What’s the Latest on Toy Story 4?

The ending of Toy Story 3 left many fans believing that it was the end of a trilogy with nothing left to use to continue on. Then there were the rumors of a “Toy Story 4” and now the latest has the next version of the franchise is not only scheduled for production, but for release. To the dismay of some, that release date has been moved back to about a year from now — June 21, 2019. The next installment in the hit movie franchise will be simultaneously released in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you are wondering why there has been an “it’s on” and then “it’s off” story for a while, it seems that the writers and producers of the movie are following a line of thinking that is becoming increasingly popular in the industry these days. They wanted to not only get it right, but they wanted to do justice to its predecessors. What made their decision even more difficult was they believed the ending to “Toy Story 3” was too perfect to toy with.

So here are the key movie storyline elements that we can expect when the next installment finally finds its way back into our childhood hearts.

  • Bonnie had the toys bequeathed to her and the current thinking is that she will continue to remain their owner.
  • Because the writers, producers, and director wanted to get it right, they are letting fans know this is a standalone story, so they have to damper any future expectations of a “Toy Story 5.”
  • The major storyline will be the search for Bo Peep. The last we heard, Bo Peep had been sold at a yard sale.
  • Why Bo Peep? Director John Lassiter said that the curly critter reminded him of the life of his wife, former Apple computer engineer, Nancy. At least in part.
  • The movie will be bringing back some of the creative talent from previous Toy Story installments. While Lassiter will be at the directing helm, he will also be part of the writing team which will include Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Stephany Folsom, and Unkrich.
  • Galyn Susman will be returning as a producer and actor Josh Cooley will be co-directing with Lassiter.
  • The soundtrack will continue to be provided by Toy Story favorite Randy Newman.
  • The major voice actors, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, have not yet signed on for the movie, but it is hard to imagine doing “Toy Story 4” without them. But we are not expecting any of them to disappoint us.

All this gives us the framework of what will be happening, and it seems clear even the storyline details have been worked out — they’re just not letting us know until the signing of the major actors. That may be part of the reason for the delay in the release date, so everyone’s acting schedules can get lined up.

What is evident is that John Lassiter wanted to get as many pieces of his old team together for what appears to be the last — definitely the last — Toy Story movie. The emphasis is on the fact this is a standalone, but at the same time Disney does not want fans of the franchise to think they are just doing it for the money it will bring in. There are other factors to be considered, such as some of the actors are getting up in years, and that the difficulty of following up what the writers and director feel was the “perfect” ending was a huge challenge to take on.

Toy Story 3 reached the $1 billion mark, and its predecessor brought in almost $.5 billion, which is $100 million more than its predecessor. That makes the Toy Story franchise grossing almost $2 billion worldwide. These numbers make a strong argument for Disney only doing it for the money, and the only way we will know for sure is when the movie is finally released. You can expect that the trailer, when released, will undergo significant scrutiny.

So all we can do for the time being is to play with our own toys and wait to see what Lassiter and Company come up with. Though the major issues seem to have been settled, we also know that things change. Stay tuned, because one of the most popular and funnest animated movie franchises will have both its beginning and ending about 1 year from now.

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