All Toy Story-related news has been focused on Toy Story Land lately, which is understandable considering the new land is opening at Walt Disney World in just a little over a month. So it’s taken some sleuthing on my part to find any cryptic updates on Toy Story 4 – and I’m happy to say, I’ve discovered a pretty great one!
Jessie’s been busy, y’all! On May 18, Bam Studios posted on both Facebook and Twitter that Joan Cusack had been in their Chicago studio, where she works from often, recording “4 an upcoming Yee-Haw project.” There’s no doubt what they’re hinting at in their clever caption:
And on that same date, Tim Allen suggested in a brief radio interview that everyone has been scheduled to work, albeit without any further details:
“If you would talk to my buddy Hanks, he will say anything to anybody. He will tell everybody. I’m not allowed to say anything. They’ve lined us up, and we’re all ready to do it right now. They’re very cautious about even letting us know about the script. So I don’t know anything about what Buzz does.”
It’s quite likely that the Toy Story 4 cast has already been in the studio recording at least some of their lines prior to now. I know that it’s common for voice actors to be brought in multiple times during the course of making a Pixar movie – as the story evolves and new elements are added – and that recording is an ongoing process. Tom Hanks shared in an interview back in May 2016 that he had already done some recording alone and with Annie Potts; he also explained that the performers typically get called in to record every six months. And on a talk show appearance in September 2015, Tim Allen had stated that he was about to begin recording Buzz in about three weeks, reiterating that voicing an animated film involves a series of sessions that take several years from start to completion.
Pixar is always secretive with their projects, and with a film like Toy Story 4 that’s met with so many apparent stumbling blocks along the way, most of the speculative reports online have preferred to take the negative approach, and assume from the silence that no work is happening. But as a fan who’s very excited for this movie, and has supported it from the day it was announced, I’ve been spending these quiet months searching to find any clues I could to prove that production was, in fact, still very much moving forward. From a ever-growing list of Pixarians with Toy Story 4 on their LinkedIn resumes, to crew posts on social media about meetings and work experiences, it’s apparent that production has not stalled at all. Filmmaking roles listed cover various aspects of the pipeline – including animation, rendering, editing, sound, and music – and extend beyond the initial (and ongoing) story development. Pixar is just biding their time to share any news, which makes sense as they currently want to give as much attention to Incredibles 2 as possible, before its release only a couple of weeks away.
We’ve gotten no clues as to whether we’ll see a Toy Story 4 trailer attached to Incredibles 2 – with a year still to go until the film’s release, I think it could go either way on that one. But we do know that there’s an Easter egg hidden, which I will be searching for when I go to the Incredibles double feature on June 13. I’m just hopeful that once Incredibles 2 has been in theaters for a while, some Toy Story 4 updates will start to trickle out. I’ll be on the lookout, so stay tuned as the movie’s countdown really begins!