D23 is happening in Southern California as we speak, meaning that every major Disney property is poised to reveal nuggets of news. And while that means Marvel and Star Wars fans are hunched over their laptops waiting for reveals on the next phase of those cherished franchises, Pixar is one of the first to provide clarity on a pending sequel.
We have been operating under the knowledge that the upcoming Toy Story 4 was going to be a romance. But we didn’t know if it would be between all new characters, or a budding relationship between established toys from Andy’s room. Now we know. John Lasseter spoke at D23 (via CNBC) and confirmed:
It's a love story with Woody and—and this is news—Bo Peep."
That IS news, John Lasseter! Thanks for clarifying. So instead of Pixar expanding into a new sandbox with a fresh set of toys, we’ll be returning to classic hero Woody (Tom Hanks) and his beloved Bo Peep, likely voiced by Annie Potts (as she was in the previous films).
Now that we know this much, we can begin to fill in some blanks. Bo Peep actually didn’t appear in Toy Story 3, and was only seen in flashback videos that Andy’s mom made. At one point, when the toys are talking about toys who have either been given away or sold over the years, Rex mentions Bo Peep, and Andy gets visibly sad. This could hint at the direction of Toy Story 4. There could be an unexpected reunion. Or the toys could set off on a mission to find Bo Peep, for reasons we don’t yet know.
This isn’t the series’ first stab at love. Over the years, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl have become a full-blown item (after flirting as far back as Toy Story 2). And love birds Barbie and Ken took over the Sunnyside Day Care center after Lotso Huggin’ Bear was ousted from his dictator’s throne. So Woody and Bo Peep will be following a traditional path laid out by Pixar, and we can only hope that the casting of Annie Potts is the next major announcement to come from the animation house.
They still have time. John Lasseter is down to direct Toy Story 4, though it won’t be in theaters until June 16, 2017. For true love between the toys, we’re willing to wait!