not know any better, her parents were the ones who left them and never came back, and Daisy only replaced him (and with another Lots-o-Huggin' Bear to boot) because she missed him. So, Lotso ultimately overreacted and was about Daisy "throwing" him out. Chuckles tried to explain this to him, but Lotso would not listen. Despite this, Lotso's backstory is still sympathetic, considering the fact that he had evidently traveled through the wilderness for a long time just to get back to Daisy, only to find he had been replaced.