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.
From Angela Watercutter at Wired:
Late Tuesday night, after 32 years, Ed Catmull announced he would be retiring at the end of this year. This is not sad news, though—it’s a chance to give Pixar a new future.
I’m late on this news because I was out of town and thus not blogging when the announcement broke (and somewhat silently from what I can tell). I didn’t even here about Catmull’s retirement until a day after everyone else, and I’ve been stewing in my thoughts ever since.
In the cited piece above, Watercutter details how Catmull’s retirement is “an opportunity, not a loss.” And of course, Catmull himself claimed in his 2015 book Creativity Inc. that it was always his goal to leave Pixar with a strong legacy of lasting leadership (hence, Catmull is staying on as advisor through next July). It’s very Pixar-esque to look at a problem as an opportunity, and for now, I share in the optimism painting this upcoming era, but for a very different reason than even I expected.
It’s looking like Pixar is reclaiming its independence from Disney, albeit one promotion/departure at a time.
I’ve commented on this topic a lot, particularly this week with the release of Incredibles 2, but Victor Luckerson seriously nails the rise of Pixar sequels with this piece on The Ringer.
This decade has been different. Pixar’s next 10 films included six sequels or prequels, among them the newly released Incredibles 2. Its next movie is Toy Story 4, an addendum to a conclusive trilogy that no one asked for. In addition to its two sequels, there has even been a Cars spinoff, Planes, which recalls the low-budget direct-to-video sequels Disney pumped out in the ’90s.
It’s been a long wait, but Toy Story 4 is getting close. Well, closer: Although we originally expected the toys back in town last year, changes in personnel – most significantly with the departure of writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack – saw Pixar rework the animation, pushing it back to a June 2019 release.
Part of me has always suspected that the movie was delayed in order to stagger Pixar’s next few movies coming out through 2019. At the moment, Toy Story 4 is the last officially announced Pixar movie with a release date and title. The rest are still under wraps, including “Untitled Suburban Fantasy,” but Pixar has confirmed that their next wave of releases will be original stories, not sequels.
Did Pixar lose its way, or did we lose our way with Pixar? There’s no real answer to the latter part of that question because it makes no sense. But the article we’re snarcasming this week actually does make a lot of sense and deserves to be approached thoughtfully. Even though it’s basically wrong for the most part.
Today at the D23 expo in Anaheim, John Lasseter (Disney CCO) broke the news to CNBC what will be going down for Pixar’s next film in the Toy Story franchise.
Lasseter: It’s a love story with Woody and – and this is news – Bo Peep… At Pixar and at Disney, we only make sequels if we come up with a story that’s as good or better than the original. That’s our rule. We don’t do things just to print money.
Guys, I’m stoked. As many of you are aware, I’ve speculated about Bo Peep’s destiny a lot in the past, so it’s great to hear that Pixar is opening the pages to that story. And it will be even better if Annie Potts reprises her role as the porcelain lamp.
John Lasseter and Josh Cooley (story artist for Inside Out) will be helming Toy Story 4, which is being written by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.
Something bears repeating, by the way. The story idea for Toy Story 4 came directly from John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich. This isn’t B team. I know you might be a little wary about Pixar messing with what is pretty much a perfect trilogy, but it’s not like they’re handing the reigns to someone over in Disney Toon studios or whatever it’s called these days.
Toy Story 4 is set to release sometime in June, 2017.
This week on Now Conspiring with Jon and Maria, we debate the best animated movie of the past year. From How to Train Your Dragon 2 to the recent release of Big Hero 6, which film do you think deserves top praise?