Toy Story News Roundup: Oscars, Cast and Park Updates

TS News Roundup

Once again, I’ve fallen behind on blog updates due to a Walt Disney World trip!  We just got home from Florida yesterday, so I’m finally catching up on compiling what’s been going on in the world of Toy Story since my previous post.

Buzz and Woody at the Oscars

Last night’s appearance of Buzz and Woody as presenters at the Academy Awards was a wonderful surprise for this fangirl!  The Toy Story gang has a long history of Oscars appearances, but I had no idea, when I turned on the program to cheer for Inside Out (congrats to them on their win, by the way!), that my favorite toys would be on hand to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  ABC news shared a video of Buzz and Woody’s delightful presentation on Twitter:

Andy’s Mom to Return in Toy Story 4


When Laurie Metcalfe was a guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live recently, she mentioned that she will in fact be returning to voice Andy’s mom in Toy Story 4.  This little tidbit of news – which was initially shared by Pixar Post – totally shocked me as well.   It’s been clearly stated that the film would pick up where Toy Story 3 left off, with the toys settled in at Bonnie’s house, so I honestly didn’t expect to see any of the Davises in the new movie.  How will Andy’s mom fit in with the story?  We already know that she’s friends with Bonnie’s mom – will we see her under those circumstances?  Will the toys travel “right around the corner” to their old residence, to search for leads on Bo Peep’s whereabouts?   Or will she appear only in flashback scenes that depict Bo being sold or given away?  As always, so many questions!  You can watch the video of the show on the Bravo website.

(Very Slow) Progress on Toy Story Land

Six months have passed since Toy Story Land was announced at the D23 Expo, yet there still isn’t much to show for it.  Every time I go to Hollywood Studios, I always hope that I’ll discover some major signs of progress – demolition, walls, etc.  Although nothing is immediately visible from the main guest areas, on this past trip (with some slight sneaking around) I did spot machinery at work in the Catastrophe Canyon area of the former Backlot Tour, tearing down the structure that sits on what is rumored to be the construction entrance and staging area for the two new lands in the park.

Nothing to see here…

I have also heard rumblings that the area where Toy Story Land will be built is actively being cleared, and the offices that originally stood in the backstage area have been relocated in preparation for construction to begin.  And while the Mr. Potatohead animatronic figure is still absent from the Toy Story Mania queue, the third track of the ride is set to open sometime this summer, so I’m hoping he’ll be restored once things get reconfigured.  Elsewhere in DHS, Pizza Planet has officially closed, and although I’m sad to see it gone, it really doesn’t make sense for it to remain in operation when the franchise will soon have a much larger presence in the opposite corner of the park.  Bigger and better things than a pizza place are on the way!  I’ll be back at DHS in June to check on any changes following April’s closures in the Streets of America.

And a Few Interview Anecdotes

Interviews are usually where I find the best little snippets of info, small cryptic clues that keep you guessing without giving too much away.  Most references to Toy Story 4 aren’t detailed enough to merit a writeup of their own – at least not yet, we probably have to wait another year or so for the really juicy stuff – but I think they’re worth sharing just the same.  Pete Docter provided some of these mysterious remarks in an interview with Collider:

Pete Docter’s involvement in Toy Story 4:  “Well like all of us I’ve helped out, especially at the beginning.  But right now it’s being directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Josh Cooley.  They’re really doing a great job. It’s taking things in a little bit of a new direction, which I think will really surprise people, and hopefully not feel like the first three but still familiar in a way.  I don’t know if that even makes sense but it’s pretty awesome.”

How they knew they found the right story to continue with the characters after ending it so well in Toy Story 3:  “Stanton pitched something, and I can’t tell you what it is, but it was like [puts hand on heart] ‘Ugh! Okay,’ you know?  And we all struggled mightily with that, because we’re in the same boat – they felt like it wrapped up very nicely.  But, man, if we can hit what he was after I think it’ll be great.”

And in an article published by Refinery 29, Rashida Jones briefly discussed her hopes for Bo Peep’s role in Toy Story 4:

Disney’s John Lasseter, who is directing the film, revealed back in August Toy Story 4 will focus on a love story between cowboy Woody and Bo Peep.  Does this mean that another fleshed out female character is coming to the world of Pixar?  Jones hopes so.

“Hopefully it will be another great strong female character to balance out the still ridiculously male-centric industry of media that’s supposed to represent real life,” she told us.  “Hopefully, it will add to that balance.”

That’s all I have for now, but be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter – I often post quick updates on those sites when I don’t have the time (or enough detailed news) to write a full blog post.  Here’s hoping for more to report on soon!

Laurie Metcalfe photo © Bravo.