Long before Joss Whedon has been labeled a Hollywood jerk, and even before he was the creator of the hit series buffy the vampire slayer and FireflyWhedon was a script doctor, working on movies like water world and Speed. He even worked for Pixar in the 90s, earning a writing credit on the hit animated film, toy story.
In Joss Whedon: the biography (via /Movie), Amy Pascal describes the initial draft of the script as a mess. “The protagonists, Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear the astronaut, were sarcastic and unsympathetic,” explains Pascal. “Not exactly ideal heroes for a children’s movie.” Whedon helped by removing some of the worst plot and dialogue and adding some of the witty lines and details the characters are known for, like the neurotic preoccupations of Rex the dinosaur. One thing Whedon tried to run with was the inclusion of fiery and strong female characters.
Whedon wanted the Buzz and Woody scene that took place at next door neighbor Sid’s house to end with Barbie saving the day.
David A. Price Pixar History book explains:
As Whedon imagined, Woody and Buzz, seemingly doomed at Sid’s, would be rescued by Barbie in a commando-style raid. Her character was to be modeled after Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. (The concept of a two-fisted, kicking heroine from behind, still a novelty at the time, had also featured in the Whedon’s screenplay for the 1992 film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) Whedon’s vision faded, however, when Mattel refused to license Barbie.
Similarly, we now know that the character Combat Carl from toy story was also a product of Mattel not wanting to license GI Joe for the film either. They allowed Disney to use Mr. Potato Head, and after the success of the first movie, they were more than happy to release Barbie in the sequels. But Joss Whedon’s work with the toy story The franchise was done before the first movie even came out, and it went its own way. It’s interesting to know how he got involved.