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Around the time of Toy Story 3, two friends hatched a plan for the ultimate tribute to their favorite animated franchise: making a full-length live action of the original 1995 classic. After two years of work, Jonason Pauley and Jessie Perrotta finally finished their version and posted it on YouTube Saturday. Since then, the video has gone viral, garnering over 3 million views at the moment.
Perrotta, 21, and Pauley, 19, gathered real versions of the toys seen in the films and, with the help of friends, recreated the entire 80-minute film. Rather than record their own voices, they synced their footage with the original soundtrack.
“We were so hyped up after we saw that movie,” Perrotta told ABC News about their reaction to Toy Story 3. “We were initially going to remake one scene, but that wasn’t enough. It went from being one scene to ‘let’s do the whole movie.’”
Even after devoting so much time to the project, Perrotta says that they weren’t confident that they could get the painstaking work done. “Everyone thought we were crazy, but we had reached the point of no return,” he said. “We had to finish, no matter how hard it got. We had told everybody about it, posted a trailer online, we had to do it.”
When they finished the film over the summer, they began contacting Pixar about their plans to post it online. On Jan. 8, they went to Pixar to give them a DVD copy of their film.
“We didn’t have a formal invitation, but we’d contacted them on Twitter to let them know we were coming to give out our DVD. The security guard said he expected us and let us give it out to people going in. That was a nice gesture,” Parrotta told Entertainment Weekly. “We never had an official, ‘Go ahead. We like it.’ But we also never got a ‘No.’ I feel like if they ever wanted us to not have done this, they would have told us. We’re not making any money off of this and we don’t plan to.”
While Pixar didn’t have an official comment on the movie, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich shared it on Twitter.
Parrotta says that they plan to make another film together, telling EW, “We just love Toy Story and have so much respect for Pixar and what they do. We wanted to make something that other Toy Story fans could enjoy as well.”
Here’s the entire film: