'Toy Story' Turns 20: How It Changed Animated Films Forever

The Pixar film turns 20 today.

— -- When "Toy Story" premiered 20 years ago today, everybody involved knew it was something special. However, nobody could have predicted just how successful the film would become, including the two teams behind it: Pixar (then owned by Apple) and Disney.

Nine years after "Toy Story" hit theaters, Disney, the parent company of ABC News, acquired Pixar, and went on to create many other computer-animated feature films like it. Other movie studios soon followed suit.

Aside from being the first-ever computer-animated feature film and spawning a franchise, here's how else "Toy Story" changed the film industry.

1. It altered the way animated films were created: In addition to looking entirely different from its animated predecessors, Forbes reported in 1995 that "Toy Story" was the first movie in which it was possible to store digital characters, sets and scenes in computers so that animators wouldn't have to re-draw each cell. "They can be reproduced and adapted economically and infinitely, in film and video sequels and spinoff products like toys, TV shows, and CD-ROM games," the magazine reported. "Pixar's techniques so dramatically reduce the amount of manual labor required to make high-quality cartoons that they may well change the economics of animation."

2. "Toy Story" led to some of the most lucrative films of all time: "Toy Story" earned $361,958,736 worldwide and became the highest-grossing film of 1995. Assured that computer-animated films could be successful, studios began churning them out. Currently, two computer-animated films are among the top ten highest-grossing films ever: "Frozen" and "Minions."