Advertisements

‘Toy Story 4’ Won’t Have an Animated Short, Which Could Be The Start of a New Trend

toy story 4

We’ve known for a while that Pixar has no intention of attaching an animated short of some kind to precede Toy Story 4, but a Disney representative recently made it official, per Slate:

Toy Story 4 will break with tradition by going without an animated short when it enters theaters June 21, a representative for Disney confirmed to Slate. That makes it the first Pixar movie without one since the original Toy Story in 1995…

Again, this isn’t a surprise. We would have had heard about a short premiering with the movie a long time ago, but there’s been no hint of anything, not even one of the Sparkshorts Pixar released on YouTube (some speculated they might at least show one of those for the sake of showing something).

I’m seeing a mix of reactions to this, with many Pixar followers assuming this to be an anomaly; surely, Pixar wouldn’t ditch a tradition they’ve held since A Bug’s Life, right? Others, like me, are less optimistic. Pixar now has a hand in helping Disney develop computer-animated shows for the Disney+ streaming service, and the Sparkshorts are a newer program meant to push boundaries and cultivate new voices in and around the animation community. Feature shorts might not be considered a necessary expense for a studio under new leadership.

I’m not implying that this was a call made by Pete Docter, who now leads Pixar creatively, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the company has decided to refocus their efforts on shows and cheaper shorts that will accomplish the same goals as the feature ones (they’re really meant to keep employees working in between film projects).

And it’s worth pointing out that Coco paved the way for gradual changes in how Disney and Pixar handle short films. In 2017, Coco was the first Pixar film to come with a Walt Disney Animation short: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which was met with severe disdain for its bizarrely long runtime.

Bottom line: short films don’t make much money, if any, for Pixar. But their animators can be put to good use helping Disney and other production companies with spin-off shows, like the upcoming Monsters at Work, though the extent of Pixar’s specific contribution to these and other Disney+ projects is a bit unclear at the moment.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Pixar just didn’t have a short film ready in time for Toy Story 4, and for whatever reason, they’re downplaying this sudden change. We’ll know soon enough when more news comes in about Onward, their next film arriving in theaters by next March.

UPDATE: Pixar has given an official explanation for why they didn’t make a short. You can read their response here.

Get updates on my theories, books, and giveaways by joining my Mailing List.

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni


Advertisements

My ‘Toy Story 4’ Review

Published on Cinemaholics:

The Toy Story movies have always been filled with lots of toys, and rightfully so. But every film so far has mostly played around with the character of Woody the cowboy doll. His story has progressed both positively and negatively to some extent over the years, from his fear of being replaced in the first Toy Story, his fear of being thrown away in Toy Story 2, and his fear of being forgotten in Toy Story 3.

Almost a decade later, Toy Story 4 confronts a new fear for Woody that not very many family movies even attempt to tackle: a fear of no longer having a purpose.

You can read the full review here. I’ll be adding some complementary thoughts about the movie over the next few weeks and beyond. There’s a lot to think about, good and ill. But mostly good.


Toy Story 4 (My Spoiler-free Reaction)

I’m not allowed to say anything about Toy Story 4 in too much detail yet, but I have been permitted to share “social media reactions” for now.

Here’s what I’ve said so far on Twitter:

I saw Toy Story 4 at the AMC Metreon in San Francisco, where I’ve watched plenty of other Pixar films like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco, and Incredibles 2. It’s a great theater worth checking out if you’re ever in town (I recommend getting the coffee served by an actual robot).

I happened to be sitting next to Jeffrey M. Anderson, film critic for The San Francisco Examiner, and we had a brief chat beforehand about the Fox lot in LA, one of the worst theaters in SF, and some other topics you probably won’t find as interesting as we did.

Jeffrey has been reviewing films for decades, and during all of Toy Story 4, I couldn’t help but notice how equally transfixed we were by what is admittedly a simple movie in many ways, and one primarily created for children. We both laughed with the film throughout, regardless (me more than him, to be clear).

This is worth bringing up, I think, because Toy Story has long served as a “stealth bridge” between older and younger generations. These movies have always been about nostalgia, but not an exclusive type of nostalgia you’ll see in lesser films trying to tap into potent emotions that wring the past dry.

Even a kid like me can have nostalgia for the first time I saw Toy Story in a theater (my second theatrical experience ever, after The Lion King). And when I first saw that film, I connected with Woody’s sense of anxiety when it came to feeling surpassed. In Toy Story 2, I felt his longing for existential purpose. In Toy Story 3, I wept like everyone else to see that purpose fulfilled. And now, in Toy Story 4, a movie about what you do after you’ve done your best, I’m weeping all over again.

Yes, Toy Story 4 does what it’s made to do. It’s an entertaining film that will make money because children will want to see it. And like in many other Pixar films, adults won’t feel left out when they see it, too. We can revel in the same, silent joy, keeping us connected to generations we don’t always fully understand.

Toy Story 4 is another wonderful return to a world I thought we’d seen the last of in any major way. But like Woody himself, this old film series still has a few new tricks.


Thanks for reading this. To get updates on my theories, books, and giveaways, join my mailing list.

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni

Will There Be More ‘Toy Stories’ After ‘Toy Story 4’?

toy story 4

Caitlyn Busch, reporting for SyFyWire:

Will there be another Toy Story movie?

“We sort of joked that we thought Toy Story 2 was the last one,” producer Jonas Rivera said at first of working on Toy Story 4. “When we finished that one we thought that was the end of the story. And how we approached [Toy Story 4] … with Woody as the protagonist, this was the final chapter. And as filmmakers, we feel satisfied that this is where you could end it.

He continued: “Now there’s an implied future to all these films. And we sort of ‘never say never’ at Pixar. But as storytellers, we’re satisfied with this as closing the chapter.”

This is Public Relations 101. Rivera probably doesn’t want fans to expect more Toy Story movies or even think about audience fatigue. But he also doesn’t want to make false promises.

So here’s where it gets interesting.

Go on…Will There Be More ‘Toy Stories’ After ‘Toy Story 4’?

It’s showtime.

It’s been a while, so I apologize for the silence (unless you follow me on Twitter, where silence isn’t exactly a feature). I took a temporary break from updating jonnegroni.com for a few important reasons. Below are just a few.

First, I’ve been hard at work developing another site: cinemaholics.com. This is the new one-stop shop for the podcast I do with Will Ashton, plus all my newest film reviews. You’ll notice that episodes of the show have migrated to that site for the sake of simplicity, with an exception or two, of course.

Second, I’ve been working on two books, which have been demanding a sizable chunk of my time. The first is Vainguard, which is in the final stages of publication. But there’s also a new and improved edition of The Pixar Theory, which will be bigger and better than ever. A lot of you have reached out to me about not being able to get your hands on a physical copy for some time. I haven’t been able to personally update all of you on this, but the short version is that the book is transitioning to a new publisher and will be drastically different (and improved, of course). Sorry for the wait, but I promise it will be worth it.

Last, I’ve been wondering how to shift this website into something truly useful for lovers of Pixar and fandom in general. You’ll notice that this latest design strips away the clutter of the sidebars and will be more type-focused than ever. I’ve also opted for an easier color scheme on the eyes. This has taken a lot of time, trial, and error to finalize, so I’m hoping the effort pays off and you find this blog to be a joy to read.

Moving forward, this will be a blog in the very traditional sense. Lots of me speaking matter-of-factly about Pixar and animation in general, either reacting to news or doing the occasional editorial. Maybe even videos if time permits. Please send me a comment below if you have suggestions for content you want to see, and I’ll look into it as soon as possible.

For now, I’m excited to be back. It’s been too long, and we have an infinity of things to talk about, and beyond.

2018 In Film – Do I Make You Sad? (Tribute)

Another year of film is about to pass, so I did something a bit different to mark the occasion. You’ve probably seen a few tributes like the one shown above, but hopefully you’ll find that this one is a bit more thematic than others. Each song choice, scene, and even some edits plays into a larger theme of what 2018 meant to me as a filmgoer. Also, I purposefully chose 162 films to highlight, which obviously includes movies I haven’t even seen yet, as well as films I didn’t even particularly like. But I know many of you watching did, and I want to celebrate the universal appeal of cinema for everyone. Not just me.

Go on…2018 In Film – Do I Make You Sad? (Tribute)

Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer Strategy is Out of the Box

toy story 4

At last, Pixar has revealed its first big marketing materials for Toy Story 4, which includes a brief teaser trailer, several character posters, and more recently a “teaser trailer reaction” video that pokes self-aware fun at the franchise in almost parody form.

The response so far has had a wide range, much of it to be expected. Of course, a lot of Toy Story fans are extremely worried about an unnecessary Pixar sequel turning out to be an inferior cash grab that diminishes an already perfect trilogy with what many consider the most satisfying ending possible. I’m one of those fans.

Go on…Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer Strategy is Out of the Box

%d bloggers like this: