Toy Story is a huge franchise for Disney/Pixar, as Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the rest of the gang are instantly recognizable and incredibly popular around the world. The three films brought in a little under $2 billion in revenue worldwide and billions more in merchandise sales, so it is with little surprise that both Disney and Pixar want to keep the characters relevant. Rather than extend the trilogy in theaters, they have had the inspired idea to create shorts that do not step on the toes of the trilogy’s masterful ending. Now, a brand new project has been announced – a TV special called Toy Story of Terror!, set to debut in 2013.
Along with a first look at a “work-in-progress” logo for the special (above), Animation World Network (via Upcoming Pixar) has a short plot synopsis:
What starts out as a fun road trip for the Toy Story gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel. After one of the toys goes missing, the others find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this Toy Story of Terror.
This is quite the interesting turn for the Toy Story franchise, as the first film was actually set to be a TV special. There had never been a feature-length computer animated film up to that point, and while that was a goal for the studio, the shorter length of a TV special was thought to be a good stepping stone to achieving that goal. However, they soon realized that since they were already working on a lengthy piece, they may as well go all the way. The result? The idea of a TV special was left behind and Toy Story, as we know it, was born.
Pixar is now revisiting its history with Toy Story of Terror!, a TV special that will likely run a half-hour. While the network it will air on has not yet been announced, the Disney-owned ABC or Disney Channel seem likely choices. I would lean towards the former, given the network’s greater accessibility and significance of this project.
In all likelihood, Pixar’s Canadian branch in Vancouver is and will be working on the animation and technical sides of the special. Pixar Canada’s website states:
Located in beautiful Vancouver BC, Pixar Canada produces animated shorts and television specials, featuring characters from Pixar’s prior films.
The Canadian team did some fantastic work on the latest Toy Story Toon, Partysaurus Rex, so I am excited to see what they can do with a longer format.
Toy Story of Terror! is currently set to debut during the Halloween season in 2013.
Are you looking forward to Toy Story of Terror!? Would you like to see Pixar work on a Toy Story 4 as well?