There has been a rumor going around, leaked in large part by Tom Hanks, that Disney has been working on a Toy Story 4. Today, rumor became official announcement and Disney Pixar announced that they will indeed be releasing a fourth installment in the founding franchise of Pixar some time in 2017. John Lasseter, who directed the first two films, talked a little about the genesis of the project. Apparently the idea was a collaboration between the Pixar giants: Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and John Lasseter as well as Toy Story 3’s director Lee Unkrich.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” says 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.”
The script for Toy Story 4 will be provided by actors-turned-screenwriters Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who previously penned and starred in Celeste and Jesse Forever. They’re working from a story idea by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich! Pixar’s Galyn Susman will produce.
Every time they’ve gone back to make a Toy Story sequel, I thought it would be horrible. Every time they made me eat it and eat it big time. Toy Story 3 had me crying unashamed man tears and I was not the only big guy in that theater all off a sudden transformed into a child losing our favorite toys. It was a perfect ending to arguably the only perfect trilogy ever made. WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU DO THIS?
Money. Ok, perhaps I’m wrong and the talent that came up with the idea are some of the best minds in the history of animation. However, this is not something operating in a vacuum. Cars 2 &3, Monsters University, The Incredibles 2, and Finding Dory are all already released sequels to previous Pixar works. Cars 2 and Monsters University are respectively horrific and average. Everyone knows that since John Lasseter is now in charge of theme park, animation and live action films now, how that particular sequel got greenlit.
Brave was good, but nowhere near the standard of its predecessors and the production was tumultuous to put it kindly. The Good Dinosaur, originally scheduled to be 2015’s Pixar film has had so many problems that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was scrapped altogether. The only other original film in development is Pete Docter’s Inside Out, which looks really smart and promising and those are two words I haven’t associated with Pixar decisions or product since Cars 2 ended the veneer of perfection the company exuded.
The Incredibles 2 was the only sequel that anyone ever wanted in the first place. But Brad Bird wouldn’t do it until he had, wait for it, a story. An idea is not a story. And these guys aren’t writing the script, they’re handing it over to the team that wrote Celeste and Jesse Forever. They had a perfect legacy product with a perfect ending and now the well of ideas has run so dry that they’ve actually come full circle and are eating their own tail. I want to be wrong because I love Pixar’s work, Pixar’s excellence, Pixar’s creation of the greatest pantheon of characters in a short period of time since Marvel Comics in the 1960’s. But more of those characters does not equate improvement of them. In most cases, they’ve diluted the characters and in some cases made them unbearable. I don’t care if it doesn’t mean a Pixar film for five years. Start creating again. Bring in new blood. Have someone who can tell John Lasseter , “NO”, and get back to the studio that was almost magic in their ability to put together a run of films that arguably surpassed Disney’s original. I don’t want to see Toy Story 4.. I want to remember my farewell to Woody and Buzz the wayas it was. Make new magic and stop leaning like desperate old men on the cane of your past successes,