I was recently lucky enough to visit Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA. Pixar’s campus is gorgeous and as I roamed around the atrium waiting for the presentation, I couldn’t help but notice something out of the ordinary. Do you see anything odd in the Pixar trophy case?
Maybe “odd” isn’t the correct word, as there’s nothing unusual about seeing Sheriff Woody at Pixar. However, it is interesting that in a case full of Oscars, Golden Globes and other prestigious awards, there’s the most beat-up looking Woody doll you’ve ever seen.
Poor Woody! But stopping to read the letter he sits on will bring overwhelming emotions to anyone who grew up playing with Andy’s toys.
“Dear John Lasseter,
On June 18, 2010 we had a young child about 6 years old by the name of Caleb come into City Hall at Magic Kingdom Park. He brought us his well played with Woody Doll. You see his parents brought him a new one and he wanted his first one to have a great new home, so he left it here to spend infinity and beyond with Buzz Lightyear. We felt it was appropriate to share him with you. As you can see he has been loved very much over the years. Thank you for giving everyone great characters that have heart.
Magic Kingdom Guest Relations Cast.”
Young Caleb’s love for his Woody doll was such that even though he was tattered and no longer as fun to play with as the new one his parents replaced it with, he still wanted to make sure that Woody got to stay with his best pal, Buzz Lightyear. And this is why, among Pixar’s case of highly prestigious awards, this warn out Woody doll has a place on the top shelf, at the start of the case. A true testament to the power of strong characters and great storytelling that have been the hallmark of Pixar’s impressive body of work.