In an interview with Collider, Perry discussed his inspirations for the film, including Steven Spielberg’s 2001 science-fiction drama:
There’s a lot inspired by the relationship between David and Teddy in AI. That’s not really a children’s film at all. Crushingly depressing. But the relationship between human and toy bear in that movie is pretty spot on. And Fantastic Mr. Fox is something I’ve been talking about and thinking about because it has a lot of characters and each one is pretty distinct. It’s a fun movie and it works for a four year old and for a thirty year old. But David and Teddy in AI is the relevant model. We’re looking at Toy Story a lot because that’s a thing about toys that are alive just as Pooh Bear and his friends are all stuffed animals.
I can tell you right now, this picture will be awful. This director has no idea of his own so he is mining film history to come up with something. Bad, bad sign.