I’ve recently remarked on twitter that fan films often make me physically uncomfortable, as I’m struck by that kind of profound embarrassment for everyone involved that I just want to immediately look away and never think about it again. For example, the 20-minute Sonic The Hedgehog fan film that’s nearing a million views comes to mind.
There’s a fine line between doing something bold to get attention (using a familiar property to get a toe in the door) and going uncomfortably overboard. While I’d love to lay out hard and fast rules about how I at least see these kinds of things (especially considering that I’ve put a huge amount of effort into such a thing myself), but it’s more a case-by-case sort of thing. Like pornography and Steve Buscemi’s ass… you know it when you see it.
So all of that to preface me brining you the video above, which is the full-length, completed version of Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta’s live-action recreation of Toy Story using toys as puppets. Featuring the original soundtrack and score (which makes it infinitely more watchable than most efforts of the sort), you’ll likely find yourself watching at least some large chunk of it without realizing that you’ve done so. I certainly did.
There are a few characteristics that set this apart from other “fan films” mostly in that it is more a giant honorary stunt paying tribute to their favorite film than an attempt to get a job or something. Most fan films are an attempt to show how effectively a filmmaker or studio could make their favorite nostalgic character into a gritty, realistically dark (and ultimately fucking dull) action movie. This is not that. This was two teenagers paying tribute to their favorite movie, and then ultimately sticking through a big challenge for several years to get something done. The primitive effects and puppeteering show well enough this wasn’t about ego- it was about accomplishing a goal.
I’ve got a ton of respect for people that finish things, as it is often the biggest barrier between people who do go on to do great things and those that do not.
If you’d like to catch up on the huge amount of media attention this is getting or explore the story of the film, check out their Facebook page.