(NEW YORK) — One of Pixar’s most beloved animated movies has been turned into a live-action movie by two fans.
Jesse Perrotta, 21, and Jonason Pauley, 19, both of Arizona, spent two years creating a shot-for-shot remake of Toy Story, Pixar’s first full-length computer animated feature film.
Using real versions of the animated toys, they (along with some patient friends) used both stop-motion filming and puppet strings or wires to move the toys around.
They posted the 80-minute film, using the audio from the original movie, to YouTube this past weekend after two years of work.
The two young filmmakers were inspired to begin the project after watching Toy Story 3.
“We were so hyped up after we saw that movie,” Perrotta told ABC News. “We were initially going to remake one scene, but that wasn’t enough. It went from being one scene to ‘let’s do the whole movie.”
The next few months were spent studying the original, gathering the props, and scouting locations.
“We didn’t have much of a budget, so we had to borrow a lot of props from our friends,” Perrotta said. “And the movie is obviously supposed to be in California, with the types of homes and trees. We don’t have anything like that around here, so we had to find stuff that was close enough.”
The attention to detail in the film is precise, down to the license plates. They turned to Craigslist to find the right bull-terrier dog, and even found a pair of brothers to play Andy and Sid.
For the first six months, the pair filmed every Saturday in a room in Pauley’s home, which served as Andy’s home in the film.
The following summer, with more time off school and friends available to help out, they spent countless hours every day shooting around the home, on the streets around the house, and in neighboring communities where the backgrounds looked close to the animated streets.
Despite the long hours, Perrotta admits he wasn’t always sure the pair would finish.
“I wasn’t positive we were actually really going to do the whole thing,” Perrotta told ABC. “I was worried about the scenes at the end. We had to train the dog, get a moving truck, film a chase scene with toys – but we just stayed positive and took it one day at a time.”
Perrotta said about halfway through, there was no turning back.
“Everyone thought we were crazy, but we had reached the point of no return,” Perrotta said. “We had to finish, no matter how hard it got. We had told everybody about it, posted a trailer online, we had to do it.”
Perrotta said Toy Story, which is widely considered one of the greatest animated films of all time, was an obvious choice for a live-action remake for a number of reasons.
“Toy Story is one of our all-time favorite movies. And it was the first full-length computer animated feature ever, so we thought it would be cool to make the first live-action remake of the first computer animated movie,” Perrotta told ABC News. “Also, it’s one of the few animated movies that is actually possible to remake with our budget and resources. It’s the easier to replicate in real life.”
The amateur filmmakers both want to go into show business, Perrotta said. He wants to compose music for films and TV shows, and Pauley is studying filmmaking at Northern Arizona University.
Upon finishing the film, the friends went to Pixar’s studios, where they were able to hand out their DVDs to excited Pixar employees. And online, in just two days, the film has more than 1.7 million views.
As for what comes next, Perrotta said they just wanted to have some fun and get some online followers to watch their other films. And so far, he said, they have succeeded at both.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com