Toy Story can trace it's beginnings to 1990 following the release of the "Tin Toy" short. In the earliest concept drawings of Buzz Lightyear you can see that his pack has a retro 50's future influence.
However, soon after Toy Story entered pre-production, The Rocketeer was released in theaters. And let's just say it's fairly easy for any Rocketeer fan to spot the influence it obviously had on the Pixar staff. It's no wonder Buzz was so convinced he could fly. True, The Rocketeer made 40 million and Toy Story went on to make over 350 million. However, I'd like to think that Toy Story owes at least small part of its success to a the film released a few years earlier that softened audiences to the idea of a rocket-clad hero. Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself.