It’s been over two weeks since I’ve published anything on this blog, and there’s a good reason for that – I’ve been at Disney World! My family and I are annual passholders, so we head to the parks as often as we can – this time it was to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and to celebrate Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary with the toys themselves. We had some amazing luck while we were there that led to an unforgettable Pixar experience, which I’ll be writing about soon in a future post. But for now, I thought I’d recap the little snippets of Toy Story related news that came out while I was away.
Tom Hanks on The Graham Norton Show
I love finding talk show interviews with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, because the subject of Toy Story frequently comes up – it’s obvious they have a lot of fun voicing Woody and Buzz. And this appearance by Hanks on the The Graham Norton Show was definitely one of the best I’ve seen lately – in it, he discusses encountering kids in public; the challenges of recording for Woody’s tense character; and getting in trouble with Disney for dropping a hint about Toy Story 4 too soon. But I was happiest to hear him confirm that voice work is indeed underway for the film, including his own:
“We’re now recording ‘Toy Story 4’ – we’re doing that – it’ll be out in 2018, as a matter of fact, so it takes a long time… We are working on it right now, yeah. I have a recording session on the 2nd of December.”
It’s reassuring to know that, despite the delayed release, things are moving forward!
Ed Catmull Talks Toy Story 4
The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Pixar founder Ed Catmull, in which he discusses The Good Dinosaur as well as other relevant topics. The entire article is well worth a read, but one question does touch upon Toy Story 4. When asked if the sequel would go in a more adult direction, Catmull had this to say:
“In the case of Toy Story, we had basically the perfect trilogy. So in this case it’s not like, ‘OK, you can go on to the next step.’ We really wrapped that one up. At this point, you’ve got to go in a very different direction. This is a different kind of exploration.”
“Different” is a word that comes up time and time again in interviews about Toy Story 4 (see below), and I’m endlessly intrigued by that description.
John Lasseter at Cooper Hewitt
Although these two videos don’t offer any insight into the new film, they’re still something I wanted to share with my fellow Pixar and Toy Story fans. John Lasseter is a master storyteller and absolutely fascinating to listen to. I always enjoy hearing him talk about the inner workings of Pixar and the experiences that got him and the other filmmakers to where they are today, especially with the original Toy Story. In the midst of all his anecdotes he does mention some details of his wife Nancy’s past, which piques my curiosity as to how her story will tie into Bo Peep’s journey in Toy Story 4.
Jim Morris Interview with The Insider
While visiting Ireland for the VFX + Animation Summit, Pixar President Jim Morris was interviewed on an entertainment podcast about, among other things, Toy Story 4. There’s really no new information provided about the movie, however, it’s an interesting discussion overall…
“We actually had no interest or intention of making any more Toy Story films. We thought the Toy Story trilogy, that was it; Andy’s story is done.”
“The fact is, Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter kind of came up with an idea; they were just goofing around and came up with this idea that they liked. It’s – I guess, to say, not – it’s the characters we know, with some new ones. It’s not so much a continuation of that story, as kind of a new chapter in that world. And this one’s actually – I can tell you this much about it – it’s a love story, it’s a romance between Woody and Bo Peep. So, it’s a little bit different for us.”
“John’s very passionate about this; he’s the creator of that world, and that franchise; and he’s directing it, which is a big deal for us. Because, you know, he’s our Creative Chief, so to work it out so we can free up enough time for him to make this movie is challenging, but it’s also invigorating to him and the studio to have him back on the ground working on a show.”
I can imagine it is a real challenge for Lasseter to find time for directing, alongside his already-busy schedule and responsibilities to both Pixar and Disney. But I think the fact that he’s making it a priority, in the midst of everything else, demonstrates his dedication to the Toy Story franchise.
Toy Story at 20: To Infinity and Beyond
The last little bit of info I’ve unearthed in the past two weeks is that the Toy Story 20th anniversary television special finally has an official title. TV Guide lists it the program – which will air Thursday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on ABC – as Toy Story at 20: To Infinity and Beyond. The website offers the following description:
A celebration of the 20th anniversary of 1995’s animated adventure “Toy Story” examines Pixar’s early years making digitally animated short features, the forerunners to the first feature-length computer-animated film. Included are interviews with producers, animators, technical artists, designers and some of the film’s voice talent.
I keep watching for a commercial, but haven’t spotted one as of yet!
I think that covers everything for now. As always, should I find anything new, I’ll be sure to share!
Ed Catmull image © The Hollywood Reporter. Toy Story image © Disney/Pixar.