When we last left the toys in Toy Story 3, they seemingly had a happy ending. Andy had gone off to college and they found a new owner. Since then, the franchise has lived on in several short films, each being a nice taste of Toy Story.
It seems like that wasn’t enough for Disney/Pixar as today Toy Story 4 was announced for release in June 2017. John Lasseter, Pixar’s creative officer and director of the first two will also return to direct. This will be Lasseter’s first film since Cars 2, which was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews.
Perhaps this is me being too pessimistic, but I would have preferred them to just keep releasing shorts and TV specials of Toy Story instead of a whole new film. Any Toy Story movie is almost guaranteed greatness, although a fourth has me worried, mostly because of Lasseter.
John Lasseter used to be the man who could do no wrong. He always put story first, resulting in great films, but also made sure the animation was just as good. Pixar continuously put out great films with him as head honcho, until Disney fully acquired Pixar. Since then, we have seen a couple great films, a couple decent, and one absolutely terrible.
Part of their deal was to put out more sequels and make more franchises, which has sort of corrupted their creativity. While they are still making original films, it doesn’t seem to be their priority. In fact, in the trailer for Inside Out, a Pixar film coming out next year, they show mostly clips from other Pixar movies, not the actual one they’re advertising. They don’t seem to trust their filmmaking capabilities as much anymore.
I’m not saying I think Toy Story 4 is going to be bad. In fact, I have a feeling it’s going to be just as great as the others. And with Lasseter returning to direct, it has an even better chance at being terrific. I’m just hoping that Pixar gets their priorities straight by then.