Given the critical and commercial success of Toy Story 3 this past summer, a fourth entry in Pixar's flagship franchise probably seems like a no-brainer. Despite the sense of closure the third film provided for Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang, Hollywood continually reminds us that no property is truly finished until it stops making money.
But if Pixar operated the way most studios do, it wouldn't have the incredible track record that it does - which is why it's not particularly surprising to hear that we won't be seeing a Toy Story 4 any time soon. However, it doesn't mean we've seen the last of this beloved cast of characters.
Movieweb recently caught up with Toy Story 3 producer Darla K. Anderson who confirmed:
"You know we have no plans for [Toy Story 4] at this point ... We really worked hard at bringing Toy Story 3 to a conclusion."
Hmm... the phrasing there isn't entirely definitive is it? "At this point" seems to elude to the possibility of a fourth film somewhere down the line. I hope I'm reading too much into it, because I found Toy Story 3 to be a really fitting and poignant final chapter.
Anderson goes on to explain that audiences aren't the only ones who've grown quite fond of the Toy Story troop - their creators are having a hard time letting go as well. That devotion led to the creation of several Toy Story shorts, the first of which will debut next year:
"One of the short films will be on the front of Cars 2 next summer ... It's a short film with the Toy Story characters and you'll see a lot of the old favorites and stuff."
Anderson was tight-lipped about where exactly these shorts will fall in the Toy Story timeline, but hinted that a number of the new characters from Toy Story 3 will be making appearances. It seems like a great way to carry on without disrupting the ending of the last film - and to get people interested in Cars 2 (come for the characters you love, stay for those other guys!).
Speaking of the Cars sequel, Anderson gives the requisite plug and says that the film is shaping up quite nicely:
"Its very cool and very exciting. I love those characters and can't wait. It's a great story."
In all honesty, it doesn't seem that strange to me that Pixar would forgo another Toy Story movie or a sequel to something like The Incredibles in favor of developing a second Cars installment. It probably received the most tepid reception of anything in their catalog (though the merchandising has been a goldmine) and I can't help but wonder if Cars 2 is something of a do-over/profit booster.
Given the recently released concept art and the news of a Toy Story short preceding it, I may have to reevaluate my interest in Cars 2. That doesn't mean I'll ever stop keeping my fingers crossed for The Incredibles 2, though.
In the meantime, it should be fun to see our Toy Story pals again - albeit in a limited capacity.