You've Got A Friend In Me

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  • Randy Newman wrote and recorded this for the Pixar movie Toy Story, and it became the theme song for the popular franchise. In the first film, Woody, an old-fashioned toy cowboy voiced by Tom Hanks, vies for his owner's attention when the boy receives a modern space ranger toy named Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen.

    "The song is about the friendship of Woody and the boy, Andy," Newman told Rolling Stone in 2017. "I asked for adjectives, they gave me 'friendly,' 'comforting.' I took them seriously. Cartoon figures have adult emotions, just like a character in [the war film] Dunkirk."

    The movie also features a duet version with Newman and Lyle Lovett.
  • This was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "Colors Of The Wind" from Pocahontas.
  • The song becomes more significant throughout the trilogy. In Toy Story 2, it's sung by Woody when he has an epiphany about his life's purpose, and later by Wheezy the penguin (dubbed by Robert Goulet) as he pledges his friendship to the rest of the toys.

    At the beginning of Toy Story 3, it packs an ironic punch when played over the opening credits. The lyrics, "As the years go by, our friendship will never die" fade as we're shown the teenaged Andy has forgotten all about his old toy pals, now stored in boxes. (Certainly no surprise for Newman, who once told an audience after performing the sentimental tune, "It's a f--kin' lie, of course, but what do you expect? It's a cartoon").

    At the end of the movie, Jessie the cowgirl and Buzz Lightyear dance to a Spanish version by the Gipsy Kings.
  • Toy Story was Newman's first major animated film, and yielded lots of opportunities in the genre (including the rest of the Toy Story trilogy), which was a blessing and a bit of a curse. He said: "I have definitely found a place in animation. But I got typecast. I don't get offered things like Out of Africa. I'd do them. They're easier. You never stop in animated pictures. In a drama, they're not skipping around all the time."
  • Michael Bublé covered this on his 2013 album, To Be Loved. His version peaked at #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • This has also been covered by George Jones & Kathy Mattea, Kenny Loggins, Brian Wilson, and Steve Tyrell with Dr. John.
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