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Poster from Toy Story 3 (2010) Directed by Lee Unkrich

Old Friends meet New Friends

After several writers were replaced and the crew survived a laborious pre-production process, Disney and Pixar are finally back with Toy Story 4. Nearly 25 years old, the original “Toy Story” first hit theaters in 1995.

The first computer generated full length animated film, using the latest and most advanced technology available at that time, it had a budget of “only” $30 million dollars and grossed over $350 million dollars worldwide at the box office. 

With all the issues in getting to the screen, Toy Story 4’s release was ultimately delayed almost 2 years, originally scheduled to launch in the summer of 2017 but Cars 3 was put in its slot. In 2018, after the aforementioned pre-production and re-writing struggles, a summer release was again pre-empted in favor of Incredibles 2.

Read More: Disney, Universal and Pixar Films available to Stream in advance of original VOD release date

“[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.”

-Annie Potts (voice of Bo Peep)

Finally and thankfully, this year will be the year. The 4th installment of the storied franchise reunites the whole gang; Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and Mr. Potato Head.

This time around, Sheriff Woody befriends the newest addition to the cast, a homemade “toy” named “Forky” (although obviously built from a plastic “Spork”). The utensil is Voiced by Tony Hale, best known for his work on television series “Arrested Development” and “Veep”.

Drama ensues as Forky, in an existential crisis, does not want to be a toy, but rather resume life as an eating utensil, as his maker, presumably the spork factory, intended.

Don Rickles, the original voice of Mr. Potato Head, passed away in 2017 but, thanks to the magic of archived audio files, he will still remain the voice behind the beloved character. 

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Many fans of the first three Toy Story films felt that the third installment had what appeared to be a definite and satisfying conclusion for the “trilogy”, and assumed there would never be a Toy Story 4. Although aware of the skepticism that the fourth installment could extend and conclude in an equally pleasing fashion, the creative team have shown confidence that this is indeed the case. We’ll see in June.

In a side note of interest, there are rumors that numerous Pixar “Easter eggs” are specially and purposefully hidden within the film. Attention to detail, a long standing Pixar speciality, is said to be incredible. Fans of arcane digital minutia will not be disappointed.

Toy Story 4 is directed by Josh Cooley and stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, and Keanu Reeves.

Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4”: in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

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