Rex is based on the Tyrannosaurus toy from the Dinoriders toyline. In the original story pitch for Toy Story, Rex's personality was mostly the same as in the final film (although his reaction to the birthday was even more horror-struck and devastated, where he clung to Slinky while sobbing and yelling that they're "doomed" mid-sobs), except that he also showed himself to get very angry and vengeful when Woody callously admits to throwing Buzz out of the window on purpose.
Ironically, despite being portrayed as a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex, Rex is gentle, kind, caring, and hates any kind of argument or confrontation. He also lacks some intelligence and is extremely trusting and carefree. His greatest fear is that he will be replaced or abandoned, but he is usually enthusiastic about anything and everything. With his childlike demeanor and lack of self-confidence, Rex is the most innocent of all the toys and shows the greatest desire to be loved and played with. He also has a fear of other dinosaurs, but this is eventually overcome.
In the beginning of the film, Rex attempts to try out his roar to Woody after luring him there by stealing his notepad. He learns to his dismay that the roar he emitted did not even come close to scaring Woody, and in fact, it actually came off as annoying. He is also shocked along with the toys when he learns that Andy's "birthday" was moved from the Wednesday of the following week to the current day, and expresses fear of his being replaced, especially if it was another carnivore-based dinosaur toy as he wouldn't take that rejection well. When the surprise present is unveiled to the kids and Sarge reports it, but is unable to ascertain the identity of the present, Rex ends up inadvertently wrecking the baby monitor due to his shaking the bedside table due to impatiently wanting to know the identity of the surprise present, which earns him a good reprimand from Mr. Potato Head and Hamm for his anxiety getting the better of him. When Buzz Lightyear first came to Andy's room, he was just as amazed by him as all the other toys (as well as greatly relieved that Buzz wasn't another dinosaur) and even managed to become more fierce with his roar thanks to Buzz.
Rex tries to avoid confronting Woody when he is accused of trying to jealously kill Buzz (although mostly because he doesn't want confrontation from either side), but slowly and reluctantly turns against him under peer pressure, quickly experiencing guilt later on when Bo Peep sees Woody with Buzz on RC and causes the toys to realize their mistake, to their horror and remorse. He is known to have a queasy stomach and actually "barfed" when he saw Buzz's severed arm.
By the end of the film, he seems to have gained confidence throughout the movies, expressing hope that Andy will receive a leaf-eating dinosaur for Christmas that Rex can play with and intimidate.
Rex has a larger role in the second film. He is first seen playing the Buzz Lightyear: Attack on Zurg video game, which terminates with Buzz being destroyed by Emperor Zurg, much to Rex's frustration and Buzz's disappointment, who says that Rex almost had it and that he should be a better Buzz than he is. Rex later inadvertently destroys the toys' presentation of Woody's kidnapping after he is stolen by Al McWhiggin of Al's Toy Barn. He is then seen channel-hopping in an attempt to find Al's Toy Barn commercial, but Hamm eventually takes over, doing it far more rapidly.
Thinking he is prepared with his video game experiences, Rex accompanies Buzz, Potato Head, Hamm, and Slinky on their mission to rescue Woody. After the toys enter Al's Toy Barn, Rex excitedly finds a "Buzz Lightyear" video game strategy guide. He is later heard talking incessantly about the guidebook to Potato Head, much to the latter's annoyance. While riding with the other toys in a convertible, Rex blocks Tour Guide Barbie's view with the guidebook, causing the car to crash into a gumball machine and losing the guidebook as a result. Unable to retrieve it, Rex catches up with the moving car and falls in headfirst. He later attracts Buzz #2 (unaware he wasn't Andy's Buzz) with his claim of knowing how to defeat Zurg.
Rex is considered to be the heaviest of Andy's toys when he loses his grip on the new Buzz's utility belt grappling hook and pushes the toys to the bottom, causing the new Buzz's strength to give out. Later, Buzz #2 and the toys use Rex's head as a battering ram to break into Al's apartment. When the toys later go down the elevator after Al leaves the room with Woody and the Roundup gang, Rex witnesses the duel between Buzz #2 and an Emperor Zurg action figure. Just as Zurg is about to finish Buzz #2 off (at point blank range), Rex turns away, not bearing to look anymore, but his tail lashes out and knocks Zurg down the elevator shaft, making him feel overjoyed about finally defeating Zurg.
At the end of the film when Hamm is playing the video game, he asks Rex for help, but Rex proudly replies, "I don't need to play; I've lived it!"
In a blooper, the toys use him as a battering ram, only for Rex to hurt his head when banged against the locked grate.
Rex returns in the third film, as he eagerly awaits the opportunity to finally get played with by children again. Years later, Andy is 17 years old, and Rex, like the other toys, wishes so much to be played with that he even gets excited when Andy picks him up. The toys are accidentally almost thrown away by Andy's mom, thinking that they are trash. Rex was responsible for saving the toys lives with his pointy tail to split open the trash bag. With them believing that they are just junk to Andy now, they decide to sneak into a box bound for Sunnyside Daycare.
Once at Sunnyside, they are welcomed by the other toys that reside there, led by Lotso, the strawberry-scented bear (as remarked by Rex), who show that Sunnyside is a paradise for toys where you will be played with by generations and generations of kids. The toys there take Rex and the others to the Caterpillar Room, telling them that they will soon be played with by children. When the kids are returning to the room, Rex eagerly waits in front of the door, excited that he is finally going to get some play time. However, when the kids enter, it is discovered that they are very little children who have no regard for treating a toy right, even breaking off Rex's tail. When the toys try to complain to Lotso, it is revealed that they were sent to the Caterpillar Room to be beaten up by the toddlers on purpose and that you have to earn joining the Butterfly Room. Lotso even reprograms Buzz so that he is back to being a senseless astronaut who keeps Rex and the toys in shelved baskets (which function as prison cells).
The next day, following another rough playtime with the toddlers, Woody returns to Sunnyside, and Rex and the other toys are elated to see him again. Woody then formulates an elaborate plan to help the toys escape Sunnyside and make it back to Andy. That night, Rex and Hamm distract Buzz by staging a little fight, and when Buzz attempts to break off the fight, Jessie calls to him and entraps Buzz in a plastic storage bin, then Rex and Hamm immediately jump onto the bin prevent his escape. However, Buzz breaks himself free, and Rex and Hamm tackle him down from the side to prevent him from escaping. In order to reset Buzz, Woody has Rex insert his finger into a tiny hole below the switch, which causes Buzz to shut down for a brief second, then spring back to life in his Spanish deluded version. After a series of attempts and planning, the toys finally escape Sunnyside through the trash chute but are confronted by Lotso, who had "broken" Chatter into informing him of the escape plan, along with several of his henchmen. Woody, having been informed of Lotso's past, brings up the subject of Daisy, making Big Baby (and by extent the other Sunnyside toys) turn on Lotso.
After Big Baby throws Lotso in the chute, an alien's feet was stuck in the lid. Woody goes in to help, but Lotso grabs him and puts him inside the trash chute. Rex and the toys follow to save him. Rex was the last one to get a metal object and hung onto a fan. When approaching the incinerator a few feet away from where they were, Rex mistakes it for daylight. Woody points out that it wasn't daylight, and it turns out it was fire. Rex was horrified when Lotso left him to die in the incinerator. He was desperate from being burned to flames and held Hamm and Potato Head's hand when they thought they were about to die. But they got rescued by the Aliens.
When the toys make their way back home, they clean themselves of the dirt and grime that had made its way onto them during their escape. The toys aside Woody climb into a box bound for attic and they toys say goodbye to him; Rex tells Woody to take care of Andy. However, Woody decides that the toys deserve a better place than the attic so he writes to Andy to donate the toys to Bonnie Anderson. Andy arrives at Bonnie's house and gives his toys to her; when he shows Rex to Bonnie, he makes roaring sounds as if Rex is roaring, making her recoil initially, but she chuckles as she notices that it's just a toy and takes Rex.
After Andy leaves, Rex is briefly seen talking to Trixie, becoming close friends with her, as further shown in the film credits when the two dinosaur toys are seen playing a game on a computer together. Their cooperation pays off as they help each other reach the end of the game, then Trixie reaches her paws out to catch Rex's tiny arms in a high-five. Finally, Rex and Trixie are seen side by side as the toys enjoy watching Buzz and Jessie perform a pasodoble to "Hay Un Amigo En Mi" (the Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me").
He will return in Toy Story 4 and help Woody reunite with Bo Peep.
The Dinosaur Who Eats Force Field Dogs
- “Well, I brought my dinosaur, who eats force field dogs!”
- ―Woody, after One-Eyed Bart protects himself and his goons with his Attack Dog with a Built-In Force Field
During Andy's play scenario that occurs in the opening sequences for both Toy Story and Toy Story 3, the latter taking place in real-world imagination in the Wild West, Rex is portrayed as Sheriff Woody's Dinosaur Who Eats Force Field Dogs. When summoned by Woody (and his allies in Toy Story 3), his role is to destroy an "Attack Dog with a Built-In Force Field" (Slinky's role), which Mr. Potato Head's character One-Eyed Bart (as well as his goons in Toy Story 3) has summoned for protection, so Woody can arrest Bart. In the third film, Jessie yodels out to summon the dinosaur, who appears from the cracking ground below. However, before he can destroy the "force field," he is interrupted when a spaceship controlled by Evil Dr. Porkchop (Hamm's character) appears, and Dr. Porkchop warps the villains, along with their attack dog, back inside the spaceship. Dr. Porkchop then activates "Death by Monkeys" to capture the heroes, and the Dinosaur Who Eats Force Field Dogs ends up being run over and defeated by the monkeys.
Rex makes a cameo during the credits of the film auditioning for the role of Ted, but Rex was soon dismissed and replaced by a giant chicken named Ted.
Rex makes a cameo as a toy in the beginning when WALL-E opens his truck.
Rex appeared in all the Toy Story Toons shorts, with the most prominent appearance being Partysaurus Rex in which he served as the protagonist.
- ―Rex, posing as the Hawaiian state bird
When Barbie and Ken are unhappy about Bonnie not taking them to Hawaii, Rex and the other toys help out Barbie and Ken by turning Bonnie's room into a tropical Hawaiian paradise. Rex poses as the state bird, the giant nay-nay.
Rex, alongside Buzz, were taken to Poultry Palace by Bonnie. When Bonnie goes over to the ball pit, she then has Buzz and Rex fall down the slide, before Mrs. Anderson tells her it's time to go. Rex then tells Buzz that he loves playtime, with Buzz about to agree, even if the environment was unsanitary, but he was replaced by Fun Meal Buzz Lightyear who proceeded to finish for him, causing Rex to think Buzz actually was shrunk by the plastic balls in the ball pit. After returning home, Rex then announced they have returned, with Woody and the others coming to greet him. However, they then discover Fun Meal Buzz, and although Rex (who was called "Tex" by Fun Meal Buzz) told the toys the ball pit balls made Buzz shrink, the other toys saw through the ploy and demanded Fun Meal Buzz to tell them where the real Buzz was. Eventually, Rex got into an argument with Woody, who angrily tried to point out, despite Rex's insistence that it was the real Buzz, that the "Buzz" currently in the room was obviously not the real Buzz due to "Buzz" being at least three inches tall. He later participated in the planning process to rescue Buzz, something that was later proven unnecessary when Buzz revealed himself to have escaped through the drive-thru, with Rex and the other toys welcoming him back enthusiastically.
When attempting to prevent the bubble being blown by Mrs. Potato Head from hitting the floor, Rex accidentally popped the bubble, and also clumsily knocked the toys behind him with his tail, causing the toys to angrily chew him out, with Mr. Potato Head also teasing him by calling him "Partypooper Rex." Because Rex was the only toy present when Bonnie took him for bathtime, Rex was taken to the bath with her, where he played the role of a large sea monster who attacked Captain Suds and Chuck E. Duck (the former finding him as a survivor) before the bathtime was over. He then was introduced to the other bath toys directly afterward, with him adopting the name "Partysaurus Rex" largely due to Mr. Potato Head's earlier taunt of him. When the water fully drained, Rex, although initially hesitant to start the bath again, eventually decided to do a new bath, even adopting a new garb as a result. However, he eventually realized that the bath was threatening to overflow, and attempted to the best of his abilities to end it and prevent the bathtub from overflowing, although complications from the other toys, as well as the stop switch breaking and accidentally causing the shower to be activated, had him fail. Because of his actions, the house ended up flooded with a huge tidal wave. Rex then commented that he was a Partysaurus, and then got the opportunity to prove it to his friends when the pool toys requested he starts a party, also donning his Partysaurus hat.
Rex is one of the main protagonists of the special and is first seen when Bonnie takes him, Trixie, and other toys to Mason's house. He is later seen walking amongst the Battlesaurs playsets with the others. To his delight, he is fitted with Battlesaur robot arms under the command of the Cleric, and starts using them to do things he couldn't do with his usual stubby arms. Later, he is commanded against his will by the Cleric to use his arms to drop Buzz and Woody into a fan, which would incinerate them. Before being shredded, however, Bonnie and Mason enter the room, thereby stopping the Cleric's plan. The robot arms are later removed from Rex before he returns home with Bonnie.
Besides parades, Rex does not truly make any appearances in the parks. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, he can be seen in the Pixar Play Parade as well as a mini-game alongside Trixie in Toy Story Mania which can also be found in Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. He can also be seen in other various parades in other Disney theme parks around the world. Despite not making many appearances live, Rex is often seen in a large variety of merchandise.
Aside from the actual parks, Rex plays a major role in the musical stage adaption of the film on board the Disney Cruise Line.
From Official Website:
- "Rex may look like the most fearsome dinosaur in the toy box, but this tyrannosaurus is one of the most lovable toys of the bunch. Despite his endless worries and insecurities about his small roar, Rex always comes through for his pals."
- In Toy Story on Ice, Rex has a wife named Mrs. Rex.
- Rex is shown to be left-handed. When meeting Buzz in Toy Story, he shakes Buzz's left hand.
- Rex quotes a few of George McFly's lines from Back to the Future: "I don't like confrontations!" and "I don't think I could take that kind of rejection!"
- Rex makes a cameo in the outtakes for Monsters, Inc. where he tries out for the role of Ted. Accordingly, he is shown to be taller than Mike and Sulley. Wallace Shawn reprised the role, though he was uncredited.
- This is the first appearance Rex has made outside his franchise.
- A Rex toy appears at the beginning of WALL-E for a brief second when WALL-E is opening the door of his truck. Since it's a close-up, it can be very easy to spot.
- This is the second appearance Rex has made outside his franchise.
- According to the official movie magazine for Toy Story 3, Andrew Stanton is credited for the final design of Rex's face in the original film.
- In the first film, Rex states that he was made by a subsidiary of Mattel (coincidentally, real-life Rex toys are now made by Mattel and Thinkway).
- Real-life Rex toys used to be made by Hasbro, but as of 2009, they are indeed made by Mattel.
- In early concepts, Rex's character was originally an Apatosaurus.
- Along with the Aliens, Rex is the only main character to not use an angry expression in "Alive" mode.
- In the first three Toy Story movies, Rex parodies Jurassic Park, starring Wayne Knight who played Al McWhiggin.
- In Toy Story, when Rex roars at Mr. Potato Head during the song "Strange Things", his roar sounds just like the Tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park.
- In Toy Story 2, while inside Al's Toy Barn, Rex appears in a rearview side mirror (viewed by Mr. Potato Head) as he tries to catch up with the car, parodying a scene from Jurassic Park where a T-Rex appears in a rear-view mirror when chasing a crew in a jeep (although for entirely different reasons as the T-Rex in the film was trying to eat the crew in the car, while Rex was attempting to get back in the car).
- In Toy Story 3, when Rex appears out of the ground, he roared with the Jurassic Park T-Rex roar.
- Rex shows symptoms of neurosis in all three movies. This problem is somewhat addressed to this in the 2012 animated short Partysaurus Rex.
- Rex, despite being a toy Tyrannosaurus rex, actually has three fingers on each hand instead of two in real life. However, this may have been intentional since Rex is a toy dinosaur, which, unless it was sold at a science museum gift shop or made for educational purposes, is actually not meant to be accurate.
- As of 2013, Rex and Buzz were the only Toy Story characters to appear in every medium in the franchise.