On ‘Toy Story 4,’ Pixar Opened Its Brain Trust to More Women and It Paid Off

On ‘Toy Story 4,’ Pixar Opened Its Brain Trust to More Women and It Paid Off
The “Toy Story” universe has always been very male, ever since John Lasseter’s first “Pixar” release in 1995 introduced old-school Western sheriff pull-toy Woody (Tom Hanks) and snazzy electronic flyer Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). The dynamic duo have stayed front and center through sequels “Toy Story 2” and “3.”

Pixar itself has been going through a sea change. Of the 21 films Pixar has released since 1995, just four have focused on a female lead. Over the years, Pixar has gradually increased the participation of women throughout the Bay Area company, from animators and designers to story artists.

The first woman to enter the Brain Trust was Pixar Senior Development Executive Mary Coleman. Later, Rita Hsaio shared screenplay credit on “Toy Story 2,” Meg LeFauve landed screenplay credits for “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur,” and Victoria Strouse co-wrote “Finding Dory” with director Andrew Stanton.

When Brenda Chapman arrived at Pixar in 2003, there
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