Toy Story 4 Director On The Pressure Of Helming The Film, And What It Brings To The Franchise

TOY STORY 3, Jessie (left, voice: Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (center, voice: Don Rickles), Woody (top, voice: Tom Hanks), Barbie (right), 2010. ©Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

TOY STORY 3, Jessie (left, voice: Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (center, voice: Don Rickles), Woody (top, voice: Tom Hanks), Barbie (right), 2010. ©Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Toy Story 4 has one hell of a legacy. The first film pretty much revolutionized the industry as a whole, the second film kinda proved that sequels didn’t have to completely suck, and the third one pretty much hit it out of the park in terms of overall quality and the sheer amount of tear-shedding prowess. Forget Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars Original Trilogy, I think Toy Story takes the case as the strongest trilogy out there in terms of narrative strength and emotional impact.

So, yeah, with this fourth entry, which we all kind of agree we don’t really want or need, there had to be immense pressure going in. This has to go doubly for someone like Josh Cooley, who hadn’t actually directed a feature before (though he did direct the Inside Out short “Riley’s First Date”)…so was there any pressure?

“The pressure is immense…when I was asked to direct it,” Cooley revealed to Fandango. “I was extremely honored, and I’m so glad that it happened – but it was terrifying, to be honest. There were lots of sleepless nights. You know Toy Story is so important to Pixar specifically, because it was our first film and kind of the foundation – all of our films are kind of built on that. Those characters are very precious to us, as well as to the rest of the world, and so taking on another adventure with them, especially after three incredible films and the third one ending so perfectly, was huge. The last thing I wanted to do is make a movie that didn’t feel like it needed to be made. We worked really hard at creating a story and a film that when you watch it you go, ‘Oh, this is more of Woody’s story. This is the next chapter in his life.’”

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But I’ve already said this doesn’t really need to be made. Toy Story 3 ended almost perfectly, so why do we need another one? More specifically, what does this story bring to the table that the other three movies didn’t have?

“That was something that was really important to me. I didn’t want the film to feel like we were retreading anything at all. It needs to feel like it’s a whole new adventure, and so one of the big things was having the toys leave the bedroom. I know in the other films they’ve . . . stayed within the area, going to other locations, but we said, ‘Let’s really take them out there to someplace completely new we’ve never seen before,’ and that’s where the idea of this RV trip vacation came from. It’s the first time we’re going to see toys out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around them, and we have a scene where Woody is out in the middle of nowhere and it’s the first time we’ve ever seen something like that and it’s actually kind of shocking to see.”

“But the big thing that is new, the thing that got me interested in this story, was the idea of putting Woody in a new location, not just a location in terms of outside the tri-county area, but with Bonnie, who is a new kid – she has a new bedroom. It’s a new bedroom for him. It’a all new toys. It’s a whole new situation for him that we’ve never seen him in before. The question became, “How would he react to all this?” You know, he’s been through it all with Andy already. How would he be with this new kid who’s not going to play the exact same way that Andy did? She can’t. All kids are different. That was what was really exciting, seeing how we could really throw his world on its ear and wondering how he’s going to deal with that.”

While I can see where he’s coming from, part of me does worry that his being tempted to stay at the carnival is a bit too reminiscent of what we saw in Toy Story 2. Hopefully, they will bring with them plenty of surprises over the course of the movie itself.

What do you think of Cooley’s comments? Are these changes enough? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Fandango

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