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Pixar Explains Why There’s No Short Before ‘Toy Story 4’

toy story 4
Jonas Rivera (Left), Josh Cooley (Center), Mark Nielsen (Right)

Over the weekend, Disney confirmed what many of us had expected for months: there would be no Pixar animated short attached to Toy Story 4 in theaters. Now, we have an actual explanation, courtesy of Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera, two of the film’s producers.

Nielsen and Rivera spoke with Yahoo Movies UK to set the record straight:

“The real reason is resources. The people at the studio were all needed to work on feature films at the time. There was a big demand to finish up the last few films, and there just wasn’t the people to make a short.”

This is in line with what I guessed might be the reason just yesterday. The animated shorts are there to give animators something fun to do in between feature films, but they’re not really a priority. If there are a lot of feature-length projects to work on, which are where Pixar makes its money, then shorts are inevitably going to fall by the wayside.

Thankfully, that’s not the full story. Rivera weighed in as well, promising the shorts will return:

“We love the shorts. And we’re continuing to do the SparkShorts, and all that stuff at Pixar, but yeah, it just didn’t line up for this one.”

The optimistic side of me wants to take Rivera at face value on this. I’ve met him in person, and he’s been very straightforward with the press for as long as I’ve followed these movies. But my worry remains: if it didn’t line up for Toy Story 4, then that could mean it won’t line up for some other Pixar films down the road.

Maybe we get an animated theatrical short every so often, but Pixar has a lot on its plate at the moment, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. The box office success of Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and assumably Toy Story 4 will strengthen the studio’s resources over the next few years, essentially financing the next four original, non-sequel films they have coming.

But as I mentioned yesterday, theatrical shorts aren’t known to be moneymakers. If Pixar can expend its resources on shorts and shows for Disney+, which they can get paid for, then who knows if they’ll have enough time or budget to properly develop a theatrical short good enough to place before their movies? Pixar probably knows, but for now, I doubt they want to raise any alarms unnecessarily.

My guess is that we will get a short of some kind before Onward, but maybe not the other Pixar film coming out in 2020. This might be the start of a more gradual phasing out of the short films, or perhaps a more inconsistent release schedule determined by how many animators Pixar hires or recently hired. These are details only they are keenly aware of at the moment and likely planning out for the next five or six years. So we won’t know what’s really going on anytime soon.

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

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni


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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’?

Review: ‘Inside Out’ Is More Than Some Feelings

I’ve written a more comprehensive review for Inside Out elsewhere, but I thought it would be fitting to craft a shorter review for this site’s readers, many of them being longtime fans of Pixar Animation Studios.

Yes, Inside Out is the latest Pixar feature. It takes you inside the head of an 11-year old girl and tells you her story through her five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.

Directed and produced by the team behind Up, this new story is all about the struggles of growing up. Its lessons aren’t cliche, however, in that the final message isn’t simply “do whatever makes you happy.” This is a staple of children movies that Inside Out rightfully tosses in favor of emotional truth.

inside out review

The movie doesn’t pull its heart-wrenching punches, but it’s also decisively clever and humorous. I haven’t laughed this much during a Pixar movie since Finding Nemo, which I consider Pixar’s funniest film ever. For that reason and others, I consider Inside Out Pixar’s overall best movie since Finding Nemo, and I’ve heard many say that the movie even surpasses that level of praise.

It’s easy to give Inside Out a little too much credit. Many of us have been yearning for an original Pixar feature of this caliber for years, and I’ll admit that I wanted this movie to be good. But I know myself, and I think I’m giving Inside Out the proper amount of praise based on both viewings I’ve had of the film so far.

Grade: A.

This is due to some minor nitpicks I have, including a missing antagonist for the movie and some of the film’s over-reliance on themes from other Pixar movies. If you’re curious about the score, then you can check out my full review on Moviepilot, where I discuss the film in detail.

Extra Credits

  • Yes, the movie will likely make you cry, so I suggest you pick a 3D showing that will hide your eyes.
  • Richard Kind voices Bing Bong, who has some of the film’s biggest laughs, next to…
  • Anger. Lewis Black killed it as my favorite emotion of the bunch.
  • I watched this movie in San Fransisco, which is where the movie takes place. This hyped up the setting for me, in that I recognized some of the locations they took right out of the map. I confirmed this with Ralph Eggleston, the art director, when I met him a few months back. Great guy.
  • LAVA is a fun short, especially if you love the ukulele as much as I do. For that reason, it’s a lot higher on my list of favorite shorts than some others, but I also didn’t love Blue Umbrella as much, so my opinion is weird.
  • Yes, this fits into the Pixar Theory. More on that later.

Inside Out was directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen. It was produced by Jonas Rivera and stars Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Lewis Black (Anger), Bill Hader (Fear), and Kaitlyn Dias (Riley).

My Day At Pixar (And Early Thoughts on ‘Inside Out’)

pixar inside out

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Pixar for two days and watch the first 56 minutes of Inside Out. It’s been a lot to process, but I’ve condensed the experience into a post you can read here:

Behind-the-Scenes First Look at Inside Out, INSIDE Pixar Headquarters!

It was a great experience, and I had the chance to chat with Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, Tony Fucile, and many others. I also saw a screening for the new short, LAVA, which will be paired with Inside Out.

My early thoughts on the movie is that it is a huge step forward for Pixar in terms of narrative. Docter and Rivera have crafted something really special with Inside Out, and I have little doubt it’s going to be a huge success for the studio. The world they’ve created for this movie is more rich, detailed, and inventive than anything the studio has put out so far. I felt like I was stepping into a world built by George R.R. Martin, the author of A Game of Thrones. 

It’s funny. It’s emotional. And it’s fun. I can’t wait to see the whole thing. Once the movie comes out, and you all have a chance to see it, we can talk about how it fits into the Pixar Theory and all of that. But for now, I just want to bask in the fact that Pixar is coming out with another winner.

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