Amid the flurry of recent announcements from Pixar and Marvel Cinematic Universe (both of which are Disney-owned), comes forth another huge one: Toy Story 4. It’s been nearly 20 years since the release of Pixar’s first blockbuster hit, followed by equally, if not better sequels that surpassed expectations. However, the announcement of Toy Story 4–among the recent Pixar announcements for sequels such as The Incredibles 2, Finding Dory, and Cars 3–leaves many caught in a state of excitement and bewilderment. While John Lasseter, who directed the first two installments of the Toy Story trilogy, is slated to direct its fourth installment, many–including myself–thought the trilogy had reached a bittersweet end: Andy’s going to college after all, and the toys, while saddened by the departure of Andy, are happy to welcome a new owner into their lives.
Yet, as any sensible person might think, one cannot help but express concern for Pixar taking the four-movie route, especially given that it becomes such an evident mark for Pixar’s cash cow grab. With a 99% certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it became the highest grossing animated film of all time (that is, until it was surpassed by the Disney-hit Frozen in March 2014). “Of course they they will make a fourth a success because they have enough money and kudos to make millions of people want to go and see it,” said BBC Radio 1 film critic, Rhianna Dhillion, “but they just don’t need [Toy Story 4] because they can make original films perfectly well without needing to keep re-running old characters.”
Nonetheless, Toy Story 4 is currently slated for a June 2017 release, rumored to take place where Toy Story 3 had left off.