Among all of Pixar's recent movie announcements, the reveal that we would be seeing a Toy Story 4 was perhaps the most troubling. First of all, everyone loves a good trilogy. For whatever reason, three movies and you're out is a fine and satisfying strategy - rarely does a fourth movie improve upon anything.
But most of all, Toy Story 3 was the rare third movie of a series that surpassed everyone's expectations by delivering one of the most remarkable, heartfelt and emotional movies in Pixar's illustrious history. If you are able to shake that moment when the toys stare down imminent death than you are made of stronger stuff than I. And the final scene of Andy playing with his toys one last time before handing them down? Perfection.
How can this toy story be improved? Well, amid statements from Pixar personnel, including the co-directors John Lasseter and John Cooley, trying to ease everyone's worries about potentially ruining a perfectly good ending, Pixar president Jim Morris shed some light on where Toy Story 4 is heading:
The third movie ended in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy. I think this movie is not part of this trilogy. It is a separate story, which in turn I do not know if will be continued. Never begin a project with that in mind... It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. In temperament it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie.
To refute the idea that Disney and Pixar are simply continuing the Toy Story franchise due to the guarantee of more truck loads of money, Morris replied, "“That’s not what it’s about. It’s about an idea that is met with enthusiasm.”
The idea does have great pedigree as it was the result of some brainstorming by the titans of Pixar, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and John Lasseter. After coming up with the inspiration, Lasseter said he, “could not stop thinking about it” and “knew [he] had to make it.”
Scripting a Love Story
All of this news makes the prospect of Toy Story 4 much more interesting than simply finding another reason for Woody to save Buzz or vice versa. And this love story angle makes a lot more sense as to why Will McCormack and Rashida Jones were brought on to write the screenplay.
Many people know Rashida Jones as a comic force on Parks and Recreation and movies like I Love You, Man but Jones and McCormack previously penned the well received break-up comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. So, in the light of this love story, romance plot of Toy Story 4, it does sense that Disney and Pixar would want to bring in a strong female voice to the scriptwriting.
Since Pixar is taking some steps to call Toy Story 4 a stand-alone sequel, I wonder if they might go so far as to eventually retitle the movie to something like Toy Story: The Bonnie Adventure. I doubt it would do much harm and it could go a long way to appropriately set people's expectations.
Creating a Love Buzz
You can count me among the people that were highly skeptical about Pixar moving forward with [Toy Story 4](movie:335430), but the idea of a stand-alone sequel that places its focus on a good love story is full of possibilities. The previous movies have grown up with Andy and after we left him heading to college it is the perfect time to introduce the subject of love into the themes Toy Story has dealt with.
Will it revolve around an established romance like that between Buzz and Jessie and possibly include more background on Jessie's original owner? Will Toy Story 4 find a way to get Woody involved in helping to save Andy's first love? How old will Bonnie be in 2017 anyway? Only time will tell.