Pixar's 15 best movie characters By Brandon Griggs, CNN
On November 22, 1995, "Toy Story" hit theaters, introducing the world to Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear and forever changing the way movies are made.
The first feature-length film to be animated by computers, "Toy Story" also kicked off an unprecedented run of success for its maker, Pixar. Now owned by Disney, the animation studio has produced 15 films -- all of them box-office hits -- that together have won seven Oscars and earned more than $9 billion worldwide.
Twenty years later, as Pixar prepares to release its new film, "The Good Dinosaur," we offer this look back at our favorite characters from its movies.
We have nothing against protagonists, but they tend to be straight-man (or woman) types whose main purpose is to drive the story. Often it's the supporting characters (sorry, Woody) who are the most colorful and memorable.
And, usually, the funniest.
Here's our list.
Buzz Lightyear ("Toy Story" and sequels)
With his mix of can-do bravado and general cluelessness -- neatly summed up in his catchphrase, "To infinity and beyond!" -- the loyal, square-jawed Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) makes a perfect comic foil to straight-man Woody. As an action figure who sometimes thinks he's a real astronaut, he generates consistent laughs, especially in the third movie when he is accidentally reset and starts jabbering in Spanish. ¡El Vaquero!
Mr. Potato Head ("Toy Story" and sequels)
The wisecracking spud provides a running sarcastic commentary while longing for a mate, which he gets at the end of the first movie. He's always up for a gag. "Look, I'm Picasso!" he tells the pig Hamm after moving his face pieces around. When Hamm doesn't get the joke, Mr. Potato Head calls him a hockey puck -- a trademark line coming from the voice of insult comic Don Rickles, who's had a great deal of fun with the character.
Rex ("Toy Story" and sequels)
Who else but Pixar would take a Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the most fearsome beast in the history of the planet, and turn him into a timid neurotic? Brilliantly voiced by Wallace Shawn, Rex is an excitable, video-game loving bundle of nerves. After shunning Woody in the first movie only to realize at the end that the cowboy was actually trying to help Buzz, Rex says, "Great! Now I have guilt!"
Heimlich ("A Bug's Life")
It would be amusing enough if he was simply a gluttonous green caterpillar. Who talks. But name him Heimlich and give him a sing-song German accent -- "you poo poo heads!" -- and he's the funniest thing in the movie.
Sulley ("Monsters, Inc." and its sequel)
Kindhearted by day, "scary" by night, this shaggy blue creature (voiced by John Goodman) is an effective counterpoint to the manic shtick of his one-eyed buddy Mike (Billy Crystal). Sulley's scenes with Boo, the tiny girl he is charged with terrifying in "Monsters, Inc.," are the emotional heart of the film.