Toy Story 3 ended on a perfect note. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the rest of the gang endured an incredible journey as they prepared to leave Andy forever. To this day, the thought of Andy giving away his prized possessions, the toys that he cared for (and little did he know they also cared for him) and grew up with, gives me goosebumps. The film was capped with Andy handing his toys off to Bonnie, one of the most heartfelt moments to grace any film in the last 10 years. Now, here we are, almost 10 years later and we are on the verge of Toy Story 4.
The question I heard most often from others when Toy Story 4 was announced was, “Why?”. “Why is Pixar making a sequel to a trilogy whose story had come to an end?”. This is a valid question. The feature films in the franchise that have been released until this point have all revolved around Andy’s time with the toys. It was clear that Andy’s story had come to an end so I would argue the better question to ask would be, “Do we need another feature film in the franchise?”. And the answer is no. Still, that does not mean that a follow-up film is destined for mediocrity. It also does not mean that it is destined for greatness. This is what leads to the conflict that lives in my mind. Although I don’t need to see another Toy Story feature film, having the chance to see characters that I grew up with grace the screen again is an opportunity I feel that I just can’t miss.
At the same time, we have yet to see Pixar stumble when it comes to Toy Story. The animation studio has arguably been firing on all cylinders when it comes to the franchise. You could make the argument that any one of the three feature films is one of the greatest in the studio’s amazing catalog of films. This is what raises my level of excitement. The original Toy Story, the film that started it all for Pixar is my favorite Pixar film, and each film in the franchise only deepened my love for these characters. Of course, I am excited to see them again. Not everyone is, though.
Many years of reading comments online and hearing from people who are predicting that a film will be terrible has led me to strongly come down on the side of not condemning films before I have the chance to see them (even if the trailers are awful). I hesitate to throw negative criticism at something that I have not had the chance to fully see yet. I am excited for what is in store for the lovable group of toys, yet I cannot help feeling nervous. Can you blame me? The film is only the sequel to one of the greatest trilogies of all-time. No pressure there, Pixar.
Toy Story 4 arrives in theaters on June 21st.