Toy Story is Based in Chagrin Falls

Neil Armstrong and John Glenn aren’t the only famous astronauts from Ohio. It turns out Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the Toy Story crew are from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. A devoted Disney fan compiled a world map for the setting of 48 Disney animated films and Toy Story’s pin is located in the Cleveland area.

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The theory that the popular movie series is based in Ohio is derived from the fact that co-director, Lee Unkrich, is from Chagrin Falls, a suburb of Cleveland.  There are several scenes in Toy Story 3 that hint that Andy is a student at Chagrin Falls High School, the same school that Unkrich attended. A sticker in Andy’s bedroom displays a Tiger’s helmet, the same mascot as Chagrin Falls High School.


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Andy’s mom also has a Tiger’s license plate frame on her minivan. Additionally, the license plate display’s an “18″ sticker which is the county code for Cuyahoga County, the county that Chagrin Falls is a part of.


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Lee Unkrich’s IMDb biography includes the fact that he was a great French student. He was so inspired by his high school French teacher that he created a Toy Story character after him. According to several Chagrin Falls High School alumni, “Al” the eccentric owner of Al’s Toy Barn is based off Unkrich’s French teacher.


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For one more hidden Ohio connection, there is a scene when Barbie is going through Ken’s closet at their “dream house”. Barbie comes across a blue and gold letterman jacket. The jacket is believed to be from Kent State, the Alma mater of Michael Keaton, the voice of Ken in Toy Story 3.




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