Toy Story 1 And Toy Story 4: How Do The Techniques In Both Texts Influence The Audience
Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 4 are animated films created by Pixar and are made to the interest of young children. Toy Story 1 was released on the 7th of December in 1995 and was a very popular film amongst the younger audience, it was a cleverly constructed with plenty of good reviews. Toy Story 4 is the latest instalment of the Toy story series having come out earlier this year on the 20th of June and created large amounts of excitement for younger and even older audiences. Even though these films have different content, they contain a number of similar things such as Sound, Setting, Angles, Point of view shots and the use of Two shot.
A film technique I have identified is the use of sound across both trailers. The sound in the film helps to create atmosphere, including any sound effects, dialogue, music, silences or voice-overs. The trailer for Toy Story 1 begins by opening with credits to the producers of the film e.g. Pixar and Walt Disney, it then continues by opening with a voice-over which goes on to say “For anyone who has ever wondered what toys do when people aren’t around” interrupted by small character dialogue it continues to say “Walt Disney invites you into a world where toys come to life” this is then followed by the sound of children running up the stairs and into the room. The voice over continues throughout the trailer introducing the main characters of the film. The voice over helps the audience understand what the film is going to be about and helps people to understand the main characters. The Toy Story 4 trailer begins right away with dialogue from the main character ‘Woody’ who is introducing the new toy ‘Forky.’ Accompanied by a Woody voice-over. This is followed by scenes of Bonnie playing with her new toy with Woody in the background saying “Forky is the most important toy to Bonnie right now, we all have to make sure nothing happens to him.” Throughout the trailer we are accompanied by confronting music, slow and sad music and then towards the end happy and uplifting music. Throughout both trailers sound plays a big role in ensuring the audience will stay interested enough to watch to the end.
Another technique I identified is Setting. Setting is defined as where the action of the film takes place. The Toy Story 1 trailer in the beginning is set in Andy’s house and more specifically Andy’s room. The setting throughout the trailer continues to change ranging from a gas station, an open road, a restaurant, the rear and boot of a car, an arcade and then to Andy’s neighbour Sid’s house. It then returns back to Andy’s room towards the end of the trailer. Using different settings throughout this trailer and then looping back to the first setting helps to keep the audience not only interested but allows them to follow the storyline easily. The toy story 4 trailer begins in Bonnie’s Room, which is Andy’s old room, and then changes settings to Bonnie’s preschool where she is constructing her new toy. This trailer has many settings throughout it including: Bonnie’s Room, Preschool, an RV, the side of an empty road, an antique store and an amusement park. Maintaining different settings helps to keep the film interesting and helps to keep the film exciting enough for a younger audience to still enjoy.
The third technique I found within these two trailers is the use of angles. Different camera angles are used to emphasise an action sequence, make the audience uncomfortable or to show the relationship between different characters. In the Toy Story 1 trailer many different angles are used in many situations. Low shots are used throughout this trailer, an example of this is when the children run into the bedroom and the camera is at ground level and shows the children’s legs only. Another angle used in this trailer is ‘Worm’s eye’ which is used to portray a figure as large or powerful. An example of this is when ‘Buzz lightyear’ is first introduced, this angle is used to portray him as more powerful than the other characters. The toy story 4 trailer also uses different camera angles such as high shots and Eye-level shots. An example of a high shot is when the recreational vehicle is seen driving along the open road and appears to be viewed from slightly above. This creates a thought in the audience’s mind that the RV is going far away from where it came from. The beginning of the trailer provides a perfect example of an eye level shot, the scene shows the group of toys when they first meet Forky and they are all gathered around at eye-level. This angle is used to allow the audience to be able to get personal with the characters. The use of different angles gives the audience a chance to get personal with characters and helps them to relate more with different aspects of the film.
Point of View
Another technique I located within the trailers was the use of Point of View shots. Point of view shots are shots that are taken from a character’s point of view, these are used to focus on a character’s personal experience. An example of this technique in the Toy Story 1 trailer is when Woody finds himself in Sid’s house, hiding in a basket. This small scene is shown from Woody’s point of view and shows Sid walking into the room and saying “Where’s that wimpy cowboy doll?” Immediately after the dialogue it pans back to Woody who is showing a look of distress on his face. In the Toy Story 4 trailer there are also scenes shown from characters points of view. An example of this is when Bo Peep took woody to the amusement park and woody looks over the amusement park, this scene is shown from Woody’s perspective. Point of view shots help the audience to feel involved and feel like they are a part of the film and help them connect better with different characters.
The final technique I identified was Two Shot. Two shot is used to portray the relationship between two characters. There are multiple examples of this technique over both trailers. An example of this technique in the toy story 1 trailer is the scene which shows Woody and Buzz standing upon Andy’s bed when buzz is being first introduced into the film. The way this scene has been shot allows the audience to see how Woody is intimated by Buzz, by showing the way his body language changes when Buzz starts flaunting his features. The use of this shot allows the audience to see the relationship between Woody and Buzz. In the toy story 4 trailer Two shot is also used. An example of this is when Woody is walking down the dark deserted road with Forky. The way this scene was shot allows the audience to see both characters and allows them to understand the relationship that Woody has with Forky. Two shot allows the audience a chance to understand different relationships between characters.