Well, we finally got our first official look at Toy Story 4 after the Super Bowl! The animation in the television spot is absolutely gorgeous, but the clip itself was very brief.
While I know I wasn’t alone in hoping for the minute-and-a-half trailer that was rated a few weeks ago, all we actually got was a 30-second “sneak peek” – which is what I was afraid would happen, actually. I hoped the full trailer might be online following the game, too, but no such luck. Here’s the video of what was shown:
The clip opened with a gorgeous view of the carnival – besides the ferris wheel, you can see the spider-type ride I found a toy version of, as well as several storefronts in the back of the mountain town where the scene is set. It then pans to Woody and Bo, who are waiting for Buzz, who seems to have been captured by the booth owner and added to his arsenal of prizes. Ducky and Bunny resent this, and start harassing Buzz – but thanks to his helmet, Buzz gets the upper hand in the end.
It is nice to see Bo and Woody together again, and the animation is so realistic that I thought for a moment in the first few frames that it was actual photographic footage of a carnival. But if I’m completely honest here, what we got tonight was a bit of a let down to me. All of the promotional things that have come out so far – save the very first teaser – have focused heavily on only Woody, Buzz, Bo, Ducky, and Bunny. (Even Forky, who’s supposed to be a pivotal new character in the movie, was left out here.) While I do understand that Bo has been gone a long time, and it’s necessary to feature her prominently to remind people who she is, that doesn’t explain why there is so much of Ducky and Bunny. They’re funny, but are rather antagonistic in the clip – I hope that they turn out to be positive characters, and become more appealing over the course of the story, instead of purely hostile as we’ve seen here. Besides, there are other new characters I’d like to learn about, too – Duke Caboom, for one. He’s obviously important enough to have a variety of toys made of him, so why haven’t we gotten to meet him yet?
Then there’s the classic characters, from the previous films. I know I mention Jessie a lot, since she’s my personal favorite – but seriously, where is she? Pixar has striven lately to focus on strong female characters, which is commendable – so why is Jessie seemingly being replaced by Bo? So much of the advertising for Toy Story 3 featured Woody, Buzz and Jessie. Can’t they both play a role in the film, and the promoting of it? Why aren’t they capitalizing on both girls – or both couples – and letting them be in the spotlight together for a while? Also, Jessie being forgotten just speaks too much to her being discarded by Emily, and that doesn’t sit right with me at all. I hope I’m just reading this all wrong, and we find out soon that we will in fact get to spend a lot of time with her, and the others who have been absent up to this point. I know there are more people than just myself who want to find out what the old gang is up to – both Andy’s toys and Bonnie’s toys – besides Buzz and Woody, who always are at the center of things.
Another big question is Mr. Potato Head. Speculation has been going on since Don Rickles‘ passing in 2017 as to who would voice his character. Many fans think that no one else can fill his shoes, and have wondered if enough recordings had been made in the past to utilize in the new movie – in fact, his being credited in the cast on the teaser trailer suggests this could be the case. But the truth is, nobody knows for sure, besides Pixar, and with him being absent from this clip, too, no answers are forthcoming. It was never such a secret that Blake Clark would be replacing Jim Varney as the voice of Slinky Dog – that was announced all the way back in October 2009, long before Toy Story 3‘s June 2010 release. We had a lot more information in general for Toy Story 3 by the time we were five months out.
Despite my disappointment in this one sneak peek, I’m still very much looking forward to Toy Story 4, and I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a great movie. I’ve defended it – and Pixar’s decision to make it – since the beginning, and I’m not about to become a hater just from one teaser that didn’t realize my own personal wishes. Truth is, we’re not really going to have any significant plot hints until we get a proper trailer – the one that we know has been rated and is ready to go. It’s been rumored that this trailer would be released in time to be attached to The Lego Movie 2, which hits theaters this coming Thursday, so if that is the case, there’s a reasonable chance we’ll see it in the next several days. Here’s hoping we will – we’ve been waiting long enough!
Images © Disney/Pixar.