In a press release given this afternoon, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the return of the Toy Story gang to theaters in their next feature, Toy Story 4, coming June 16, 2017! It was also announced that esteemed Director, Executive Producer, Walt Disney Animation Studio's CCO, and Pixar Animation Studios CCO, John Lasseter, will return to his franchise as the director of the new film. Find out more about Toy Story 4 after the break!
Full Press Release:
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!
Nearly two decades after Pixar Animation Studios created the world’s first computer-animated feature film with “Toy Story,” it revealed plans for Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” an adventure that returns audiences to the world of the studio’s signature characters.
John Lasseter, director of the original “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” will direct the film, which opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the “Toy Story” gang. The story was dreamt up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, the storytellers who have been the driving force behind all three “Toy Story” films.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “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.”
Writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”) joined the project, and Pixar veteran Galyn Susman (ABC’s “Toy Story OF TERROR!” and “Toy Story that Time Forgot”) is producing.
The film is slated for release on June 16, 2017.
My initial thought that came to me when this news dropped surprised me. I was disappointed. Why? Perhaps because I felt that the Toy Story franchise wasn't begging for a third sequel and that a fourth film would seem as a cash grab. But then I stopped myself. Why (again)? Because this is Pixar. Not that Pixar hasn't made any mistakes (because they have misfired), but because the Toy Story franchise is different. It is historic. It is unique. It is quintessential Pixar. And, Pixar never makes a sequel unless the story that they have come up with begs for one. Take it from Lasseter himself, who recently spoke in an LA Times article on the news: "'A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it's pure passion,' said Lasseter, who directed the first two 'Toy Story' films. 'We only make sequels when we have a story that's as good as or better than the original.'" And for all of those out there who are saying something along the lines of "but Toy Story 3 ended so perfectly?!" you are right. Toy Story 3 ended Toy Story 3 perfectly, just as any film should. But, it didn't end the story of Woody and Buzz, or Bonnie, or any of the other incredible characters in this franchise.
Toy Story 4 will be great. Toy Story was great. Toy Story 2 was great. Toy Story 3 was great. What is stopping the next film from being great? Maybe you. That is why you have to give the film a chance. Toy Story 4 can only be as good as how much you believe in it. So join me, Pixar, and Disney in believing in the fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise, because the only way for it to be great is if it is believed in and beloved. It is your choice, but if I were you, I would be in theaters on June 16, 2017, cheering on Toy Story 4 just as much as the person sitting next to you!
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