Did you spot the Toy Story 4 Super Bowl spot's reference to Pixar's Coco? Super Bowl LIII aired last night (February 3rd) and, as is now traditional, much of the focus was directed upon the various advertisements and trailers that would air during the event, with companies spending big bucks and bringing in A-list stars to feature in their prime time marketing slots. Disney/Pixar were no different, and released a short spot for the highly anticipated forthcoming Toy Story 4.
Although the Toy Story franchise was originally intended to conclude as a trilogy, a fourth installment was officially announced back in 2014, reuniting Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the iconic voice cast for another animated adventure. Several Toy Story 4 teaser trailers have already surfaced, introducing new characters such as Forky (Tony Hale), Bunny (Jordan Peele) and Ducky (Keegan-Michael Kay). With Pixar increasingly focusing on sequel releases, the studio's last original feature was 2017's Coco, a Day of the Dead inspired film about a young aspiring musician who finds himself transported to the afterlife to meet his deceased ancestors.
Pixar is renowned for placing subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, references to previous films throughout their movies and one such nod can be found in last night's Super Bowl spot. The short clip takes place at the carnival that will play a key role in Toy Story 4 and finds Buzz mistaken for a prize. The spaceman toy is wired to a prize board along with Ducky and Bunny, but among the board's other selections are several classical guitars with the same design as the one seen in Coco.
Many of Pixar's in-movie references have now become famous, such as the seemingly ever-present Pizza Planet truck and the Sully-colored toilet seat cover. The company seems to delight in working these elements into their movies and fans are only too happy to join in the fun and seek them all out. No doubt there will be plenty more of these references to discover when Toy Story 4 is finally released later this year.
While the Coco reference in the Toy Story 4 Super Bowl spot is sure to put a smile on the faces of Pixar fans, there remains some concern that the latest entry in the franchise won't live up to the high standard of quality seen in previous releases. The fact that Toy Story 3 seemed to end on a perfectly bittersweet note, the concept of everyday objects coming to life and the uninspired new character names are all giving Toy Story fans an uneasy feeling that Toy Story 4 may be a film too far.
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019