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In addition to being one of the best films released last year, Toy Story 3 was the perfect finale to the story of the toys in Andy’s room. That was the way to go out, and the film itself seems to be a promise that they’ll never do another Toy Story film. In fact last summer Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich made it clear that they wouldn’t do a Toy Story 4, and instead they’re supposed to bring the characters back every now and then for short films, like the one that played in front of Cars 2 this past weekend. But maybe the Pixar which made Toy Story 3 and had the good sense to know when to stop, no longer exists, because now they’re going ahead on Toy Story 4.
Hot on the heels of Cars 2, a movie widely regarded as Pixar’s first bad film, this is particularly depressing news. Since it comes straight from Tom Hanks, Woody himself, there’s not really much reason to doubt its validity. Bleeding Cool caught Hanks on the BBC where, when asked if there would be a Toy Story 4 he responded, "I think there will be yeah. Yeah, yeah. They’re working on it now. There you go."
Has everyone at Pixar gone completely mad? We don’t need this. Toy Story 3 was the perfect finale and, frankly, they don’t need to do sequels. They’re Pixar, they’ve built up such an amazing brand name that they have a blank check with audiences to do just about anything, and people will show up to see it. They could be using their power over audiences to bring more original ideas to the screen, something no other Hollywood studio seems to get away with at the box office, but instead they keep cranking out sequel after sequel. Cars 2 isn’t the only one on the horizon. They’re already working on Monsters University, a sequel to Monsters, Inc.. Add Toy Story 4 into the mix and that means out of their last four movies only one, Brave, is an original property.
It’s not that we don’t love the characters of Toy Story, it’s that we love them so much we don’t need to see any more of them. Toy Story 3 was all about knowing when to let go of the things you love. Making Toy Story 4 all but spits in the face of everything Toy Story 3 seemed to be trying to tell us. Maybe the people at Pixar should take a minute, and sit down to rewatch their own movie. Our only hope here is that Hanks has somehow confused work on an upcoming Toy Story short with a fourth film. Toy Story 3 needs to be the end.
UPDATE! Back in 2011 Tom Hanks was convinced that Toy Story 4 would happen, but now we know that he was wrong and Pixar is completely done with the Toy Story movie franchise. Instead the future of Toy Story is in amazing shorts and holiday TV specials, like Toy Story Of Terror which aired on ABC over Halloween in 2013.