WASHINGTON, November 6, 2014 – You just can’t keep a good pig down. Or spaceman or cowboy. To the delight of fans of all ages, Disney just announced the next chapter in Toy Story with news of “Toy Story 4” confirming that director John Lassiter (Toy Story 1 and 2) would return to direct Hamm, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Mr. Potato Head on their next adventure. The film is expect to hit theaters on June 16, 2017 according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Toy Story 3 (2010) became Pixar’s highest dollar film with world box office grosses of $1.06 billion ranking it second only to the recent Frozen. Together, the three films created nearly $2 billion in world wide grosses exclusive of home video sales and merchandising revenue.
Promising a huge summer of blockbuster animation, Toy Story 4 will open one week after DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 3 opens in theaters but two weeks before Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 arrives.
Toy Story 4 joins Finding Dory from Finding Nemo fame as films definite release dates. Such followups as The Incredibles 2 (with Brad Bird back writing the script) and Cars 3 are also in the works, but time frames for those films are not yet announced. Pixar also has a pair of original animated features – Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur – due to arrive in theaters in 2015.
Pixar president Ed Catmull announced last year that the plan moving forward is for the studio to release around three movies every two years, while averaging one original feature per year. That way, the animation studio can continue to offer franchise installments (sequels and/or prequels) that filmgoers are interested in seeing, but also keep on challenging its staff to imagine different sandboxes to play in.
The first CGI epic debuted in 1995 with Tom Hanks as the voice, and personality of Woody with Tim Allen providing the buzz and bluster of Buzz Lightyear. Don Rickles hysterically gave voice to Mr. Potato Head. The trilogy of films ended with Andy, the toy’s owner, growing up and moving on to college, giving his box of toys to a little girl.
Title photo aside, there is no word as to whether Toy Story 4 will feature a young girl in the lead position, however, following the success of Frozen’s strong female lead, it might not be a bad idea.
Lasseter says that with Pixar mainstays Andrew Stanton (WALL•E), Pete Docter (Up) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) the story was developed with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who wrote the 2012 indie romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, brought in to write the screenplay.
Twitter, in response to a BuzzFeed.com call to action, came up with some great titles for the new film. Our personal favorites are:
Toy Story 4: Revenge of the Sid
Toy Story 4: Toyz in the Hood
Toy Story 4: 4 Fast 4 Furious
Toy Story 4: Made in Toywan
Adding to the fun, a fan trailer for the new film (i.e., spoof – fun – not real) melds Hank’s Castaway with Toy story to hilarious result: