Woody, Buzz and the gang return
It’s been nine years since Toy Story 3, a film that completed what many saw to be a near-perfect movie trilogy. It came as some surprise, then, when Toy Story 4 was announced back in 2014.
Now, after much anticipation, the fourth franchise film looks set to arrive this summer with new director Josh Cooley (Inside Out writer) taking over at the helm.
From early indicators, there looks to be much to be excited about. Here’s everything we know so far.
What’s the cinema release date for Toy Story 4?
Toy Story 4 was originally scheduled for a June 2017 release. However, after a two year delay, it’s now set to arrive with a revised UK and US release date of June 21, 2019.
What’s the plot of Toy Story 4?
Toy Story 3 ended with Andy growing up and heading off to college, donating his old toys (yes, even Woody) to their new owner, local toddler Bonnie. With the first trilogy following the toys’ adventures in their first home, its follow-up will now move on to their second life with Bonnie.
From what we know so far, the plot shares a striking similarities to the very first Toy Story: with Woody tasked with dealing with the arrival of a difficult new toy.
An official synopsis reads: “Woody has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky, declares himself as ‘trash’ and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy.”
“But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep. After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realise they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.”
Can I watch a trailer?
Yes! The final trailer is here and it shows us our first full look at Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom. As he explains in the trailer, he’s “Canada’s greatest stuntman” – and it looks like he’ll play an important role in helping out Woody.
Check out the trailer in full below.
This comes after a second trailer gave us a fuller idea of what to expect.
It’s established that the toys are going on a road trip with Bonnie – and it isn’t long before Forky tries to make his grand escape while they’re on the road.
Elsewhere, we learn that Buzz Lightyear ends up strapped to a fairground stall after a mission to find Woody goes somewhat awry. All in all, it’s very exciting.
Check out the first trailer below too.
As it shows, it’s up to Woody and the gang to rescue Bonnie’s favourite toy Forky, who has some serious identity questions.
In turn, this leads to a chance reunion with Bo Peep – and Woody faces some serious questions about where he wants to spend the rest of his days.
Be warned – it all looks pretty emotional. Check out a new poster below too.
This comes after we were treated to four sneak-peeks so far.
The first saw the toys gleefully joined hand-in-hand, while Judy Collins’ cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ played in the background, before being interrupted by the arrival of the new character of Forky.
The second teaser, meanwhile, introduced the characters of carnival toys Ducky and Bunny. In the clip, the pair get a bit meta and discuss their excitement for Toy Story 4, before proceeding to exchange impressions of Woody and Buzz, eventually being corrected by the famous duo themselves.
The third teaser saw Bo Peep return, as she goes on a hunt with Woody for Buzz, who is trapped as a prize on a carnival stand alongside the newly introduced Ducky and Bunny.
A fourth clip premiered on Good Morning America, a “flashback” to a rescue mission led by Bo Peep and Woody. In the scene, a lost toy is trapped in a gutter in the yard and the two characters enlist the help of their fellow toys to get him back.
Which cast members are returning for Toy Story 4?
Of course, as with the previous three films, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles of Woody and Buzz.
Toy Story 4 will also see the return of Joan Cusack (Jessie), Michael Keaton (Ken), Jodi Benson (Barbie), Blake Clark (Slinky Dog), Wallace Shawn (Rex), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Estelle Harris (Mrs Potato Head), Kristen Schaal (Trixie), Bonnie Hunt (Dolly), Timothy Dalton (Mr Pricklepants), Jeff Garlin (Buttercup), Jeff Pidgeon (the Aliens), Laurie Metcalf (Mrs Davis) and Lori Alan (Mrs Anderson).
And Bo Peep is coming back?
Yes, Annie Potts is back as Bo Peep, who she voiced for the first two franchise film before the character’s emission from Toy Story 3.
“She is modern, independent, capable and confident,” Potts has said of her character’s return. “Bo is written and conceived to be inspiring as she has weathered life’s ups and downs with grace. I aspire to that.”
Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley added: “Bo’s taken control of her own destiny. While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can’t believe that they’ve found each other again.”
There’s also been confusion amongst fans about whether the fourth film would involve a love triangle between Bo Peep, Woody and Buzz. Potts was asked during a Good Morning America interview whether the “love triangle” between the three would continue, which sparked confusion because Bo’s character has always been linked to Woody.
Some fans have suggested that this could be a plot line from the upcoming film accidentally revealed. Asked whether Bo will make a definitive choice between Woody and Buzz, Potts answered: “I think she’s made a choice now… I can only reveal so much.”
What about Mr Potato Head?
There is uncertainty whether the character of Mr Potato Head will feature in Toy Story 4. Don Rickles, the voice behind the toy, passed away in 2017 and it’s not thought that he recorded any dialogue for the movie prior to his death. It’s not yet known whether his role will be recast or if the character will be absent entirely (despite Mr Potato Head featuring in the teaser trailer).
Arrested Development and Veep star Tony Hale will be joining the cast to voice the new character of Forky, a spork-turned-makeshift-toy who’s suffering something of an existential crisis. Is it a toy? Is it a utensil?As we’re first introduced to Forky in the teaser trailer, Hale’s character exclaims: “I don’t belong here, I’m not a toy!”
Director Josh Cooley has explained of Forky: “The world of Toy Story is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose. A toy’s purpose is to be there for its child. But what about toys that are made out of other objects? Forky is a toy that Bonnie made out of a disposable spork, so he’s facing a crisis. He wants to fulfill his purpose as a spork, but now has a new toy purpose thrust upon him.”
“When we thought up this character, Tony was the first actor that came to mind and I’m thrilled he accepted. Tony’s performance as Forky is a comedy salad of confidence, confusion, and empathy … served by hilarious spork.”
Hale said in a statement: “A utensil’s existential crisis? I’m in!”
Will there be other new characters for Toy Story 4?
Yep. Elsewhere, comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele will play Ducky and Bunny respectively, “two carnival prizes who are eager to be won” who “find themselves on an unexpected adventure with a group of toys who have no idea what it feels like to be tacked to a prize wall”.
“Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who voice Ducky and Bunny, are two of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever seen,” said director Cooley. “Of course, they are effortlessly funny, which would be enough. But they are incredible actors that understand story. Their improvs weren’t just for comedy sake, they were story motivated which elevated Ducky and Bunny and the film to a level I never could have expected.”
The new characters have also been teased with photos of their Funko Pop! figurines making their way online (see below).
And Keanu Reeves is set to appear?
Indeed. Keanu Reeves will also star in a mysterious role for Toy Story 4. Tim Allen has teased Reeves’ role, saying that the star “has got a great part”. Appearing on The Tonight Show, Allen teased: “Actually, a little inside story, even [Reeves] said – gentle, wonderful guy that he is – ‘[His character] sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear’ and his character does have an edge to that – and the guy said, ‘So we calmed him down a little bit’.”
The Matrix actor has discussed how he landed the role. “I got a call which was really cool out the blue from the lovely people at Pixar and the creators of this number, this edition, or continuation of the story,” Reeves told Collider. “They pitched the character to me and then we spoke and they allowed me to kind of riff on it.”
Back in 2015, it was reported that Patricia Arquette would voice a character described as a “hippie mother”. However, since the movie’s development has undergone serious changes since then, it’s unclear whether Arquette will still appear in the final film.
Why was there a delay for Toy Story 4?
One reason for such a delay is that large parts of the original script were scrapped and rewritten. Annie Potts, who voices Bo Peep, explained to Radio Times: “[Toy Story 4] was supposed to come out this year and then they threw out three-quarters of it and rewrote. Usually, it takes – from start to finish – two years. But because they threw most of it in the bin and started over [my time on the project has] been extended a little bit. I’ve done a lot of work on it.”
Revealing that she thought the entire project had been cancelled because she “didn’t hear from them in a year and a half”, Potts went on to add: “They’re funny those Pixar people. They just take their time. It’s very painstaking work. If they don’t like whole sections then they just chuck it and start over again. They have that great creative liberty to do that.”
Why did Rashida Jones leave the project?
Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack originally signed on to pen the screenplay, but withdrew from the film in November 2017. In a statement, Jones clarified that she and McCormack parted ways with Pixar due to “creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences”.
“There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of colour do not have an equal creative voice,” the pair wrote in their statement.
“We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring, and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”
Jones later told Net-A-Porter: “That situation was complicated. You look at [Pixar’s] track record and it was one woman directing one film in 25 years, and she [Brenda Chapman] was fired. But that doesn’t look different from most studios in Hollywood. All I can be is myself, and speak up and be honest when I feel things don’t reflect the world as it today. As a corporation, you will be held accountable.”
Will there be a Toy Story 5?
There are no concrete plans for a fifth film just yet, but Tim Allen appears keen. He recently went on record as saying: “Once you’ve gotten to four, you’re passed that trilogy [point], so I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t do it, certainly. If you ask me, I’d say do five.” Stay tuned for more on that.