If you thought the end of Toy Story 3 left you a sobbing mess, you may want to start preparing yourself for Toy Story 4 right now. Recently, Tom Hanks spoke about the experience of recording the ending of the upcoming Pixar film, and the moment was apparently so emotional for him that he couldn't even look at the people he was working with. According to Hanks...
The way you record Toy Story, you're in a room with the team that has created it. When I went in for my last day of recording, I wanted to have my back to them, because usually you're facing him so you can look right up and you can talk about it. But I didn't want to see them and I wanted to pretend they couldn't see me. When I realized what they were going for, I realized, 'Oh, this is a moment in history.'
Needless to say, if Tom Hanks, who has done all this before, had trouble recording his lines, the rest of us are doomed. There will nothing but tears in the theater. Tom Hanks apparently wanted to be alone with his character in the final moments, so he did everything he could to make himself feel alone.
It seems, based on Tom Hanks comments on the BBC's The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, that Pixar is going for something big with the ending of Toy Story 4. Tom Hanks calls the finale of the film "a moment in history" which is no small order. Of course, this will get fans wondering exactly what the new film has in store for us. Is it even possible to up the ante on Toy Story 3?
Many would have called the ending of Toy Story 3 a huge moment in the movies and it's one that surely left few dry eyes on the first watch. We saw Andy finally give away his toys and move forward with his life as an adult. It's a bittersweet ending. We know that the toys will live on and be played with and happy, which is wonderful, but a chapter has been closed for them as well as the boy who had spent so many years with them.
Toy Story 3 was such a beautiful ending to the trilogy that many are wondering just why Pixar decided to move forward with a Toy Story 4 at all. What story is really left to tell that hadn't been part of the first three movies? While we only have partial answers to those questions, it seems that the studio clearly thinks it has something with Toy Story 4 if the ending is going to be as big as Tom Hanks implies.
The initial indications are that the plot of Toy Story 4 will revolve around Woody's search for Bo Beep. In Toy Story 3 it's revealed that Beep is gone, though exactly why is unclear. As far as we know that's still the story that we're getting, though the film has gone through a lot since then.
Originally the script for Toy Story 4 was being written by Rashida Jones and McCormack, but they left the project following problems with the Pixar culture. Stephany Folsom was then brought in to work on a new script. This caused a significant delay which resulted in Toy Story 4 being pushed back from it's originally scheduled release date of this past summer, to the summer of 2019.
Annie Potts, who voices Bo Peep, has confirmed that she has done a lot of work on the project, which indicates that while much of the script may have changed, the basic story likely remains intact. She's set to be a significant part of the film in some way.
One Toy Story character who won't be in the new movie, at least not as we knew him, is Mr. Potato Head. Don Rickles passed away in 2017 without having recorded any lines for the new film, and especially with the script changing, it just wouldn't be possible to make him part of the story. The Toy Story franchise did simply replace Jim Varney as Slinky Dog when he died, but it seems unlikely they'll do the same thing with a voice as recognizable as Rickles. He's the Paul Newman of this franchise.
I can't help but wonder if somehow the loss of Potato Head, and potentially other characters as well, might be part of the movie now. Saying goodbye to them would certainly be an emotional moment for the cast.
Tom Hanks isn't the only one who has made comments about how powerful the end of Toy Story 4 is. Buzz Lightyear himself made similar comments recently saying...
I gotta resist getting emotional because I don't wanna give it away, but this is an incredibly great story... They've got great characters, but a couple of scenes towards the end were really hard to get through.
While the difficulty with the script may be cause for alarm for some fans, it really seems like the actors feel Pixar has nailed it, so perhaps the extra time that was taken to get the story just right was worth it. The story is always something that is perpetually worked on during the production of a Pixar film, it's never entirely finished until the whole movie is done. Some films, such as The Good Dinosaur have seen entire movies basically canned after it was decided that the existing story just didn't work.
An entire generation has grown up with the Toy Story movies and even if you weren't a kid when the first one came out, the story about growing up and leaving your childhood behind is something that's universal. The fact that the Toy Story movies captured that in three near-perfect films is remarkable. The fact that Toy Story 4 might even be even more memorable is difficult to even imagine. But Tom Hanks says that Toy Story 4 is going to have an "impactful ending" and why in the world would we not believe Woody?