Disney recently announced that Toy Story 4 is set for release in 2019. That sparks in me the immediate reaction that we don’t NEED another Toy Story, because we already have three perfect ones. Granted, I had this reaction when Toy Story 2 was announced AND when Toy Story 3 was announced, and while it’s hard to differentiate between how perfect these films are, the sequels are probably both better than the original. I hope the same kind of care to the legacy of these characters (much more recognizable to the children of the world today than Mickey, Minnie, or Pluto) is upheld.
Toy Story 2 introduced a number of new characters to the gang, most notably, Jessie the Cowgirl (voiced by Joan Cusack). Unlike the toys of Andy’s room, Jessie had lead a much more tumultuous life. She preferred life as a collectible, because being loved by a child hurt too much (as all the toys would learn in the next installment) when that child outgrows them. Woody finally gets her to open up and tell her story, which is sad enough, but oh no, no, Pixar wasn’t satisfied with jumping up and down on your heart strings. They wantonly deployed Sarah McLachlan, the master of vocal tear generation, to sing the beautiful “When She Loved Me” over Jessie’s tale.
Pixar’s been in a rut for the most part over the last few years. It is heartening to hear the sequels are stopping after Toy Story 2, and we have had a few gems like Inside Out and Finding Dory, but when you watch a scene like this, you remember what Pixar was and should be again. There isn’t a demographic on Earth not moved by some part of this scene. They didn’t make films for kids, they made them for all ages in a way that never pandered to any age. This is the bar they face in Toy Story 4. So….good luck with that!
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. Continue reading Toy Story 4 is Officially Scheduled for 2017…….But Why?
I remember going to see the first Toy Story and just walking out stunned. I saw it five or six times in the theater. I couldn’t get over the computer animation. It was stunning, even though they couldn’t do a tenth of the things they can do now. But it was more than that: the movie was amazing. All kids believe their toys have lives of their own when they shut the playroom door. That Pixar was able to take that concept and weave a story that touched and amused all ages was the beginning of what we know now is their formula for success. Woody and Buzz are the two most iconic characters added to the Disney canon since Mickey and Donald. For kids born in the last twenty years, they’re much MORE important than Mickey and Donald.
There are so many great scenes in the film. I came down to this and the scene at the gas station where Woody is screaming at Buzz that he’s a toy and Buzz treats him like someone off his meds. However, I love the squeezy zealots. Love them. The idea that they live in the prize machine and have developed a cult based upon worship of the claw still slays me. Nearly 20 years and it’s still as good as the first time I saw it.
I don’t think I’ve ever put off writing a review like I’ve put off writing my review of Toy Story 3. This movie, quite honestly, messed me up. I don’t mind telling you, though not a crier, I spent the last 15 minutes of this movie reduced to a sobbing, gibbering wreck. There have actually been a number of stories on this happening to men my age, and in manly defensiveness….here’s a link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/7859472/What-is-it-about-Toy-Story-3-that-makes-grown-men-cry.html. Continue reading Movie Review: Toy Story 3 (2010) “A Perfect Goodbye”