In case you haven't heard, Disney and Pixar announced last November that they fully intend to make a fourth Toy Story movie to be released in 2017. In case you are hoping to see Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang in the original 1995 film back in heartwarming action, you might be disappointed.
According to The Guardian, Pixar president Jim Morris has stated that the fourth film will go in an entirely different direction. Apparently, the whole story of the relationship between Andy and his toys came to a close with Toy Story 3, and it certainly looked like the entire franchise was prepared to be wrapped up neatly.
Entertainment Weekly has stated that the story of Toy Story 4 will be a romantic comedy, and it will not focus on the interaction between the characters and children. It is not known what characters they will be about.
We do know that Trixie the Triceratops and Mr. Pricklepants will be appearing in the film, and they are both Bonnie's toys introduced in Toy Story 3. It is possible that Disney and Pixar are attempting to bring the spotlight on Bonnie's toys, as they were prominent characters in two ABC specials with the Halloween special of "Toy Story of Terror" and the holiday special of "Toy Story that Time Forgot". There have also been various short films like "Partysaurus Rex", which shows that Disney/Pixar wants to keep these characters as active as Mickey, Donald, and Goofy.
What is interesting is that working on the screenplay of Toy Story 4 is being written by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. Both of them have a lot of acting experience, as Rashida Jones was a regular on The Office and Parks and Recreation, and Will McCormack has guest-starred on many roles in television and film.
The Guardian speculates that Disney and Pixar could be "jumping the plastic shark" with this new idea, and I can't help but agree. It seems like Pixar is putting out ideas that are sequels to their already established franchises, such as Cars 2 and Monsters University. Considering that the studio really created some masterpieces with the original Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters University, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Up,
I can't help but wonder when any original film with Pixar's creative energy will be released. Last year, there was no Pixar film, and hopefully their film Inside Out will be original and funny, which is what the studio was known for. Of course, 2016 will bring Finding Dory, which is another sequel before Toy Story 4 is released.
So, who will the love story be about? Here are some of my predictions:
Woody and someone else. I seem to recall Woody being romantically linked with the porcelain doll Bo Peep in the first two films, but her absence from the third film is never really explained. It would be good see Woody settle down with some new toy, but if Pixar is shifting its focus away from the "Andy's toys" gang, then Woody might be reduced to a side character.
Buzz and Jessie. Pixar certainly has gone out of their way to pair these two up. It doesn't look like they are settled down with any children, but is that how the toys work? Again, they are already established as a couple, and if Disney/Pixar wants to put them in the background, it is their decision.
Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head: Again, this is already an established couple with three adopted alien babies. They will probably serve that role in this new love story plotline.
Barbie and Ken: These are the most obvious choice, and it would sell a lot of toys. However, they sort of already got together at the end of Toy Story 3. They also had a big part in the Pixar Toy Story short film "Hawaiian Vacation".
Trixie and Rex?: Trixie the Triceratops has already been a pretty well-developed character in the Toy Story films and specials, so she could be paired with Rex as the dominant predator, maybe? That would certainly be interesting and would serve as kind of a union of Andy and Bonnie's respective toy groups.
Of course, it is possible that Disney and Pixar could just introduce new characters in this romantic storyline and all the other established characters side-characters. I honestly can't imagine that working, but I've seen Disney and Pixar pull off other things that didn't look positive. It will probably lay the foundation for another Toy Story trilogy.
Look for Toy Story 4 in theaters on June 16, 2017, and we'll keep you updated on who the couple might be, maybe even start a poll to see who you want. For now, feel free to leave a comment.