So, Hollywood likes remakes, apparently. As much as we, the citizens of the Internet, like to complain about that, there's nothing wrong with the idea of a remake by itself. Some remakes are so good that they seem to completely erase all evidence of the original from our collective memories, as we've pointed out before.
Nope, sometimes the only problem with a remake is that they don't actually credit the obscure movie they are remaking (or, you know, pay them for the rights). Like ...
5Toy Story Is Suspiciously Similar to a 1980s TV Christmas Special
In 1995, Toy Story changed the world of animation by introducing kids to a little thing called CGI and launching Pixar's illustrious career. But on top of the technical achievement, it's also a great story. It's hard to believe that no one ever thought of doing a movie about toys coming to life before ...
The Original: The Christmas Toy (1986)
Nine years before Toy Story, ABC aired a one-hour TV special called The Christmas Toy. Like Toy Story, it stars a group of toys that come to life when no one is around, but the similarities go way beyond that. In The Christmas Toy, the main character is also a toy who grows insecure when he hears that his owner is receiving a present that could replace him as the favorite. Instead of Woody the cowboy doll, it's a stuffed tiger named Rugby.
Replace "Rugb" with "Wood" and prepare to have your mind blown.
But that could easily be a coincidence, right? Well, explain this: In The Christmas Toy, the new arrival and competitor for the owner's affection also turns out to be an egocentric character from outer space who has trouble differentiating between fantasy and reality and doesn't understand that it's just a toy -- her name is Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids.
Or Post-Op Buzz Lightyear.
Another character is a Barbie doll who at one point wears a Little Bo Peep outfit. By the way, Pixar actually wanted to include a Barbie doll in the first Toy Story, but Mattel turned down the proposal. So which toy did they use to replace her? Bo Peep, of course.
But that's just because lots of 7-year-old boys play with Bo Peep toys.
Then there's the worn-out stuffed bear with a cane who functions as the playground's wise old leader and is in charge of welcoming new toys, but there's nothing like that in the first Toy Story. Nope, the exact same character shows up Toy Story 3.
Apparently someone put him in the washer with some reds, though.
So if you've ever wondered why Disney hasn't done a Toy Story TV show (beyond the Buzz Lightyear animated series), it's probably because they already did that: Only a year before the first Toy Story movie came out, the Disney Channel aired a spin-off TV series about The Christmas Toy characters called Secret Life of Toys, but it was cancelled after 13 episodes.
How They Improved It:
"First" doesn't always mean "better." The Christmas Toy has a weird subplot where, if a toy is caught by a human, it becomes frozen forever ... which is kind of disturbing when you think about it, because it means that every time you found a G.I. Joe outside your toy box, you were actually killing it. Most of the movie is about Rugby's friend trying to save him from this horrifying fate.
Your Legos are silently screaming in eternal agony.