It’s safe to say Pizza Planet was every kid’s dream, and an accurate depiction of a supreme mid-90s arcade. This article takes a look at the individual games and attractions seen in the arcade area, as well as any real life connections.
The first game on our list happens to be the first arcade game, period. Yep, the monitor is displaying the 1972 arcade classic PONG. But Annihilator has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Anyways, as you can see, the cabinet bears little resemblance to the real life retro woodgrain design of the 70s (including a multi-directional joystick as well). Other things to note? In addition to the “Game Over Dude” screen, the high score listing is pretty amusing. Top score belongs to an ‘AAA’, a familiar sight to those who just didn’t have the time to put in their initials. While the rest of the scores may very well be Easter Eggs, the bottom score of MTV needs little introduction. With a score of 3 compared to the millions every one else got, it’s clear how Pixar feels about them. Four of these cabinets are seen in the arcade.
In the abridged retelling of Pizza Planet in Toy Story: Animated Storybook, this cabinet can be seen in the far back.
You can tell the designers were having a blast with this one, just look at that cabinet art. The player controls a machine gun mounted scooter in first person as they mow down enemies. How this didn’t become a real game is beyond me.
Despite the promising name, this game’s monitor is just playing Scooter attack. Two cabinets are seen in the arcade. This game is present in Toy Story: Animated Storybook. Here, the game’s soundtrack is playing the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme, which Buzz is having a great time dancing to.
Do Unto Others
Looks like a simple first person racing game, except it holds a distinction for its… interesting name. The cabinet is seen in the Pizza Planet section of Toy Story: Animated Storybook.
The art shows wombat with army helmet and machine gun, but the monitor shows the same game as Do Unto Others. The cabinet is barely visible, but appears in Pizza Planet in Toy Story: Animated Storybook.
What’s there to be said about this one? The game, art, and name all suggest something completely different. The name references the traditional Japanese dance-drama Kabuki, the cabinet art shows a superhero falling onto an animated bull, and the game shows a 2D space shooter. Under analysis, the game looks similar to the 1981 arcade classic, Scramble. This machine is most visible in the movie when Woody and Buzz first enter the arcade area and stakeout Andy.
There exist other games as well playing the same game, though they have no marquee or title, just space graphics (which is actually more fitting).Seven of these games are seen in the arcade (one of Kabookey!, four of the unnamed, the rest in the Mission Control center). This unnamed cabinet appears in Toy Story: Animated Storybook. Here, it’s shown to be displaying a violent fighting game (making reference to Mortal Kombat). Buzz tries to break up the fight, but is stopped by the invisible forcefield. He is disgusted as one of the fighters tears the others’ heart out (the heart-tearing is Kano’s fatality move in the original Mortal Kombat).
There being so many light gun games in the market, this seems like a fun jab by Pixar at the excess at the time, with a comically large pulsating gun controller. Seemingly a reference to the Death Star’s planet destroying capabilities from Star Wars (which is more directly referenced by Buzz later on).
Pizza Planet’s own spin on the arcade classic Whac-A-Mole from 1976. In keeping with the space theme, this game humorously recreates one of the most gruesome scenes from Alien where the player has to whack the aliens bursting from the spaceman’s chest. This is what Sid’s playing before noticing the Crane Game (“hey bozo, you got a brain in there?”).
Appearing in Toy Story: Animated Storybook, Woody and Buzz have some fun in this game squaring off against an offscreen opponent. Buzz avoids the hits with ease, while Woody gets struck by the mallet repeatedly.
In a strange twist of events, this became a real game. While dates are unknown, a Toy Story-inspired model was made, appropriately for the real life Pizza Planet at Disney World. Later, a widely-released model was manufactured by Ice Games (removing the Toy Story imagery) renamed Whack ‘N Alien!. Due to the similarities, it would seem that Ice was responsible for the first version as well.
Rocket Ship Crane Game (Space Crane)
Another arcade staple, claw crane machines have been around forever. The customized rocket-shaped crane game is a centerpiece in Pizza Planet’s arcade, as well as an important plot point. After a set amount of time, it gives off a rocket launching effect. This machine also houses Pizza Planet’s iconic mascots, the Squeeze Toy Aliens. As we all know, the real games are rigged to only give a small percentage of payouts. How Sid won twice in a row is beyond me. The machine appears in pretty much every retelling of the movie.
In real life, a replica was fittingly made for Disney World’s Pizza Planet location around 1996. Originally, it was actually stocked with the real Squeeze Toy Aliens (although when I visited in the early 2000s, there was only stuffed aliens. Close enough). No mass produced version has ever hit the markets, however, the Prize Rocket! machine manufactured by Sting seems to take a few cues from the original.
Made to look like a mission control center of a space station, this elaborate piece has information about Pizza Planet’s “rocket launches” on the top displays, while the bottom portion houses six arcade cabinets put together. This includes two cabinets of Scooter Attack and two cabinets of Kabookey!
In Toy Story Activity Center, the top level is a hangout spot for the Aliens, and you can break the fourth wall and watch clips from the movie.
Pizza Hut’s own custom space-themed kiddie ride. Two machines are present next to the Mission Control. A gag in Toy Story Animated Storybook is that this ride is way more intense than other kiddie rides.