Let’s Start Talking About ‘Toy Story 4’ (Is It Too Early?)

The end of Toy Story 3 seemed pretty concrete, taking the mantra from Disney’s other juggernaut The Lion King and without directly saying it, confirmed The Circle of Life. What more could there be? Turns out, lots.

With Woody, Buzz and the gang all left at a neighbor’s house when Andy finally passes his playthings on to  Bonnie, a child that will play them, we had a fitting and touching end to a story that closed the circle nicely on the beloved series. It solidified the idea that a toy’s greatest joy in life is to be in the hands of child and left our heroes living at dream. Or so we thought. The good people at Pixar apparently think there’s more water in the well and have already begun production on a fourth installment. Let’s dig in.

That production begins with John Lasseter, a name any fan of Pixar, let alone Toy Story should be familiar with as he has had his hands in much of what both Pixar and Disney animation have been putting out for years. As the Chief Creative Officer for both divisions, he’s made sure the highest quality works have been going to screen and it looks like that standard is a guarantee for Toy Story 4 as well. That’s because Lasseter is returning to the director’s chair, his first time since 2011’s Car 2. Lassiter directed both Toy Story 1 and 2 and the franchise is probably his most treasured, so with a questionable return to the Toy Story universe happening, we can be assured he’ll have every best interest in mind.

Writing the story are some unexpected names (maybe). Rashida Jones, best known as an actress, most notably The Office and Parks and Recreation, is working with Will McCormick, also an actor better known for roles on television. Jones and McCormick wrote and starred in Celeste and Jessie Forever (2012). In an interesting hint to her collaboration with Pixar, both were thanked in the credits of Inside Out (2015), perhaps for some touch ups in the script.

So what do we know about the story? Well, not much. The script will be based on a story by Pixar regulars, Lasseter, Pete Docter (Inside Out), Andrew Stanton (WALL-E ), and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich. That’s some impressive talent. The story so far might seems surprising, given the characters but seems like a logical step. It’s going to be a love story about Woody and Bo Peep. If you recall, Bo Peep was lost somewhere between the events of Toy Story 2 and 3, meaning this film will most likely be a quest for Woody (and the gang) to find her and bring her home.

Not too long ago, Tom Hanks, the voice of Woody, got himself in some (planned?) hot water for spilling the beans about his involvement in the next Toy Story, saying that he was a part of the cast. No official word yet on Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, but leaving him out or to another voice actor seems unlikely, though the Spanish Buzz was a very funny bit. So that leaves Bo. The porcelain doll has never had much screen time, even in the films she’s appeared in. And just because she’s in the line-up for the next, doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be headlining either, especially if this a quest film. Either way, it would be nice to have Annie Potts reprise her small role as Bo and give the fan favorite character some new life. That said, both Allen and Potts are listed with the IMDb cast so there you go.

As for the rest of the toys, there’s nothing we can do but guess, and based on the history of the franchise, safely assume all will make appearances, though like Allen and Potts, most are named already. Except one. No Andy.  Like with any Toy Story film, new characters are introduced while some are left behind. We can say with the best of confidence that this will certainly make a play at our emotions, and if it holds true to the series, be a journey that won’t be long forgotten.

Toy Story 4 is scheduled or 2018.

What do you think of another Toy Story? Does a fourth have you excited? Let us know in the comments below.