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Many a fan will tell you that Toy Story 3 had a perfect ending. It wrapped up a trilogy in a perfect way, bringing the story of the characters to a wonderful close. However, while we all assumed that Toy Story 3 was the end of the franchise, the story is now moving forward once again with Toy Story 4. If Toy Story isn't a simple three act trilogy, does that mean that we could see even more movies after Toy Story 4?
I asked the director and producers of Toy Story 4, that exact question when I had an opportunity to speak with them last month. Unsurprisingly, nobody was quite ready to call Toy Story 4, the definite ending of the series, though they did all agree that if it turns out that way, they think fans will be happy with where the story ends. According to producer Jonas Rivera, who was an intern at Pixar back during the original Toy Story...
Of course, what's most interesting about this statement is that people were pretty much satisfied with the ending of Toy Story 3, so much so that many seem to have real concern about the idea of making the fourth film in the franchise in the first place.
Of course, without knowing how Toy Story 4 ends, it's hard to really know what the team is referring to. I certainly have my suspicions where the story is going based on some of the footage I was able to see at Pixar Animation Studios, but I'm far from certain.
What I can say based on the footage I saw, without getting into spoilers, is that I very much do understand why Toy Story 4 was made. It's easy to be cynical about it, but the people in charge clearly found a story worth telling that would only really work within the world of Toy Story.
Of course, while Toy Story 4 could very well be the final chapter of Woody's story, producer Mark Nielsen, who has worked on the franchise as far back as the second film, knows this isn't the first time everybody thought the Toy Story franchise was over, according to him...
It seems that with every Toy Story movie, even the very first, there was a feeling by many at Pixar that no sequel was necessary, but then the idea for one came along and that eventually eventually saw support grow. With the conclusion of Toy Story 3 and the end of Andy's story, it's clear that feeling was even stronger, and yet, Pixar seems that much more convinced that Toy Story 4 is a valuable addition to the franchise.
Tim Allen has previously stated that he's in favor of a fifth movie. Maybe, if the complete story of Woody and Buzz isn't over in one trilogy, maybe it needs two.
What's certainly clear is that, while Pixar is certainly looking for a satisfying ending, there's no need to make one that's definitive. The possibility that there's more story to tell will always be there, and if somebody can come up with one, Toy Story 5 is certainly something that could happen.
Of course, for that to happen, audiences will need to first embrace Toy Story 4. They'll have their chance when the new film arrives June 21.