I have a shameful admission to make.
There's no easy way to say this, but...
I've never seen a Toy Story movie in its entirety.
And I'm a father of two little kids! Where do I get off not seeing those movies, right? I don't have a great reason, either. I don't dislike them. I'm not uninterested in them. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Pixar, Lasseter, and the talented cast. I just...have never sat down to watch one from start to finish.
I heard Toy Story 3 was amazing, emotional, and a downright high-note to walk away on, which is what has made the news of a fourth film so odd to me. Disney and Pixar have shown such restraint when it comes to sequels over the years, which is kind of a big deal. In a Hollywood culture that is always quick to say, "Oh, it made a ton of money?? Okay, let's announce dates for parts 2 and 3!" Pixar has shown a commitment to allowing most of their hits to stand alone. That says a lot, considering everything they've released since 1995 has been a hit- and we're talking financially and critically speaking. No easy feat.
Still, they're going back to the Toy Story well once again, and they've just announced that John Lasseter will be sharing directing duties with Josh Cooley. Disney describes Cooley as a rising star, who began with Pixar as an intern back when they were working on Cars. He worked as Head of Story for this year's upcoming Inside Out, and directed an animated short that will precede that film when it comes out on June 19.
As you might imagine, Cooley is ecstatic about his new assignment:
"To be co-director on Toy Story 4 with John, who brought the Toy Story characters to the screen 20 years ago, is a dream come true. When I first saw Toy Story I was amazed by the groundbreaking computer-generated animation. But it was the strong storytelling that kept me coming back. Toy Story 4 will continue that tradition and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!"
Also, as if to address my aforementioned concerns regarding a fourth film in the series, Lasseter chimed in with a statement:
"We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before.Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it."
Toy Story 4 is slated to come out on June 16, 2017.