Just a short while ago, we received confirmation that Pixar is currently developing Toy Story 4 and it is coming to theaters in 2017. The follow-up film, long expected to be announced given the incredible success of the franchise, will be directed by John Lasseter, possibly one of the busiest individuals in the industry, given his executive roles within Pixar, Disney Animation, and Disney Imagineering. On the heels of the announcement, we have a few story details that we have learned from Lasseter himself. Read what we know about Toy Story 4 after the break!
Rebecca Keegan of the LA Times scored an interview with Lasseter, who offered some details on the premise of the film. Keegan writes:
Lasseter told The Times that “Toy Story 4” will be a love story and will pick up where “Toy Story 3” left off, when Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the series’ toy chest of characters were handed down to a little girl named Bonnie.
Although that is not much to go on, it is certainly more than I was expecting at this point. Now that we know the film’s plot will revolve around a love story, we can start asking questions about the characters the film will focus on. Buzz and Woody were always the stars of the feature films, but secondary characters, such as Jessie, were often given large roles. Rex and Trixie, along with Barbie and Ken, are some of the toys who have been the focus of the Toy Story shorts and specials from the studio. Given that it will be a love story, we have evidence that could see Buzz and Jessie become the stars – the two have been love interests since Toy Story 2.
With Andy’s story coming to an end in Toy Story 3, maybe Toy Story 4 will be the start of Bonnie’s trilogy. Then, we can crawl into a corner and cry all over again when Bonnie has to grow up and leave the toys behind. That is looking too far into the future, though. In all seriousness, Toy Story 4 will be put under a microscope by critics and audiences who believed the Toy Story film franchise was done. Pixar has its work cut out for it, in order to impress audiences all over agin. However, looking back, we may have had our doubts about Toy Story 2, and then again with Toy Story 3, but the studio delivered exceptional films each time.
In the interview, Lasseter reiterated Pixar’s drive to develop strong stories, and not to get bogged down in the box office potential:
“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.
Lasseter also discussed the genesis of the film, stating that the idea came about during a lunch he had with Pixar mainstays Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich. Apparently, Stanton then worked alongside Lasseter to develop the story, while Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever) were brought on to write the script. Specifically referencing Rashida Jones’ addition to the writing team, Lasseter remarked that he “wanted to get a strong female voice in the writing of this,” an encouraging sign given Jones’ great talent. Additionally, as announced by Disney in a press release, Galyn Susman, who produced Toy Story OF TERROR! and Toy Story That Time Forgot, is producing the feature film.
Toy Story 4 heads to theaters on June 16, 2017! There is plenty of time until then to learn more about the film. Stay tuned.