Just as Pixar Fest at Disneyland is starting and exciting details from Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World are being revealed comes the news that the animated film Toy Story 4 has a release date. Originally slated for June 2017, the Disney-Pixar animated movie now is scheduled to hit screens in North America on June 21, 2019.
By the time “Toy Story 4” is released, it will have been nine years since “Toy Story 3” was in theaters. According to reports, most of the main characters are returning, including Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack) and Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts).
The same cannot be said of the creative team, however. Most notably, Pixar Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter has been on a six-month leave of absence following allegations of misconduct and it’s not clear if he is returning to Pixar. Lasseter served not only as executive producer on all the Toy Story films, but he also directed the first two movies in the trilogy. “Inside Out” screenwriter Josh Cooley will direct “Toy Story 4.”
Another big change on the creative team is the writing team. Originally, “Parks and Recreation” actor Rashida Jones and “Sopranos” actor Will McCormack were hired, but they quit in November 2017 and issued this statement:
“We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences. There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”
Jones and McCormack have been replaced by Stephany Folsom, who is screenwriting the original story developed by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and Lasseter.
Here is what we do know about the plot so far, according to Lasseter:
** The story centers on Buzz Lightyear and Woody’s journey to find Bo Peep, who was absent in “Toy Story 3.”
** There is a romance between Woody and Bo Peep. “Bo Peep really reminds me of my wife Nancy in many ways,” Lasseter said during the 2015 D23 Expo announcement of the film. “And my wife Nancy has an incredible emotional story, before I met her, so it’s a very personal story – as is every film at Pixar. But that’s what this one is for me. It’s a very touching story that’s inspired by my love for my wife.”
** Lotso appeared on stage for that Expo announcement, but it has not been clarified whether he is in “Toy Story 4.”
** Singer-songwriter, composer and pianist Randy Newman will return on “Toy Story 4.”
Are you excited about “Toy Story 4” or do you think the story should have ended after the trilogy? Tell us what you think in the comments.