The first teaser trailer for Toy Story 4 reunites viewers with Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang - and it includes a rather fitting tune to serve as the soundtrack. Pixar became a household name way back in 1995 with the release of the original Toy Story, and though the studio's released several hit films in the years since then, Toy Story remains their most recognizable property. For the longest time, it was the only Pixar brand to receive sequels, with the second and third installments telling the rest of Woody's story. Many felt as Andy bid adieu to his toys in 2010's Toy Story 3, so would moviegoers, but there's at least one more entry in this iconic series.
Directed by Josh Cooley and written by Stephany Folsom, Toy Story 4 will premiere in June 2019, nine years after the last film. While there's still plenty of time until the movie's release date, Pixar got a jump start on the marketing campaign by unveiling a brief teaser. In typical fashion for the studio, it's more of an announcement trailer designed to establish the movie's tone and generate hype amongst filmgoers. There's a catchy song that plays over the footage, but what is it and how can it connect to the narrative?
Related: Watch The Toy Story 4 Teaser Trailer
The Toy Story 4 trailer makes use of Judy Collins' version of "Both Sides, Now." It was written by Joni Mitchell, but Collins' single is the first commercially released recording of the song and won the 1969 Grammy for Best Folk Performance. In the following decades, a plethora of artists performed their own covers and "Both Sides, Now" earned a reputation as one of the best tracks of all-time. 2018 has been a big year for Collins' rendition in film, as it was featured during the end credits of Hereditary.
At first listen, it's easy to get caught up in "Both Sides, Now"'s bouncy instrumentation that makes it sound like an upbeat pop song. However, a close analysis of the lyrics hints at something darker. In the song, the singer reflects on life's various ups and downs (hence, the title) and comes to the conclusion no matter which perspective you have, they're all too big for one person to fully understand. There's a melancholic undercurrent to the verses, which is certainly appropriate for Pixar. The studio's calling card is reducing audiences to tears with emotional tales that comment on the human condition, and based on comments by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Toy Story 4 won't be any different. The two stars had trouble getting through their final scenes due to the nature of the movie's ending.
Toy Story 4's official synopsis hinted at an arc where Woody's perception of what an individual's purpose is will be challenged on his latest adventure - in large part because of the presence of Forky. While he was tempted once upon a time by the allure of being part of a Woody's Roundup display at a museum, Woody has long held the belief a toy's place is to be there for their child. But perhaps Woody doesn't have it all figured out like he thinks and doesn't really know life at all. It remains to be seen what Toy Story 4 has in store for the legendary cowboy doll, but early returns promise a worthwhile tale that'll be something a little deeper than just another family film.
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019