If you think about it, Pixar was really onto something when they came up with Toy Story. Not only is the now legendary series a sweet story about a kid and his action-figure pals, it’s also a licensing juggernaut, having now yielded everything from an actual section of Disney World to branded RVs.
That’s part of the reason The A.V. Club was invited to Mattel’s Los Angeles development offices recently: Disney-Pixar wanted to both celebrate the home video release of Toy Story 4 and to celebrate the marketing juggernaut that is the Toy Story franchise. Journalists learned about everything from what goes in to effective toy packaging to how Barbie gets her hair just right, and then tied all that back into our conversations with talent from the movie—Kristen Schaal and Ally Maki—and some of the film’s talented animators. Our chat with the latter—Pixar animator Claudio De Oliveira and Pixar Visual Development Artist Ana Ramirez—is above, and touches on both the actual act of animating the movie and how much thought the artists behind the film put into what happens once their film actually hits theaters—and store shelves.