Earlier today, the world was taken by storm with a Pokémon live-action Ryan Reynolds kids-and-nerds buddy detective film trailer, the unsurprising yet devastating death of comic book visionary Stan Lee, and finally… the teaser trailer for the fourth Toy Story.
This movie has had a ton of hype behind it. With this decade’s revolution of ever-incompassing social media, it seems like the eleven-year excitement between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 was lesser than that of the nine-year wait to Toy Story 4. That could be because of how the target audience for these films has expanded; moviegoers up to thirty years old will fondly remember watching the original Toy Story. However, I think a lot of the anticipation for this new Toy Story film has rooted from the stories from behind the scenes going around the rumor mill. Rashida Jones quit writing after a fallout within the Pixar workspace, the film itself is apparently so emotional voice actors had a hard time finishing their lines, and for a while, the plotline was going to be centered on re-discovering the character of Bo Peep.
But now all we get is a spork.
Right off the bat, I can see this is not going to go well. First off, all of the other movies from this series had an interesting premise. Toy Story (1995) was a story about learning to form unlikely friendships disguised as every toddler’s fantasy of toys coming to life. Toy Story 2 (1999) was a more subtle critique of consumerism, disguised as a rescue plot. Toy Story 3 (2010) was about moving on from shit disguised as… the holocaust? I’ll ignore that last one.
The point is: you can immediately see what Toy Story 4’s message will be. It’s about an outsider who is shown by the other characters that he can fit in blah blah blah. They basically say the entire movie in the plot summary:
“But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.”
Boom. Movie done.
This is a disappointment. Toy Story has been the only series in the Pixar filmography to consistently create not only original movies but movies that top the previous one in some way or another, and by merely reading this plot summary, I can already tell that this will be the Finding Dory to Toy Story’s Finding Nemo.
But, go ahead Pixar, prove me wrong. If anyone is going to force me into an emotional dependency on a character called “forky” in 120 minutes, it’ll be Pixar.