Is Pixar Going Too Far Beyond Infinity With ‘Toy Story 4’?

Source: Disney

It looks like Woody and the rest of the Toy Story gang’s story might really go on for infinity and beyond. Disney just announced that a fourth installment of the beloved Pixar franchise is officially happening, despite the fact that 2010’s Toy Story 3 was largely considered to be the conclusion of the series.

Toy Story 4 is set to hit theaters in 2017. Pixar chief John Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story installments and served as an executive producer on Toy Story 3, is already on board to helm the upcoming sequel. The writing team has also been finalized. Toy Story veterans Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich reportedly came up with the story concept, and Celeste and Jesse Forever writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack will also co-write the script.

News of the fourth follow-up has spurred mixed reactions among fans — and for good reason. The franchise’s dedicated viewers will remember the third movie’s emotional and fitting ending, which — spoiler alert! — saw Andy handing over his adored toys to a little girl named Bonnie while on his way to college. But though there was a clear sense of finality in the last moments of the movie, it seems Pixar isn’t quite done with the story yet.

Though no cast members have been confirmed, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will be presumably be back to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear, respectively. Per Disney’s official announcement, the upcoming installment will “open a new chapter” in the lives of the two longtime pals and the rest of the Toy Story gang.

No further details about the movie’s plotline have been revealed so far. Still, there’s a good chance that young Bonnie will be back as the new official toy owner. In all of the Toy Story-related specials released after Toy Story 3 (including Toy Story That Time Forgot, coming to ABC next month), the original characters remain under her care. If their stories translate to the movie franchise, it’s likely the same will apply in Toy Story 4 — especially since, at this point, initial owner Andy would be in his late 20s.

While it’s understandable that longtime Toy Story viewers would be reluctant about a fourth film (particularly given Toy Story 3’s pretty perfect ending), they can at least take comfort in knowing that the story is in Lasseter’s very capable hands. After all, who better to bring back Woody and Buzz than the man who helped create them? As Lasseter explained:

We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie — and I wanted to direct it myself.

Clearly, Lasseter is incredibly enthusiastic about the film and understands how strongly audiences feel about these characters. Hopefully, that will translate into another fantastic and funny toy adventure that continues the franchise’s longstanding success.

Toy Story 4 is scheduled for release on June 16, 2017.

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