Rumors have been swirling that Toy Story 4 is in the works. The beloved Disney Pixar creation released its third – and what many assumed to be – and final installment in the summer of 2010, bringing the story of Woody, Buzz, and the gang to a satisfying end. However, with the recent announcement of the upcoming Pixar sequel to Monsters, Inc, Monsters University and potentially a sequel to The Incredibles and a definite sequel to Finding Nemo, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the company decided to bring back its biggest moneymaker, Toy Story. But if Pixar learned anything from Cars 2, a disappointment commercially and critically, making movies just for a profit has its own costs.
Pixar has confirmed nothing regarding the rumors, however, the rumors may have originated from a BBC interview with Tom Hanks where he suggested another Toy Story might be in the works. The interview is over a year old, and Hanks’ response to the interviewers question seems like a casual aside, not an admission to something big brewing. Nonetheless, whether Hanks meant to or not, he opened the door to the possibility of another film.
For millennials especially, the Toy Story series is emblematic of childhood. The first film made its debut in 1995 and became a huge hit for the new production company, Pixar, which was helmed by Steve Jobs before he left for Apple. The movie revolutionized animation and it was one of the first times that parents, children, and critics could all enjoy the same film. As the series continued, a generation grew up with the characters and by Toy Story 3; even the characters had grown up, too.
Toy Story has spawned hit songs, amusement park rides, and an unforgettable catchphrase; there’s no doubt that plenty would pay to see those familiar faces back on screen again. Yet the damage that could be done to the brand and the fragile psyches of the millions who grew up loving Andy’s toys could be irreparable. After the emotional end of Toy Story 3 – college-bound Andy gave Woody and the rest of his toys away to an appreciative little girl – there is no way another film could live up to the high standards set by its precedents. The last film in the franchise was bittersweet and befitting of the series. It made us realize that it was time to let the toys go for good.
The same can be said about a sequel to Finding Nemo. There is no need to try (and ultimately fail) to make again, something that is already great. It doesn’t mean we love them any less, we’ll always have our memories, but it’s time to make room for the new.