We’re now (finally!) less than a year away from Toy Story 4 – 276 days to be exact, or just about nine months, however you want to count it. News on the movie continues to be light, but there have been some small bits of information lately.
A few months ago, I shared that several lead voice actors, including Annie Potts (Bo Peep) and Joan Cusack (Jessie), had been in the studio recording. It seems as if the secondary characters have also been busy with their voice work, as John Ratzenberger (Hamm) recently mentioned in a radio interview that his work on the film is complete:
Ratzenberger tells 1470 and 100.3 WMBD’s Greg and Dan Show that he has finished recording his part in “Toy Story 4,” but would not reveal any details.
Although it’s always great to get confirmation that the movie is making progress, we still know very little about it. Unless the news comes directly from Pixar, it seems as if we typically get the best clues from Tom Hanks or Tim Allen – only Woody and Buzz can get away with spilling more details than others. Fortunately – in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, in which he was discussing the renewal of his series Last Man Standing this past week – Tim Allen did just that:
What can you tell us about Toy Story 4? How is it different from the others?
If it’s anything near the first read through, it is great. Somehow they were able to advance this wonderful story that could have easily ended with No. 3 being the best of the bunch. It’s emotional and funny and exciting and different and took it to a whole new level. It walks the line between comfort — you know what’s going on — and discomfort — wondering what’s gonna happen. It’s terrifically emotional.
Based on his description, it sounds like we’re in for a treat – even if the repeated use of the word “emotional” suggests another heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride from Pixar – but really, would we expect anything else? I have to wonder which read through he’s referring to – before the rewrite, or after? – although I wouldn’t imagine they would have shared a story that still needed work with their cast.
Besides these statements, the only other clues that indicate production is moving full-steam ahead are the tweets (and LinkedIn profile updates) from Pixarians who are a part of the Toy Story 4 team. Animation in particular has been getting more notice, with this tweet from Animator Frank Abney as an example:
There were also some animation tests shared on Vimeo, showing a selection of background crowd characters in the film:
The fact that they’re all casually dressed (men and toddlers are all that’s shown here) could coincide with the RV road trip theory that came out of the D23 Expo last year, as they look like people who would be encountered on vacation. Or, they could just be ordinary people anywhere! While it doesn’t reveal a whole lot, it’s still interesting to see.
I think we still have a bit of a wait for any sort of official teaser or trailer – my best bet is that we’ll see something with Ralph Breaks the Internet when it premieres on November 21 of this year, since we got our first glimpse of Incredibles 2 with Coco last fall. Of course, I hope I’m wrong, and Pixar surprises us with something before then!
Stay tuned – I’ll be sure to share if any new tidbits pop up from reputable sources. We’re finally approaching the home stretch, after all these years. Before we know it, Toy Story 4 news will be everywhere!