Woody, Buzz, Jessie — they all have Andy’s name written on the bottom of their feet, but they belong to all of us. They even hold a special place in the hearts of my generation, who literally grew up with these toys from our childhood into adulthood.
In the summer of 2010, Toy Story 3 premiered and ended the trilogy in what many considered the perfect way. Andy went off to college, just as many of the audience members were preparing to do themselves (myself included), and Woody and the gang found a new home with Bonnie. So color everyone surprised when Disney/Pixar announced plans for Toy Story 4 yesterday.
It’s clear from the announcement that this has been in the works for some time. It already has a release date of June 16, 2017 and is being created by Pixar icons, including John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as the director of both Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3; Pete Docter, director of Up; and Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo are also said to be involved. Helping pen the screenplay will be newcomers Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreation) and Will McCormack (who helped Jones pen the screenplay for Celeste and Jesse Forever).
This came as surprising news for fans, but if Pixar’s track record with this franchise can be trusted, we should rest assured.
No plot details have been revealed yet but Lasseter did make a statement regarding the film: “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee, and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie — and I wanted to direct it myself.”
Besides, these characters were not retired completely after Toy Story 3 — they made appearances in short films like Toy Story of Terror and the series Toy Story Toons. And while the cast for the new movie is unconfirmed for now, it’s safe to assume the major cast members like Tom Hanks, Woody Allen, and Joan Cusack, will be reprising their roles as they’ve done for the shorts in the past few years.
So what are your thoughts? Excited to see more of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, or do you think they should have left the franchise where it was? Any ideas for possible stories? Sound off in the comments below!