Toy Story 4's full-length trailer makes Tinny from Tin Toy canon to the Toy Story universe. Pixar's animated movies are pretty famous now for including easter eggs for the animation studio's other films, feature-length and short alike. Some of the better-known examples include The Cleaner in Toy Story 2 having the same character model as the chess-playing Geri from Pixar's short Geri's Game and, of course, the Pizza Planet truck (which made its debut in the first Toy Story) showing up in nearly every Pixar movie produced to date. The studio's shorts are similarly loaded with shout-outs to their feature work, as Pixar itself confirmed in a video released last year.
The fourth Toy Story movie will no doubt be loaded with an equal number of easter eggs, including those that fans have already spotted in the sequel's promos. Case in point: the Toy Story 4 Super Bowl spot includes mini-guitars modeled after Ernesto de la Cruz's guitar from Coco, as some of the prizes up for winning at the film's carnival setting. Similarly, the official Toy Story 4 trailer features a brief cameo by Tinny, the tin one-man-band toy introduced in Pixar's 1988 short, Tin Toy.
Tin Toy itself is a five-minute short where Tinny has a close encounter with Billy, a destructive infant who's drawn to Tinny by the musical notes that he produces. The short was an important one that cemented Pixar's transition into focusing on computer animation and ultimately won the Best Animated Short Oscar at the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony. A few years later, Pixar began to develop a half-hour sequel titled A Tin Toy Christmas, as part of the studio's larger initiative to determine if it could successfully produce a 30-minute short before it took the leap to making features for theatrical release.
A Tin Toy Christmas was ultimately cancelled over cost concerns from the TV network executives backing the project, and Pixar instead moved on to develop Toy Story (which was included as part of the discussions for the Tin Toy sequel). Nevertheless, the Tinny character will return at last in this year's Toy Story 4, as evidenced by his cameo in the full-length trailer (at the 1: 37 mark). That also means that Tin Toy and its storyline are, by extension, now officially canonical to the Toy Story franchise at large. His appearance might amount to an easter egg and nothing more, but there's still something fitting about the idea that Tinny exists in the same animated world as Pixar's other sentient toys.
Funnily enough, this isn't the first time a Tin Toy-related character has been included as part of the Toy Story franchise. The story pitched for A Tin Toy Christmas revolved around Tinny mistakenly ending up in a toy store where he encounters various other toys, including a plush pink bear named Lotso. As you may recall, Lotso was eventually re-imagined as Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear, the strawberry-scented antagonist who rules the Sunnyside Daycare Center with an iron (well, huggable) fist in Toy Story 3. Here's hoping Tinny ends up being a bit kinder than Lotso when he crosses paths with Woody in Toy Story 4.
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019