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PIXAR Brings ‘Toy Story Nutcracker’ to Life for ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ at Disney California Adventure Park

Steven Davison

by , Imagineer, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment

To put together a show like “World of Color – Winter Dreams,” it takes an army, or in our case “Green Army Men”! For this new, full-length original show we have enlisted the help of our friends from PIXAR Animation Studios. We went to them with a wild idea: what if “Toy Story” characters decided to perform Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”?

In the original ballet, Clara’s Christmas tree grows and the audience shrinks to this size of a toy beneath the tree. This became our inspiration. The “World of Color” technology was perfect for this effect, because we can make the tree grow in front of your eyes. Then, below the tree is where the magic really happens. Beneath the tree we find Woody, the show’s director. Over the summer he has put together the toys’ version of the ballet. Of course, they have their own special spin on it. Each musical piece we used – Miniature Overture, Trepak (Russian Dance), Tea (Chinese Dance) and Waltz of the Flowers – took on a life of its own. We gave them all special arrangements to match the characters; for instance, the Trepak dance became western to fit Woody and Jessie’s duet.

Another great example of putting a new spin on the classic is Tea (Chinese Dance). We took our inspiration from Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” and the Mushroom scene. We replaced the Mushrooms with Little Green Men and the baby Mushroom with Rex in at tutu. The result is pure magic!

It’s wonderful when we can synergize and partner with great artists like PIXAR and let everyone’s creative energy flow together into the idea. It grows and grows like Clara’s Christmas tree, becoming an exciting new work of art with each pass. And in the end, our audiences get to see the magic that great partnerships can make.


  • If we didn’t live so far away, we’d be there in a heartbeat. It looks like it’s going to be an awesome show.

  • I loooove WoC and am so excited to see the new winter version. Toy Story of Terror was great and it will be so fun seeing their Nutcracker. Can’t wait.

  • Looks really fun! I’m looking forward to seeing the show. 🙂

  • This sounds fantastic! 😀 Are you able to share which toys get the other two dances (Miniature Overture and Waltz of the Flowers)? I noticed Buzz and Jessie featured together in the original promo video for the show – I hope their dancing won’t be forgotten! Their paso doble was one of my favorite scenes in TS3. 🙂

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