This morning, a brand new trailer for Toy Story 4 sent the world into a spin of nostalgia and anticipation, as the latest adventure of Woody, Buzz, and the gang feels so much closer to happening now we know what it's about. Yet, as with any sequel to a storied franchise that keeps on chugging, there are some who are wondering just why Toy Story 3 wasn't a good enough ending for the saga that started Pixar's feature film empire. It's the type of question the internet loves to discuss, and we here at CinemaBlend are ready to discuss the pros and cons ourselves.
Weighing in from the positive corner is our own Dirk Libbey, while I, Mike Reyes, will hail from the opposing side of the issue. Both of our arguments will be laid out in meticulous fashion; but in the end, you'll have a chance to tell us what you think about Toy Story 4's existence. Don't forget to vote in our poll, and give us your extended remarks of feedback in the comments section below. Now, to give Dirk's Toy Story 4 opinions their day in the sun!
Almost since it was first announced there was going to be a Toy Story 4, there have been voices asking, "Why?" It’s certainly true the third film ended things on a powerful note, but I’ve never been one who felt the franchise was untouchable. Thus, I'm excited by the potential of Toy Story 4.
I like the Toy Story movies well enough. I think they tell great stories and are full of fun characters, but there’s honestly a lot from Pixar that means more to me on a personal or emotional level than the Toy Story movies. Maybe I’m a little too old, I was almost out of high school when Toy Story came out, so I didn’t really “grow up” with the franchise. Maybe I just didn’t have a favorite toy that meant as much to me as Buzz and Woody mean to Andy. Either way, it seems that because I don’t hold these movies in such high regard that I’m actually more interested in another adventure with these characters. The first three movies were good, so as long as the fourth one is too, I’m in.
At the same time, even for those people for whom the Toy Story trilogy is perfect as it is, I still think there’s a value in Toy Story 4. Toy Story 3 perfectly rounded out an impressive trilogy of films, but so much of what the Toy Story movies do well is the way they reflect real life with the characters, and life rarely fits into a perfect three-act structure. After you’ve grown up and moved on from your childhood toys and begun your adult life, the story doesn’t end. Really, it’s just beginning.
Based on the new trailer, it feels like Toy Story 4 is going to be the “mid-life crisis” movie of the Toy Story franchise. Forky is clearly a character trying to come to terms with who he is and what his purpose in life is. We also see Woody beginning to question everything that he has known up to this point. Will he continue in the role that he has played for so long or is it time to move on and try different things, experience a different adventure?
As somebody who writes these very words now because I once asked myself very similar questions, I’m certainly intrigued by where Toy Story 4 could be going. There is always another story to tell and I’m excited to see this one.
As someone who was right at cusp of childhood and adolescence when Toy Story debuted in 1995, it's safe to say that the films were definitely a part of my formative years as a moviegoer. The visual spectacle of CG animation, mixed with some of the freshest storyline and dialogue to come out of an animated film in the '90s made me pretty damned happy as a kid. So it's that basis of fandom that has me wondering just why we need another Toy Story sequel, considering the last one was pretty questionable itself.
Toy Story 2 was the gamble of all gambles when it came out in 1999, but even as a high school kid, I was still with it. It was a rare sequel that matched, if not outdid, the original; and provided a nice ambiguous note of finality. So naturally, Disney/Pixar had to go ahead and push its luck with Toy Story 3.
It's not that I didn't like Toy Story 3, it's just that it felt to me like a step down from the heights of the franchise. The most redeemable factor, and the one thing that really helped keep me from writing it off completely, is that it brought closure to the series once and for all. And it did so in such a beautiful way that it still makes me cry when Andy tells Bonnie about his dear old friends.
Yes, there have been TV specials and shorts continuing the adventures of the Toy Story gang, but none of those fundamentally undid the ending of Toy Story 3, nor did they repeat story beats from throughout the series. We've already seen the toys wrestle with saying goodbye to a trusted kid in Toy Story 3, and we've already experienced the push and pull between what Woody wants to do with his own life, and what he'll do for Andy in Toy Story 2. But Toy Story 4 looks like it's ready to do both all over again, and I just wish Pixar had left well enough alone.
Sometimes, you just need to know when to leave a series alone, and Toy Story 4 looks to be living proof of that fact. Watching that trailer this morning which featured the manipulative shorthand of using The Beach Boys' “God Only Knows” wasn't even enough to crack my shell. I'll still see it out of curiosity, but at this moment, I think Toy Story 4 is a bad idea. If the studio really wanted us to know what Bo Peep was up to, then maybe she shouldn't have hastily been written out of Toy Story 3.
Ultimately, Toy Story 4 is happening, so really the only question is whether or not it will resonate with a fanbase that has stuck with it for decades. Still, there you have it: Both sides of the argument have been made, and now the floor is turned over to you, the audience. Take our poll below, and tell us why you think Toy Story 4 is a good or bad idea. As for the film itself, you can catch Toy Story 4 in theaters on June 21, 2019. But if you want to find some other animated antics to tide you over until then, head over to our 2019 release schedule, and find a new "pardner" for your next cinematic roundup!
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.