What do I do when get too busy with everyday life to keep up with my blog? Catch up with one of my News Roundup posts, of course! It’s been a hectic few weeks for me, but fortunately (or unfortunately?), Toy Story news was light anyway. Finally, though, I have several exciting things to pass along to my fellow fans…
Tom Hanks Provides Update on Toy Story 4
Earlier this week, Yahoo Movies UK shared an interview with Tom Hanks, from a BBC Radio program. I listened to the audio recording to hear it all for myself, and it was wonderful to learn even just a little bit of new information about the ongoing voice work for Toy Story 4:
We have already recorded some sections of it. I don’t get to see – they now keep this, like secret, you know. They used to have an entire script, like a regular movie. Then they just started showing us the storyboards – here’s what you’re gonna do, here’s what you’re gonna do. And then once they showed us an animatic – on the third movie they actually put us all together in a room, and we watched an animatic, with scratch dialogue. And we saw the whole movie, before we recorded a single word of it.
Now, they just show us the stuff that we’re in, and they keep everything else, like, sort of top secret. So I’ve gone on, and I’ve worked alone, and I’ve worked with Annie Potts, who plays Bo Peep. And the thing is, the animated movies, they take about three and a half years to make. You go in about every six months and do a little bit of work. But it’s definitely in the process, and will be out soon.
I think it’s fantastic that he’s recording some of his lines with Annie Potts – and this is the first confirmation I’ve seen that she’s returning as Bo Peep, although I never really doubted she would. I also find it interesting that the plot is being kept completely secret from the actors, even as they move forward with production.
New Toy Story Offerings at Hollywood Studios
It feels like progress for Toy Story Land is moving at a snail’s pace, but work continues to be done behind the scenes. More land has been cleared, and the Earffel Tower – which stood in the path of construction for the Slinky Dog Dash coaster – came down late last month. And just this week, the long-awaited third track for Toy Story Midway Mania finally opened, which will hopefully cut down on the ride’s ridiculously long waits. Since the opening, several fan sites have tweeted and posted photos and videos of the expansion – including WDW Magic (where the images I’ve included are from) and WDW News Today (who filmed the videos below).
Although nothing has changed with the games themselves, what impressed me most about the addition is the detail that was put into the loading area. I’ve seen pictures of the ride at Tokyo DisneySea, and envied the elaborate theming of its interior there, so I was thrilled to see a similar design here! I was also happy to spot Bo Peep amongst the characters depicted on the wall at the beginning of the ride – presumably hinting at her return to the gang with the release of Toy Story 4. I’m so glad we’ll be at Disney World in less than two weeks to check out the new track for ourselves!
New Toy Story entertainment also debuted this week in the park – a Green Army Man Boot Camp show in the Pixar Place area:
Not gonna lie, I’d love for Sarge to pick on my family just a little when we’re there next month. If you’d like to follow along as I visit all the Toy Story newness at Hollywood Studios, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for real-time posts. And if there’s anything you’d like me to get a picture or video of, please let me know in the comments!
Toy Story Shopping
It’s rare these days to find any new merchandise featuring the Toy Story characters, especially quality stuff geared towards adults. Once in a while, there’ll be something fun at Hot Topic, or the occasional item at department stores or through independent brands, like the Joyrich collection that was released last year. Let’s face it though, not even the Disney Store has thrown us much lately, except for a few 20th anniversary collectibles and some tees. So, I’m excited to share my favorite recent finds – which I’ve already bought for myself, of course!
Loungefly Toy Story Purse: Available on fun.com, this is the first Toy Story bag I’ve ever seen aimed for adults – with the exception of a couple backpacks and the amazing merchandise you can find online from Japan. According to the website, the officially-licensed faux-leather bag features an adjustable shoulder strap, interior patch and zipper pockets, and a zipper closure. It retails for $58.99 plus tax/shipping. If you’re like me, and enjoy showing off your favorite characters, make sure you pick one of these up while you can!
Moleskine Toy Story Journals: How could I possibly resist a notebook with Buzz lasering Jessie’s heart on the cover? The Buzz and Jessie design is only one of five in a collection of limited-edition hardcover notebooks by Moleskine, in both lined and unlined options. Moleskine journals are known – and loved – for their quality, so at just $19.99 to $24.99 each (plus applicable shipping), they’re well worth the price. The Toy Story collection can be ordered directly from the Moleskine website.
Uniqlo Pixar Tees: I’m always looking for new Toy Story tees to add to my wardrobe, both for our Disney trips and just everyday wear. So I was excited to hear that Uniqlo was collaborating with Pixar on a collection of shirts for men, women, and children! The tees, which retail for $14.90 ($9.90 children), come in a variety of character designs that were voted on by Pixarians and that represent several of their popular films, not just Toy Story. You can find them all in Uniqlo stores or online.
Once we get closer to Toy Story 4, there will be a steady stream of merchandise hitting the store shelves, just like we’re seeing for Finding Dory. Honestly, the scarcity of new stuff right now is better for my wallet – I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with myself once there’s a ton of new products to buy, so I better start saving up now!
Toy Story news has reached around the globe lately as well. At Hong Kong Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear has recently joined the meet-and-greet in their Toy Story Land, which has resulted in an adorable influx of photos of him and Jessie together. It’s forever my hope and plea that Buzz and Jessie will get to share a meet-and-greet at Walt Disney World – perhaps when our own Toy Story Land opens – like they do at Disney California Adventure, and now, Hong Kong.
Also, sneak peeks have been trickling out from the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is currently in a preview phase before its official June 16, 2016 opening. The new resort offers an expansive Toy Story Hotel as well as the most elaborate Buzz Lightyear laser target ride – in the same vein as the Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World and the Astro Blasters at Disneyland – to be seen in any Disney park. I’ll save all that for a future post, though, once everything is officially open to the public and there’s a wider selection of media to share. In the meantime, if you’re curious, you can check out the few preview photos I’ve found on my Tumblr.
I’ll continue to keep a lookout for news as summer approaches – even without D23 this year, there’s always the possibility of something coming out of fan events and conferences. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter for newsworthy tweets, links, and photo posts! Even when I’m busy, I always have the time to share something quick there.
Woody and Bo Peep image © Disney/Pixar. Merchandise photos © their respective sites.