The Toy Story movies are favorites for so many people, but Morgan and Mason McGrew perhaps like it a bit more than you or me. The two brothers from Des Moines, Iowa recreated the entire Toy Story 3 film from scratch. They used toys and shot them in stop-motion to show what their favorite movie would look like in real life. It took them eight long years to make it, but they stayed committed to their project. And now, their wonderful piece is finally finished and available to watch.
The brothers named their movie Toy Story 3 IRL and it all started when they were just teenagers. When Mason was 12 and Morgan 15 years old, they saw Toy Story 3 on its opening night. “It instantly became our favorite film and….you could say an obsession kinda ensued,” they write on the project’s Facebook page.
Kids being kids, they started collecting toys from the film, but it turned into collecting “just about EVERY new toy” that will accompany the ones they had as kids. “We’d always been [such] huge fans of Pixar and the Toy Story franchise that we eventually decided we wanted to pay tribute to the studio and film that we love so much,” Mason told BuzzFeed. And so, their project began.
The brothers used real toys and real people for Toy Story 3 IRL. When it came to the stop-motion bits, creating those was quite a time-consuming job. Mason told BuzzFeed that a “one- to six-second clip could contain more than 25 video elements.”
When the boys started the project, they didn’t know what the release was gonna look like. They made a decision to have it completed by 19 September 2019, and so they did. After eight years of working on their film, the brothers asked Disney for permission to share it on social media. Thankfully, they got the OK, and their movie premiered on YouTube on 25 January 2020. They also have a dedicated Facebook page for the project where you can see the updates and some BTS photos.
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Posted by Toy Story 3 In Real Life Project on Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Stop motion animation can be tiring. Good thing refreshments are nearby! (For this shot at least)
Posted by Toy Story 3 In Real Life Project on Monday, September 24, 2018
One of the things I admire so much about this project is staying committed to it for such a long time. During our teenage years, few of us can stay focused for longer than eight minutes, not to mention eight years. The brothers admit that it was a challenge to complete the film and stay committed to it. “Overall, the hardest thing about this film was staying disciplined,” they told BuzzFeed. “It was very important to us that we finish what we began as kids,” they added, and I am fascinated with their devotion and discipline, as well as the movie that resulted from these characteristics.
Interestingly enough, the premiere of Toy Story 3 IRL took place before this year’s Oscar ceremony when Toy Story 4 won the award for the Best Animated Feature. If you ask me, the McGrew brothers should be given some sort of a reward too for their commitment, devotion, effort – but also for the result.
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