Fresh off of the recent blockbuster announcement that Toy Story 4 will hit theaters in 2017, Pixar has seen fit to keep fans in the Toy Story mindset by releasing two brand new promo spots for next month’s TV special Toy Story That Time Forgot. The first spot is embedded above; scroll below for the second.
The second Toy Story special made exclusively for TV – after last year’s Halloween-themed Toy Story of Terror – Toy Story That Time Forgot is set right after Christmas, and sees Buzz, Woody, and the gang’s post-holiday playtime interrupted by a dangerous set of prehistoric action figures known as Battlesaurs.
Much like Buzz in the original Toy Story film, these delusional playthings believe themselves to be actual dinosaurs, and soon decide that Bonnie’s house isn’t big enough for the two groups. Before long, an epic battle ensues, with Trixie the friendly triceratops tasked with returning our favorite toys to the safety of Bonnie’s room.
As with the last special, Toy Story That Time Forgot will feature the return of many of the film series’ principal voice actors, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kristen Schaal, Wallace Shawn, Timothy Dalton, and Don Rickles. The biggest new addition to the cast is Kevin McKidd (Journeyman), who voices Reptillus Maximus, the power hungry leader of the Battlesaurs.
Toy Story That Time Forgot was originally envisioned as a 6-minute short, but was expanded out to a holiday special after Pixar guru John Lasseter fell in love with the idea. The special took three years to be made, with two of those years primarily spent on developing the story. The Pixar team designed the Battlesaurs from the ground up, as if they were an existing, established cartoon and toy line.
Of course, if Toy Story That Time Forgot proves successful, it’s easy to see Disney making that a recursive reality by releasing Battlesaurs action figures to the public. We all know Disney has never met a merchandising opportunity they didn’t like. To be fair, that very strategy has usually served them well in the past. If the Battlesaurs do indeed become a popular addition to the Toy Story canon, one wonders whether we’ll see them make a cameo appearance in Toy Story 4.
Then again, the prospect of a Toy Story 4 has not exactly been met with universal acclaim. Despite Pixar’s glowing track record with the franchise, many fans feel that Toy Story 3 was the perfect capper to the series, and worry that a poorly done fourth installment might tarnish the reputation of a series that has up until now been one of the most universally loved in modern film history.
That said, it’s hard to imagine John Lasseter would put the Toy Story name on anything but the best possible product. After all, without Toy Story, there would be no Pixar empire.
Toy Story That Time Forgot airs Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 @8pm on ABC.