Friday, August 21, 2015

Pixar Gives Sneak Peek at 'Toy Story 4' at D23 Expo

This past November, Pixar surprised the world by announcing that they are currently working on a fourth installment in the beloved Toy Story franchise. Though many believed that 2010's Toy Story 3 would be the final chapter of the series, Toy Story 4 has been in production since 2012 and will hit theatres in the summer of 2017. We learned a little about the film's plot at D23 Expo last week.

Before the animation panel at D23 started last Friday, Toy Story 4 director and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter revealed that the upcoming film, which we had previously known would be a love story, will revolve around Woody and Bo Peep.

To fans of the Toy Story films, this was a surprising reveal. Bo Peep, of course, was Woody's love interest in Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Though she was an important character in the first two films, she was absent from Toy Story 3, which takes place about a decade after Toy Story 2. In that time period, Bo Peep eventually parted from the rest of Andy's toys and was presumably sold off at a yard sale or donated. During Pixar's presentation at D23, Lasseter revealed that Toy Story 4 will see Buzz and Woody going off on a quest in search of Bo Peep.

I have to wonder, will the Bo Peep in Toy Story 4 be the same one from Toy Story and Toy Story 2? Surely others were made. If that were the case, it would make for a very interesting story. How would Woody react to finding the one that he loves, only to realize she has no recollection of ever having known him?

From left to right: John Lasseter, Will McCormack, Josh Cooley, Galyn Susman

The film's story, Lasseter explained, was inspired by him and his wife, Nancy. WALL-E and Finding Dory director Andrew Stanton penned the film's initial treatment, and Rashida Jones and Will McCormack were later brought on to work on the script. Galyn Susman will produce and Josh Cooley, director of the new short Riley's First Date?, will co-direct.

I'll admit, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of a fourth Toy Story. The original three films form what is one of the greatest trilogies of all time, and like many people I thought Toy Story 3 wrapped things up beautifully. Doing a fourth one is risky business, considering it has three phenomenal predecessors to live up to. However, Pixar knows this, and I have to believe that they truly are making another installment in the series because they have a story that demands to be told. The little information that we got out of D23 certainly has me intrigued, and there sure seems to be a lot of love being poured into the film, which is very reassuring.

To celebrate the original Toy Story's 20th anniversary this year, the presentation finished off with a live performance of "You've Got a Friend In Me" by Randy Newman himself. Green Army Men descended from the ceiling and were joined on stage by other Toy Story characters as confetti erupted around the stage, ending the panel with a bang.

You can watch Inside the Magic's brief recap of the presentation here:

Toy Story 4 arrives in theatres on June 16, 2017.

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