For reasons that I can no longer remember at the moment, I recently went to IMDB.com to look up Tom Hanks. I think maybe I was trying to remember what year The Money Pit came out (1986), possibly to settle a bar fight over whether it was pre- or post-Big. (1989.)
But whatever scintillating bit of information I was hoping to glean from Mr. Hanks very long filmography was completely blown out of my brain when I noticed…this:
What? Toy Story 4? That’s gotta be someone’s idea of an IMDB-ish prank, right?
Call me crazy, but I thought Toy Story 3 kind of…well, wrapped everything up pretty nicely. A perfect (and critically lauded) end-cap to a solid animated trilogy that reduced many adults to blubbery tears as we bade a sweet farewell to a beloved bunch of characters who ended up symbolizing our very childhoods and our children’s fleeting childhoods that will also come to an end before we know it and OH GOD ANDY IS PLAYING WITH HIS TOYS ONE LAST TIME THAT’S ALL THEY EVER WANTED BLEEEAAAHHHH UGLY CRY.
God, I love that movie.
I also thought the follow-up Toy Story animated shorts were a little unnecessary and cash grabby. (Suddenly Buzz getting lost in a fast food restaurant — a disaster of movie-length epic proportions in the first Toy Story movie — was no big deal and easily remedied in the breezy little Small Fry short. I can’t tell you how much that bugged me. STICK WITH THE RULES OF YOUR UNIVERSE, GUYS.) And now there’s a TV movie in the works? And an another entire full-length theatrical installment? Why? WHYYYY?
I am probably overreacting. After much Googling, many industry blogs are doubtful that Toy Story 4 will ever move past the “in development” ring of purgatory. Some think it’s all a bunch of messy lie-filled rumors (that have been around for awhile, apparently; I guess I was drunk and missed them the first time around). Others suggest that if it does happen, it’ll emerge reboot-style with a completely new setting and story, like the upcoming Monsters University. Which, no lie, I am super excited about that one. (And I am still holding out hope that The Incredibles 2 will happen.) So I’m not a complete curmudgeon about Pixar sequels, I swear. (Except for Cars 2. The less said about that one, the better.) The fact that Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter are attached does give me hope that the franchise remains in good hands.
And I understand that after investing a tremendous amount of work and money in a beloved set of characters and all that world building, it’s hard to walk away and not give the people more, if the people really want more. (See: J.K. Rowling, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, etc.)
(And my four- and seven-year-old people would certainly be just fine with more. More is always more! More of all the things!)
So what do you think the odds are that Toy Story 4 will ever move beyond speculation and a bare-bones IMDB page? And…should it?