Sheriff Woody was a toy based off of the old puppet show, Woody's Roundup. The show itself was sponsored by Cowboy Crunchies and was so successful that it spawned a massive toy-line featuring characters like Sheriff Wood, Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete the Prospector. The show was canceled after the launch of Sputnik 1 which drew attention away from the world of the Wild West and into the deep vastness of Space; however, the merchandise, such as Woody, lived on.
Sheriff Woody was created by John Lasseter as a character in the animated film, Toy Story.
Woody went through a variety of changes during his creation and after the first few screenings of the original Toy Story footage. His character personality made him less of a charismatic leader and more of a destructive tyrant, forcing the other toys to obey his orders and severely harming them if they disobeyed. This was changed after they realized that Woody was too much of a jerk, thus leading to the more polite and natural leader seen in the films.
Woody's appearance has been changed over the course of the original film as well; his forehead has a small indent on it where Sid Phillips burnt him with a magnifying glass, the 'Andy' name written in marker on his foot has become more and more faded and his arm was torn in the second film thus leading to new stitches.
Major Story Arcs
Woody is shown to be the favorite toy of Andy in the opening sequence, in which he and Woody enact a robbery scene with Mr. Potato Head portraying the robber, One Eyed Bart. Once Andy leaves the Toys they come alive and Woody begins his usual routine, checking up on the Toys, preparing them for Andy's birthday and for the moving out process that the Davis Family were soon to begin. Throughout this first act Woody is very calm, cool and collected, showing the required traits of a leader; however, when Andy receives a Buzz Lightyear toy from his mother everything changes.
In the rush of excitement following the new gift Woody is pushed off his spot, Andy's bed, by the new Toy, Buzz. Woody makes attempts to reclaim his spot and communicate with Buzz; however, Buzz truly believes that he is a space-ranger and not a toy, thus making it nearly impossible to discuss the reality of the situation. In an attempt to disprove that Buzz is a space-ranger Woody asks him to fly around the room using his wings, and, due to sheer dumb luck, Buzz is able to simulate flight thus impressing the other toys.
The period after Buzz's arrival plagues Woody as Andy began transforming his room from a western theme into a space-ranger theme, removing posters of cowboys and replacing them with astronauts and aliens. Woody quickly becomes angered at Buzz and attempts to eliminate him from the equation, knocking him out of the window when Andy is told he can only bring one toy to Pizza Planet, thus ensuring that Andy brings him and not Buzz. Unfortunately for Woody his plan backfires and Buzz ends up recovering, hitching a ride on Mrs.Davis's car and getting to Pizza Planet with Woody. It is here that they wind up in the hands of Andy's neighbor, Sid Phillips.
Sid takes both Woody and Buzz back to his home, a place of terror in Woody's eyes as he knows Sid tortures his toys. During his imprisonment at Sid's he has a small dent burnt into his forehead, a lasting mark of his time with Sid. Realizing that he and Buzz need to leave Sid's or they'll wind up left behind when Andy moves he begins to formulate a plan; however, the plan fails when Buzz enters a deep state of depression after witnessing a toy commercial for Buzz Lightyear toys. Woody makes a second attempt to escape after Sid attaches an explosive to Buzz, teaming up with Sid's toys to psychological traumatize him by revealing that the Toys are alive.
Woody is able to help Buzz and the two begin chasing after the moving van that had left Andy's house moments after their escape, Buzz easily makes it to the vehicle but Woody is attacked by Sid's dog, Scud, and is prevented from climbing onto the van. In a selfless sacrifice, Buzz jumps from the van onto Scud so that he releases Woody, thus allowing Woody access to the van. Woody, now having built a bond with Buzz, attempts to save him by sending RC Race Car after him; however, the other toys believe that Woody is trying to eliminate more of them and throw him overboard.
The toys realize the error of their ways after they see Buzz and Woody riding on RC and make and attempt to save him by having them hold onto an end of Slinky Dog, but Slinky is stretched out too far and loses his grip. In a moment of desperation Woody lights the rocket on Buzz's back thus propelling them at massive speeds. They throw RC into the back of the van and then continue flying, this confuses Woody, but Buzz informs him that they're aiming for Mrs. Davis's car, not the van. The duo successfully make it into the car and winding up in Andy's ownership once again.
In the conclusion Woody and Buzz have become great friends and joke about Woody's jealousy, discussing that whatever Andy gets for Christmas this year it couldn't be anything cooler than a Buzz Lightyear. To their surprise, Andy receives a puppy, thus sending the two into a fit of nervous laughter.