What if all of your toys came to life? That’s what the Toy Story series is all about. The Toy Story franchise is predicated on the idea that all toys, unknown to people, are secretly alive, and the films feature a varied variety of toys, including a vintage cowboy doll named Sheriff Woody and a futuristic spaceman action figure named Buzz Lightyear. The gang is thrown into unforeseen experiences that test and shape them.
With the announcement of the Toy Story spin-off, Lightyear, set to be released soon, you might be planning on watching the Toy Story movies. So, which is the best order to watch these movies? Stick around as I explain to you the best watch order for viewing the Toy Story movies, including its short movie.
How Many Toy Story Movies Are There?
There are four Toy Story films that tell the story of Woody, a sheriff toy, and Andy’s other toys. In addition, the brand has produced numerous television shows and specials. Below is a list of all Toy Story movies by the order of release:
- Toy Story (1995)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Toy Story 4 (2019)
- Lamp Life (2020) – Short Movie
Toy Story Movies in Order
Toy Story, along with Cars and The Incredibles, is one of Pixar Animation Studios’ most popular animation franchises. The series first aired in 1995, and over 25 years, it has earned a particular place in the hearts of both children and adults. The best chronological order to view the Toy Story movies, including the short movie, is through its release order, as shown below:
1. Toy Story (1995)
Andy, a six-year-old boy, adores his toys. Sheriff Woody, a small floppy-armed cowboy doll, is his favorite toy. Oh, and did we mention Andy’s toys can walk and talk when he’s not around? They, too, have emotions. A plethora of emotions.
Woody and the other toys in Andy’s room want to be played with, so they’re a little worried when Andy’s birthday arrives and he receives a dazzling new Buzz Lightyear action figure. Buzz doesn’t seem to recognize he’s not a real space ranger, but he makes friends with Andy’s other toys regardless.
Woody is plainly envious of Buzz, with whom Andy is spending more and more time each day. When Woody learns that Andy can only bring one toy to Pizza Planet for supper, he tries to force Buzz behind the counter. Instead, he falls out of Andy’s window.
Although it was an accident, the other toys were not amused. When Andy needs to take Woody to Pizza Planet, he has no idea that an irate Buzz has managed to sneak into the rear of the car. Andy’s mother pulls over at a gas station, and Buzz and Woody argue, but they end up being left behind.
This is terrible news for bears since a) toys can’t move around on their own and b) Andy is leaving his residence in a few days. Woody and Buzz hitch a ride on a Pizza Planet delivery truck, but they wind up going home with Sid, Andy’s nasty next-door neighbor who enjoys blowing up and burning his toys.
At Sid’s house, Woody observes Sid torturing his other toys and attempting to flee, but he is unable to persuade Buzz to join him. Buzz, you see, has finally realized that he is a toy—he watched an advertisement for himself on TV at Sid’s house.
Buzz eventually decides to assist Woody…
But not before Sid attaches a rocket to his back and drags him out to the garden to blow him up. Yes, the timing isn’t ideal.
With the aid of Sid’s injured toys, Woody devises a strategy to release Buzz. They scare the heck out of Sid by strolling around and talking to him (and channeling The Exorcist for one final big scare), and then Buzz and Woody flee Sid’s yard.
Unfortunately, they are too late to grasp the rear of Andy’s car as it drives out of the driveway to move. far, far away. The two toys hurry after the moving truck and (despite a few setbacks, such as flying into the air and nearly getting blown up) end up safely back in Andy’s arms.
The toys are much calmer the next Christmas in Andy’s new abode. No one is overjoyed at the prospect of Andy getting some snazzy new gear. That is until they discover Andy’s gift is a dog.
2. Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 2 picks up where the first film left off. Everything is OK in Andy’s room until Andy rips Woody’s arm while playing. Andy places Woody on the shelf as he departs for Cowboy Camp. Woody gets crushed, and all of the toys are taken aback.
While Andy is away, Andy’s mother has a yard sale and selects a few toys to sell. She kidnaps Wheezy, and Woody attempts to retrieve him with the help of the household dog, Buster. Woody is eventually kidnapped by the unscrupulous Al from the Al Toy’s Barn commercials. Woody has finished his Woody’s Roundup collection, and he knows he can sell it for a lot of money.
Woody meets the rest of the Roundup Gang in Al’s residence, including Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, his horse, Bullseye, and the Prospector, Stinky Pete. They look forward to the day when they will be taken out of storage and presented in a museum. They play a video of Woody’s television. Show and different artifacts, such as a lunchbox and cookie jar, that fill the room.
Woody really wants to see Andy and his pals again. Woody’s desire for home irritates the Roundup Gang. Jessie tells the story of being abandoned by her girlfriend, Emily.
Meanwhile, the toys in Andy’s room have set out on a mission to find Woody. They realize it was Al from the advertisements who abducted Woody and make their way to Al’s Toy Barn with caution. Buzz discovers a complete fleet of Buzz Lightyears and is apprehended by a Buzz who is just as fanatical and deluded as he was when he originally arrived in Andy’s apartment. Andy’s Buzz is captured and imprisoned in a box by the new Buzz.
When the toys see Al driving the short distance to his apartment, they all rush there to save Woody. They are being hunted unwittingly by the new Buzz and his enemy, The Evil Emperor Zerg.
The ingenious gadgets make their way to Al’s flat. Woody is overjoyed to see them, but The Roundup Gang has persuaded him to join them. Buzz and the group are dissatisfied and decide to return home. Woody comes upon a video of a little child tinkering with a television.
Woody understands he would rather be with Andy, even if just for a short while. He asks the group to join him, and Bullseye and Jessie realize that they, too, want to be among children. Stinky Pete stops them from fleeing. Al is packing up the Roundup Gang and headed to the airport to catch a trip to Asia to sell the gang for a tidy profit.
Woody and Bullseye make a daring escape from the bag at the airport. Stinky Pete is placed in a girl’s bag by Woody. He’ll also be a well-loved toy, complete with tattoos.
Jessie is trapped in the luggage and boarded the plane in the cargo hold. Just as in the cartoon, Woody and Bullseye perform a daring rescue. Andy’s toys have been reunited with him, and everything is back to normal in Andy’s room.
3. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Andy is about to depart for college. His mother wants him to tidy up his room and organize his belongings into what he wants to take to college or keep in the attic, and what he wants to throw away or give.
Andy’s favorite childhood toy, Woody the cowboy sheriff, attempts to persuade the other toys in his collection that they can all live happily ever after in the attic until Andy has children of his own to play with.
Andy places them in a rubbish bag to store them, but his mother picks up the bag and brings it out to the curb for the garbage truck. Through a sequence of events, the toys wind up in a place that is almost as terrible as the dump: the toddler room of the Sunnyside Daycare Center.
At first, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, and Hamm believe they have discovered a utopia where children would play with them all day. Lotso, the strawberry-scented bear who manages the establishment, greets them warmly.
Barbie, a doll thrown out by Andy’s younger sister, is the most delighted; she instantly falls in love with Ken, a handsome comrade of Lotso who lives in a nice mansion with a great clothing collection. Despite Woody’s entreaties for everyone to return home and be faithful to Andy, his buddies reject.
The next day, however, they learn that Sunnyside is not a paradise, but rather a jail. Furthermore, the children in their room are crazy little monsters who prefer banging and breaking toys to imaginatively playing with them.
Pixar Animation Studios’ bright and moving stereoscopic 3D release is directed by Lee Unkrich. The play emphasizes the dread of desertion, the virtue of loyalty, the idea of a community pulling together, and the timeless beauty of friendship.
The jailbreak metaphor, which dominates the second part of the narrative, elevates these moral concerns and allows us to sympathize with the toys as they behave courageously and bring out the best in one another.
We admire Woody’s strong character traits, Buzz Lightyear’s amusing antics (he dances flamenco to convey his affection to Jessie at one point), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head’s creative heroism with their moveable body parts, and Ken and Barbie’s hilarious escapades.
Toy Story 3 has it all: an inspiring story, endearing and funny characters, appealing use of 3D technology, and an emotional undertow that allows us to cheer for these inanimate objects as they flee for freedom and a chance to discover a charming future where they will be cherished and lovingly played with forever.
4. Toy Story 4 (2019)
Toy Story 4 begins where Toy Story 2 left off, with Bo Peep and Woody attempting to save Andy’s remote-controlled vehicle, RC, from a thunderstorm. Andy’s mother gives Bo and her sheep away just as they accomplish the rescue effort. Woody contemplates accompanying her but decides to stay with his son, Andy.
Years later, Andy has given Bonnie all of his toys before leaving for college. Woody is struggling to adjust to a new world order in which he is no longer the child’s favorite, as he was with Andy. Woody is concerned about Bonnie on her first day of kindergarten and sneaks into her backpack.
After a classmate steals all of Bonnie’s art tools, Woody sneakily gives her some fresh materials, including some objects from the garbage. Bonnie uses the resources to make “Forky,” a spork with googly eyes and pipe cleaner arms.
To Woody’s amazement, Forky appears in Bonnie’s rucksack beside Woody. Forky tries to throw himself away in the trash, believing he is rubbish rather than a toy. Woody takes it upon himself to defend Forky, even against himself, seeing how important Forky is to Bonnie.
When Bonnie’s family embarks on a road vacation, Forky leaps out of the RV window, and Woody follows him without thinking. Woody explains to Forky how important he is to Bonnie as the missing pair of toys continue their journey to catch up to the family’s RV. Forky abandons his pursuit for the rubbish and returns to his child, having realized his new purpose.
Woody notices Bo Peep’s lamp in an antique store display near the RV park where Bonnie’s family is staying and rushes inside to find her. Inside, Harry and Forky encounter a talking doll named Gabby Gabby.
Gabby wishes to obtain Woody’s voice box to replace her shattered one. During their escape from Gabby’s ventriloquist doll minions, they catch Forky while Woody escapes.
Meanwhile, Buzz Lightyear seeks for Woody in the RV park, but gets lost at a fairground and ends up as a carnival game prize. He escapes the pegboard with plush toys Ducky and Bunny and meets Woody and Bo.
The toys return to the antique store to save Forky from Gabby, accompanied by pocket toy officer Giggle McDimples and her stuntman toy lover Duke Caboom. The group is thwarted by Gabby, the henchman, and the store owner’s cat, and they flee.
He witnesses Gabby’s ideal owner, Harmony, reject her when they implant Woody’s speech box. Woody consoles Gabby and encourages her to become one of Bonnie’s toys. Bo goes back to the antique shop with the other toys to assist. After their previous argument, she and Woody reconcile.
While Forky goes to get Buzz and Bonnie’s other toys, the party travels to the carnival. Buzz and the toys in the RV attempt to cause disruption to keep Bonnie and her parents from leaving the area before Woody returns.
The video concludes with Woody and Bo embarking on a new adventure alongside Ducky, Bunny, Giggle, and Duke, dedicating their lives to finding new homes for forgotten toys.
Bonnie makes a second impromptu toy out of a plastic knife a year later, on her first day of first grade, and it suffers the same fate as Forky. Forky is immediately smitten by the new toy.
5. Lamp Life (2020) – Short Movie
Lamp Life is an American Animation-Family Film (2020). Lamp Life’s primary cast includes Christina Hendricks, Annie Potts, and Jim Hanks. Bo Peep makes a significant comeback in Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, as she leads the course in the all-new electrified short film, finally settling the questions of where Bo went since we last saw her in Toy Story 2.
She takes the lead in the all-new animated short film, finally addressing the issue of where Bo had been since we last saw her in Toy Story 2. Bo Peep’s bulb exploded, almost burnt down, was thrown away, attacked by a stray cat, moved about, and was owned by several individuals. It’s a good thing she’s finally reunited with her old group.
Overall, living on a baby lamp isn’t all that exciting—or maybe it’s all too exciting—which led us on an unexpected adventure. Bo Peep has its own backstory. Even the sheep gaze up to her to inspect her burned head before returning to their regular stance. It’s a lovely finishing touch.
Do You Need to Watch Toy Story Movies in Order?
Watching Toy Story movies in order is not necessary, but is recommended to understand the story better and be familiar with some of the characters in the movie. Lamp Life is a prequel to Toy Story 2 and 4 and should be watched after watching the Toy Story movies.
Will There Be More Toy Story Movies?
It is doubtful that we will see another Toy Story film, and there is no clear release date to back that up. However, we do know that Pixar is presently planning to release “Turning Red” and “Lightyear” in 2022, as well as an unnamed picture in 2023. With those affirmations in mind and the fact that Pixar films take a long time to develop after their formal announcements, it seems safe to infer that a probable release date for “Toy Story 5” is still many years away, at the very least.