How Pixar Selects Names For Characters


Long time Pixarian, Craig Good, recently answered a question on Quora (a question and answer website) with some fun insights about how Pixar selects names for their characters.

------------
How does Pixar select the names for characters?

The same way any other writer(s) might: It's a normal part of the story process.

Some names come easily, such as Woody Pride. Many go through many rewrites. After Tinny, the antique one-mand-band windup toy became a space man we went through a few names. One standin was Lunar Larry. I contributed the name Tempus from Morph for a short test. It wasn't until a later story session that some folks batting around names tossed out Buzz, as a nod to Buzz Aldrin, and someone else (as I recall, nobody remembers exactly who) called out "Lightyear".

Revisions can happen for many reasons. The protagonist of A Bug's Life was a merge of two characters from an earlier version, Flick and Grub. The Flick name survived, but the c was dropped when someone saw how it might look in certain fonts, or hand-written in all caps.

In early versions of Monsters Inc. Sullivan was going to start as a nebbish screw-up named Johnson. Then someone pointed out that perhaps we already had our quota of character names which could be awkward euphemisms. He became James P. Sullivan, and also eventually lost the glasses.

Mustang McQueen became Lightning McQueen when the character became a pure race car not associated with a known model. Mater got his name from a character named Mater that John Lasseter met at a NASCAR race.

So the short answer (too late, I know) is that there's no one short answer. I'll bet most people reading this didn't know Woody had a last name, though. Quite understandable since it's never mentioned in any of the movies.
------------

We love when Pixarians answer questions like this - any time we can learn (or be reminded) of interesting or fun Pixar facts, we're intrigued. Craig is probably correct in saying that most of us wouldn't know (or remember) Woody's last name, but as a side note, Lee Unkrich revealed in August of 2009 what Woody's last name was on Twitter.


Pixar Post - Julie & T.J.
info@pixarpost.com

COMMENTS

Name

4K Ultra HD,6,A Bug's Life,5,A113,2,Aaron Hartline,4,Adrian Molina,27,Alan Barillaro,12,Albert Lozano,1,Alex Mandel,1,Alonso Martinez,1,Andrea Warren,5,Andrew Gordon,3,Andrew Stanton,55,Angelique Reisch,3,Angus MacLane,32,Animation Podcast,4,App Review,7,Apple Watch,1,Armie Hammer,2,Art,37,Art of Animation Resort,5,Artists Help Japan,7,Austin Madison,4,Awards,80,Bao,7,Beth Sullivan,1,Bill Watral,1,Bing Bong,2,Blu-Ray,55,Bob Peterson,18,Bob Whitehill,2,Bobby Podesta,4,Book,5,Book Review,52,Boundin,1,Box Office,2,Brad Bird,51,Brave,144,BREAKING News,49,Brian Fee,25,Brian Larsen,2,Bryn Imagire,2,Bud Luckey,1,Buzz Lightyear,18,Car Toons,2,Cars,72,Cars 2,18,Cars 3,93,Cars Land,37,Cars Toons,12,Chris Chua,1,Chris Sasaki,1,Christina Faraj,1,Christine Freeman,1,Clip,1,Coco,103,Contest,11,Craig Foster,1,Cristela Alonzo,2,Cruz Ramirez,13,Custom Pixar Gear,6,D23,30,D23 Expo,1,Dan Scanlon,71,Dana Murray,3,Daniel Arriaga,4,Danielle Feinberg,5,Darla Anderson,26,Dave Mullins,14,David Lally,2,David Munier,2,Dean Kelly,3,Deleted Scene,3,Denise Ream,5,Detroit Auto Show,1,Dia de los Muertos,7,Dice Tsutsumi,7,Die Cast Cars,23,Digital,1,Director's Commentary,9,Dirk Van Gelder,1,Disney California Adventure,39,Disney Cruise,3,Disney Infinity,43,Disney Infinity 2.0,6,Disney Infinity 3.0,15,Disney Infinity Next,1,Disney Interactive,1,Disney Movie Club,1,Disney Movies Anywhere,4,Disney World,54,Disneyland,28,Disneyland Paris,8,Domee Shi,6,Dominique Louis,1,Easter Eggs,36,Ed Catmull,27,Edna Mode,1,Emron Grover,1,Enrico Casarosa,20,Erik Smitt,1,Everett Downing,1,Exclusive,15,Fan Art,33,Farhez Rayani,2,Finding Dory,100,Finding Nemo,23,Forum,3,Fran Kalal,1,Fun Facts,8,Galyn Susman,7,Garrett Taylor,1,Giveaway,5,Google Hangout,5,Hawaiian Vacation,2,Hidden Items,2,Imagineering,3,Incredibles 2,97,Inside Out,150,Interview,33,Jack-Jack,1,Jackson Storm,10,James Ford Murphy,13,Jamie Roe,1,Jason Deamer,1,Jason Johnston,3,Jay Shuster,3,Jay Ward,8,Jeff Danna,2,Jerome Ranft,1,Jessie,2,Jim Capobianco,4,Jim Morris,5,Joe Ranft,1,John Lasseter,68,John Walker,3,Jon Reisch,3,Jonas Rivera,27,Jonathan Pytko,2,Josh Cooley,24,Jude Brownbill,2,Juliet Roth,1,Kelsey Mann,12,Kerry Washington,2,Kevin O'Hara,1,Kevin Reher,3,Knick Knack,2,Kori Rae,13,Kristen Lester,3,La Luna,18,Laura Meyer,2,Lava,21,Lee Unkrich,75,Lighting McQueen,37,Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy,1,Lindsey Collins,6,Lou,17,Lou Hamou-Lhadi,1,Luxo Jr.,3,Mahyar Abousaeedi,1,Marc Greenberg,1,Marc Sondheimer,3,Mark Andrews,37,Mark Walsh,35,Matt Jones,3,Matthew Luhn,2,Merida,15,Michael B. Johnson,2,Michael Blackmon,1,Michael Comet,2,Michael Fong,3,Michael Frederickson,1,Michael Giacchino,26,Michal Makarewicz,6,Mike Venturini,1,Mike Wazowski,1,Mike Wu,1,Miss Fritter,1,Monsters Inc,45,Monsters University,176,Motorama,2,Movie Review,16,Municiberg,1,Mychael Danna,4,Natalie Certain,3,Nathan Farris,2,Nathan Fillion,2,Newt,1,Nick Pitera,1,Nicole Paradis Grindle,3,Owen Wilson,2,Party Central,12,Partysaurus Rex,48,Patrick Lin,2,Paul Abadilla,7,Pete Docter,104,Peter Sohn,32,Philip Metschan,2,Piper,16,Pixar Animation Studios,146,Pixar Archives,2,Pixar Artist Showcase,1,Pixar Canada,14,Pixar Concept Art,32,Pixar Fest,4,Pixar In A Box,2,Pixar in Concert,1,Pixar Minute,4,Pixar Pier,8,Pixar Pipeline Project,8,Pixar Place,1,Pixar Post Book Club,12,Pixar Post Record,1,Pixar Putt,1,Pixar Shorts,126,Pixar Studio Story,2,Pixar Toys,52,Pizza Planet Truck,1,Podcast,65,Poster,5,Presto,2,Products,237,Products - A Bug's Life,7,Products - Brave,29,Products - Cars,35,Products - Cars 2,9,Products - Cars 3,19,Products - Coco,11,Products - Finding Dory,10,Products - Finding Nemo,6,Products - Incredibles 2,18,Products - Inside Out,15,Products - Monsters Inc,16,Products - Monsters University,24,Products - Ratatouille,8,Products - Shorts & TV Specials,53,Products - The Good Dinosaur,7,Products - The Incredibles,11,Products - Toy Story,27,Products - Toy Story 2,5,Products - Toy Story 3,3,Products - Up,7,Products - WALL-E,8,Purl,3,Radiator Springs,7,Ralph Eggleston,8,Randy Newman,4,Ratatouille,21,RenderMan,4,Review,26,Ricky Nierva,4,Riley's First Date,6,Rob Thompson,1,Robert Kondo,5,Ronnie Del Carmen,6,Sandra Karpman,1,Sanjay Patel,13,Sanjay's Super Team,18,Saschka Unseld,30,Scott Morse,1,Shanghai Disney,2,Sharon Calahan,5,Shawn Krause,1,SIGGRAPH,3,Small Fry,3,Smash and Grab,1,Soundtrack,45,Stephany Folsom,1,Sterling,2,Steve Jobs,5,Steve Pilcher,1,Steve Purcell,18,Store - Amazon,60,Store - App Store,12,Store - Barnes and Noble,2,Store - Best Buy,3,Store - Disney Store,35,Store - eBay,7,Store - Hallmark,1,Store - iTunes,43,Store - Target,10,Store - Toys R Us,4,Sulley,1,Tales From Radiator Springs,5,Ted Mathot,1,Teddy Newton,2,Television Specials,1,The Blue Umbrella,40,The Good Dinosaur,93,The Incredibles,38,The Incredibles 2,34,Thomas Newman,3,Tia Kratter,1,Tim Allen,2,To Protect and Serve,4,Toby Chu,1,Tokyo Disney,1,Tony DeRose,1,Tony Fucile,3,Toy Hunt,1,Toy Review,24,Toy Story,130,Toy Story 2,1,Toy Story 3,4,Toy Story 4,34,Toy Story Land,13,Toy Story of Terror,37,Toy Story That Time Forgot,24,Trailer,123,Type - Books,21,Type - Clothing,5,Type - Collectibles,21,Type - Holiday,2,Type - Pins,1,Type - Plush,9,Type - Toys,25,UP,14,VanArts,5,Victor Navone,1,Video Games,50,Vinylmation,9,Wall-e,20,Woody,6,YouTube Live,3,
ltr
item
Pixar Post: How Pixar Selects Names For Characters
How Pixar Selects Names For Characters
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ILOUKe0RbVg/UVR3DPcKGFI/AAAAAAAAJuI/n0tMCKuFaPw/s400/Toy-Story-3-Wallpaper-.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ILOUKe0RbVg/UVR3DPcKGFI/AAAAAAAAJuI/n0tMCKuFaPw/s72-c/Toy-Story-3-Wallpaper-.jpg
Pixar Post
https://www.pixarpost.com/2013/03/how-pixar-selects-names-for-characters.html
https://www.pixarpost.com/
https://www.pixarpost.com/
https://www.pixarpost.com/2013/03/how-pixar-selects-names-for-characters.html
true
3427415425395920086
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy