WHAT: Toy Story 3 IRL, a shot-for-shot remake of Toy Story 3
WHO: Brothers Morgan and Mason McGrew
WHY WE CARE: Two brothers from Iowa have officially raised the bar for fan-made, shot-for-shot remakes with their live-action/stop-motion-animation version of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 that took a staggering eight years to complete.
Morgan and Mason McGrew started Toy Story 3 IRL in the summer of 2011 as a pure labor of love.
“It all started after my brother and I had seen Toy Story 3 on its opening night. It instantly became our favorite film and, you could say an obsession kinda ensued,” Morgan said on the Facebook page for the project. “I finally realize [sic] that Toy Story 3 was more than just my favorite film. It actually was kinda my life.”
Naturally, the McGrew brothers’ remake of Toy Story 3 would involve toys from the franchise—but that also meant employing the painstaking process of stop-motion.
Stop-motion animation is a painstakingly laborious process that requires a big team of trained, highly skilled experts to capture just a few seconds of action. So for two teens shooting on iPhones, their experiment became a production that spanned nearly a decade. But there were signs along the way that let the McGrew brothers know their efforts wouldn’t be in vain.
In 2015, they released photos of the replica they created of Andy’s room, and it went viral. In 2018, they uploaded their first trailer, which picked up 2.5 million views on YouTube—and then a followup trailer the next year that pulled in the same number.
Now the final film has been released and, according to the brothers, it even has Disney’s blessing.
Toy Story 3 IRL joins the canon of fan-made shot-for-shot remakes: Star Wars Uncut, Shrek Retold, Our RoboCop Remake, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation. In scope alone, the McGrew brothers’ creation stands apart.
Watch Toy Story 3 IRL below.