You know that weird feeling when you're with a group of people much cooler than you, and you're on the edge of becoming that one person who says "gee guys is this a good idea?" before all these people you admire reassure you that jumping a lake in this stolen convertible is a great idea! That's how I feel in regards to Toy Story 4! The initial trilogy ended so brilliantly, and any attempt to add to it seems like an unnecessary continuation. Yet, I'm constantly told by the pros involved what a great idea it all is, and I really don't wanna be the uncool kid!
Despite being a solid inevitability, Toy Story 4 still seems like a far off prospect that barely feels like it exists in this world. What we need are a few things to clear up the ambiguity, and get us ready for the movie's release in 2017! Here's a round-up of everything you need to know about Toy Story 4!
John Lasseter back to direct!
Who better to head up the continuation of Pixar's flagship property than the head of Pixar itself, John Lasseter? It's always difficult to determine exactly what effect a directorial style can have on a computer-animated movie, though if anyone knows Toy Story from its inception to it's mega-brand status today, it's Lasseter. Don't assume his involvement automatically means a better movie, however, as his other directorial credits include the Cars movies. Just saying.
Cast is unconfirmed
There's still nothing set in stone for the cast of Toy Story 4, though I'd imagine the entire project would shut down if Pixar weren't able to secure series mainstays Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. While other characters and their respective voices are memorable, they're interchangeable in comparison to the vitality of Woody and Buzz. Tom Hanks' brother, Jim Hanks has been known to voice over one-off Toy Story specials, but the likelihood that he will be called in to voice Woody for an entire movie is slim.
Rashida Jones on the writing team
Well Rashida Jones certainly seems to be climbing the ranks! After starring in Inside Out alongside her Parks and Recreation co-star Amy Poehler, Jones is set to write at least a portion of Toy Story 4. I'm certainly optimistic about her role in aiding the plot, as Rashida Jones could bring her brand of humor that's innocent and wholesome with the slightest edge to it. Given that the series is now over twenty years old, could we see the humor on display cater to adults in a greater way?
Bonnie to be a central character
This is only going off the one-off specials since Toy Story 3 that feature Bonnie heavily. Every Toy Story movie so far has focused on the anxiety over ownership and belonging, and the conflict between a child's exterior life, and a toy's intrinsic desires. Are we likely to see the same story told once again from Bonnie's perspective? Perhaps. Toy Story 3 never told us what would happen once Bonnie reaches college age and inevitably has to move on. There's just no escaping it. Toy Story will always be about the existential spiral that leads inevitably to abandonment and oblivion... but for kids!
A "Love Story" plot
The closest thing we have to concrete plot details is the assertion from John Lasseteer that Toy Story 4 will be "a love story". As vague as that is, it still kind of unravels my idea that Toy Story is inherently about abandonment. Damn these optimistic, joyful themes sneaking their way into our kids films! This plot has been in the scripting process for two years, so it's likely the one we're gonna get. Say goodbye to that plot of Buzz getting shipped off to his original factory in Taiwan. It was neat, but it ain't gonna happen!
Release Date: June 16th 2017
June 16th 2017 is quite a way away, and who can say what kind of set backs a project as huge as this one might encounter? Pixar have been upping their game recently, intending to release an original movie every year, and a sequel to one of their properties every other year. Make of that business tactic what you will, but at least it means that the wait for the next Toy Story movie will be filled with titles like The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory and Moana.
It's still a while till we'll see any of Toy Story 4, but until then, you can keep up with all news and updates on the movie right here on Moviepilot!