The Toy Story franchise represents the ultimate Pixar legacy. The series set the stage for the golden age of computer animation while retaining the innocent charm of traditional animated films. And unlike many sequels, which fail to capture the original movie’s charm, Toy Story’s follow-up movies have been arguably more meaningful and entertaining than the original. Such is the case for Toy Story 4.
Released on June 20, 2019 as the culmination of five years of planning and hard work, the movie has already received ample praise. The Toy Story 4 cast is strong and includes several favorites — get ready to welcome back Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, and finally, after years away, Annie Potts as Bo Peep.
Even before the arrival of the new Toy Story movie, this franchise remained thoroughly relevant, having gained a new generation of diehard fans. Given its multi-generational appeal, it’s the perfect concept for a birthday party. In what other situations are the adult and child attendees equally impressed by a given party’s theme? Below, we offer a variety of suggestions for planning and throwing a Toy Story birthday party that’s out of this world!
The Toy Story fun should begin long before guests arrive at your party. Give your guests a taste of what’s to come with a cute invite featuring a few recognizable characters. Invites should include essential details, including the party’s date, time, and address. Don’t forget to include an RSVP date and address so you can keep on top of your guest list.
Depending on your preferences, your invitations may also include instructions for costumes. While these are rarely an outright requirement for Toy Story parties, they can be heavily encouraged to ensure that attendees are thoroughly immersed in their Pixar dream world.
Given the vast range of characters featured in Toy Story, finding a costume shouldn’t prove too difficult. Woody and Buzz Lightyear getups are available at virtually any costume shop imaginable, but purchasing a brand new outfit may not prove necessary. A pink outfit and a mask can form the ultimate Hamm, while a cute dress and shepherd’s crook allow any little girl to take on the character of Bo Peep. Cowgirls, aliens, and dinosaurs are also welcome. Otherwise, a Toy Story birthday shirt could serve as a wonderful party favor that kids can instantly wear to feel more festive. If you go this route, request that attendees include their shirt size with their RSVPs.
When guests arrive at your Toy Story 4 party, they should feel as if they’ve entered a different world — one in which toys call the shots. The right decor can make all the difference. Color is critical; not only do the toys themselves boast bright hues, but their surroundings are also vibrant. Balloons and streamers help, of course, but ideally, your party’s decorations will be personalized. Oversized Toy Story cutouts featuring the guests’ favorite characters will quickly get the point across while also providing an ideal backdrop for photos.
Don’t forget the dining area; Toy Story plates and tablecloths can punch up any room. If possible, include centerpieces to bring each table to life. Whether you prefer the DIY approach or something a bit simpler, these Toy Story party centerpiece ideas may help:
- Etch-a-Sketch photo frames surrounding pictures of the birthday boy or girl
- Giant Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads
- Flowerpots adorned with green army men
- Homemade Forky centerpieces
“Toy Story 4” Treats and Beverages
No party is complete without tasty treats. Cookies are always a winner, of course, and options abound. Mr. Potato Head forms the basis of an especially entertaining treat. While Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head cookie cutters are available online and in several stores, the effect can also be created with a steady hand, several colors of fondant, and tiny candy mustaches.
Cupcakes decorated in honor of both classic and current Toy Story characters are and excellent option. Equipped with plenty of green frosting, you can easily create cupcakes resembling the beloved aliens of the first movie.
Of course, if your party includes a movie marathon, you can always keep it simple with traditional snacks such as popcorn. Whether you opt for kettle corn, a cheesy variety, or the usual buttered version, this snack will be highly appreciated.
A movie-themed cake is essential, especially for a Toy Story 4 birthday party. The opportunities are endless. Go classic with Woody or Buzz Lightyear decorations. These are easily pulled off by a professional. If you’re determined to decorate on your own, invest in a pack of green army men to adorn a cake featuring green or brown frosting.
Most Toy Story 4 birthday parties are naturally in honor of kids. That doesn’t mean, however, you need to be boring with your beverages. Whether or not your drinks include alcohol, they can quickly bring festive vibes to this special occasion. Bright green martian drinks are ideal for bringing Toy Story’s aliens to life. Otherwise, feel free to recreate Hollywood Studios’ beloved Prospector’s Punch, which can be a kid-friendly fruit punch or spiked for adults.
Party Games and Activities
With toy in the name of the movie, there really is no shortage of for games and entertainment. At a kid’s party, many of these will look familiar. If you invest in a Toy Story pinata, one of your party’s top games can double as decor. Likewise, a poster of Hamm makes for a fun take on pin the tail on the donkey: pin the curly tail on the pig. Otherwise, beloved Toy Story 2 character Bullseye can form the basis of pin the tail on the horse.
Charades could be a great option for creative, theatrical kids. Choose a few key characters or scenes to act out. Toy Story Pictionary is also a great option for artistic types. Instead of depicting concepts on a whiteboard or with pen and paper, use an Etch-a-Sketch to get the point across. Crafty kids will enjoy making their own Forky toys, much as Bonnie did in Toy Story 4.
If you prefer something a bit simpler, gather attendees in a circle for a game of telephone. Choose a favorite quote such as “To infinity and beyond” and introduce it quietly to the first contestant, who must then repeat the phrase in a whisper for the next person — and so on.
Still on the hunt for an activity? Why not simply sit back and enjoy the movies? These films can either serve as the central activity or play in the background as guests enjoy other activities.
For an adult party, a movie marathon could form the basis of an excellent drinking game. Viewers can take a drink every time:
- Woody’s string is pulled
- Mr. Potato Head bids adieu to part of his face
- A human arrives and the toys suddenly fall to the ground
- Woody and Buzz Lightyear argue
At a G-rated party, kids are welcome to play a family-friendly version of your favorite drinking games. Instead of downing shots, create a movie scavenger hunt, in which kids hunt for movie ‘treasures’ such as Easter eggs or favorite quotes.
Ultimately, a successful Toy Story 4 birthday party requires a playful spirit. Embrace your inner child and celebrate the goofiness that has made Toy Story such an enduring hit over the years.