In 2010, after taking us to the edge of our emotions and back, Toy Story 3 seemed an appropriate ending for the Toy Story trilogy, with toys and humans alike getting closure after 15 years. But now, Disney•Pixar has announced a fourth Toy Story film, bringing back Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the toys.
To be fair, this doesn’t come entirely out of the blue. We have seen a number of Toy Story shorts over the years, including the Christmas special Toy Story That Time Forgot airing on December 2.
The news was immediately met with trepidation from fans, who felt that Toy Story 3 had the perfect ending. John Lasseter released this statement agreeing wholeheartedly yet making the case for why Disney•Pixar wanted to keep going:
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.
That’s Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich—the directors of Finding Nemo, Up, and Toy Story 3, respectively. Rashida Jones will co-write the script with her writing partner Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever).
Though Lasseter wouldn’t share actual details of the plot in this announcement, he did tell the Los Angeles Times that Toy Story 4 will be a love story, and that it will pick up where Toy Story 3 left off, with the toys now belonging to a little girl named Bonnie. He added:
A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it’s pure passion. We only make sequels when we have a story that’s as good as or better than the original.