Bet you thought ‘Toy Story 3’ was the end, right? But here we are, more than almost a decade later, with the fourth instalment from the franchise that quite literally changed the face of animation for films with the first ‘Toy Story’ back in 1995. On the face of it, I felt ‘Toy Story 4’ and its promos simply couldn’t generate the same hype that the third did when it was released in 2010, and one of the reasons among it was that it provided a sense of ending and closure: something that lured the audience to the theatre in unprecedented numbers, not to forget its near perfect critical score, consistently entertaining and funny story and the tearjerker ending that I have no shame in admitting, still gets me.
The third one was definitely a knock out of the park that seemed like an impossibility to top, and after all, trilogies are the most common franchise categories in Hollywood. Lo and behold, the year of Disney, we have the fourth one with a near perfect critical score again/ Seems like you simply CANNOT go wrong when it comes to Disney and Pixar, right?
Perhaps ‘Toy Story 4’ establishes something that I previously thought to be an impossibility: it extends what we thought was a conclusion, and brings in another one. The emotional finale of the fourth that I am still recovering from would yet again appear like things have wrapped up for this unlikely group of toys banding together since 1995, but tell me again, how many franchises have you seen that have been able to close up their stories with a quadrilogy of films? It’s always either a trilogy, or another one. Yet again, I know this franchise to be far, far away from typicalities, but I sincerely believe that the very purpose of a fourth one, especially given how perfectly the third one wrapped things up, was to reinvigorate the franchise for another possible trilogy.
In the words of producer Mark Nielsen, “it’s tomorrow’s problem”. In the vein of tomorrow’s problem then, let’s take a look at all that we know about the prospects of a fifth one. From the looks of it, there is one almost certainly happening and I for one, cannot stay calm. Might be a really long time before we get to see Woody and Buzz back on screen again, but I am definitely not ruling the possibility (and the excitement) out.
Toy Story 5 Plot: What can it be about?
Fair warning here: since there currently is no official announcement about this, we are going to be talking a bit of theory here, especially, and a lot of speculation, as the makers currently seem very content with what they have crafted right now with the fourth one as an ending to the series. However, before that, I strictly feel that it is essential we know as to what exactly it was that brought the entire band together for a fourth one, provided how absolutely perfect the third one, and especially the ending to it was. I can say that for the heads at Pixar, it was a daunting question, but an enticing one. Moving forward, also consider yourself warned of any potential spoilers if you haven’t yet seen the fourth one.
When asked about the ginormously giant task ahead of them, and that was matching up to the third one, the makers cited Andrew Stanton, who they practically consider to be the godfather of the Toy Story movies. Stanton has been responsible for the story development of all four ‘Toy Story’ movies until now, and he felt that he’d never seen that as the end. “It’s only the end of Andy’s story. But Toy Story is about Woody.” That is essentially what the fourth one delves into, with the toys beginning out at Bonnie’s and delivers a neatly satisfying albeit tearful conclusion to the arc of one of the best animated characters out there.
“We thought ‘Toy Story 2’ was the perfect ending, and then we thought that again after 3. It’s tough. We have a never-say-never rule for what the future’s going to be at Pixar, but, I think, as filmmakers we’ve crafted this to be the conclusion. If there’s never another one, we’re happy. We know the characters live on and we imply a future, which we did in the other films as well, but I think narratively this completes Woody’s arc”, producers and director Jonas Rivera, Mark Nielsen and Josh Cooley said. Having said that, I would not be surprised if the makers, years from now, felt that maybe a fifth one is necessary to close out Buzz’s arc, and the rest of the toys, even if as rightly said by Andrew Stanton, the ‘Toy Story’ movies have essentially been about Woody. But hey, we aren’t complaining!
Besides, the fourth one introduces a host of new toy characters to tag along with the classic gang on an adventure, with the main one among the new introductions being a makeshift toy that Bonnie makes: Forky. The story of ‘Toy Story 4’ essentially uses Forky, and his crisis of discovering whether he was a toy or not, as a conduit to provide closure to the story of Woody, who also reunites with his long lost love Bo Peep. The makers revealed earlier that even though Bo Peep had about a total of seven minutes of screen-time in the previous two films while being completely absent from the third, her return was essential to lead Woody’s story to a conclusion. She has always, after all, been the one to remind Woody to introspect to find who he was and his purpose.
Joining them on the adventure will be Duke Caboom, voiced by current internet sweetheart, the breathtaking Keanu Reeves, Gabby Gabby, Giggle McDimples, and carnival toys Ducky and Bunny. One can only wonder whether Disney brought this new host of characters on board for a single outing only, but from the looks of it (and early reports on the film’s public consensus), they are already audience favourites. I can potentially see a number of them returning if the sequel happens as part of the “new gang”, just as the old one retires from their roles. After all, they have been doing this since more than two decades now. Furthermore, even if this sounds something highly unlikely for Disney to do, at this point, I am not ruling out the possibility of a spin off film. They do have Duke Caboom and Keanu Reeves. Just saying! To add to that, they also have a series of shorts focused on Forky premiering on Disney+ later this year.
Looking at the commercial aspects of it, it would be better if we continue to remind ourselves by the end of the day that no matter how much we love these characters and these movies, in the end, even if the far one, it all comes down to how much money these films make. ‘Toy Story 3’ ended up grossing north of $1 Billion nine years ago, and I suspect nothing less from the fourth one. I would not believe that the monetary popularity of the franchise won’t entice makers into making a fifth one.
Toy Story 5 Cast: Who can be in it?
I am hardly sure about Woody returning for a fifth one if it ever happens, seeing as though the fourth one proved to provide a near perfect exit for him, but again, so did the third one for the entire gang, and the fourth happened. Since I cannot simply cannot imagine a ‘Toy Story’ without him, I am not entirely ready, emotionally too, to write him and Tom Hanks off in this role just yet. One can cite a similar story for Annie Potts as Bo Peep, although she is not as central to the plot as Woody usually is.
Other than Woody and Hanks, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear is almost a surety if the sequel happens, as are the voices of Joan Cusack as Jessie, Bonnie Hunt as Dolly, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Jodi Benson as Barbie, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens, Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie. We will sadly have to say farewell to Mr. Potatohead, seeing as though the beloved Don Rickles who voiced him passed away earlier in 2017.
Expect the new gang to be present too when the fifth one happens, including Tony Hale as Forky, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny respectively, Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, and Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples. They anyway already have more screentime than the original gang, so we already may have our first indication to where it’s all headed.
Toy Story 5 Crew: Who can be behind it?
One of the things that Pixar does to ensure quality across its excellent products is maintaining the same creative core teams for its projects, and boy, that is one extremely talented pool of people. Expect the entire gang at Pixar including Andrew Stanton, John Lassetter (who are series veterans by now), Jonas Rivera, Mark Nielsen, Josh Cooley, and perhaps Pete Docter, Pixar’s creative chief, among others, to return for a fifth outing (when it happens) in varying capacities.
Toy Story 5 Release Date: When will it premiere?
The first two were pretty swift to come out, but the third one came out eleven years after the previous installment and the fourth one, nine years after. I don’t for one second expect Pixar to rush this up, what with an entire slate of original movies lined up. Taking into account the usual gaps, the creative process, the legacy and the painstaking animation process, I’d say even 2024 would seem optimistic for Toy Story 5 release date.
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