Everything We Know About Toy Story 4 In 2019
By Kevin Wong on
Friends to infinity and beyond.
Toy Story 3 ended on a perfect, bittersweet note. Andy went to college, and his toys went to Bonnie, the little neighborhood kid who would love and play with them for years to come. Adults wept buckets. So it came as something of a surprise when Toy Story 4 was announced in 2014. Where would Woody, Buzz, and company go from here?
But finally after delays, rewrites, and rumors of backstage drama, Toy Story 4 is imminent. There's no spoilers circulating yet (Pixar is famously tight-lipped) but there's enough information out there to whet our appetites.
Here are all the facts we have so far.
1. We know Toy Story 4's release date.
Disney/Pixar will release Toy Story 4 on June 21, 2019. The release date has been moved a couple of times; its original date was June 16, 2017. Then, the movie got delayed a year to June 15, 2018. And finally, it switched places with The Incredibles 2 to its current date.
2. Most of the original voice actors are returning
Every original actor has returned to do voiceover: Among all the others, Tom Hanks is Woody, Tim Allen is Buzz, Joan Cusack is Jessie, and Annie Potts will be playing Bo Peep, who was missing from Toy Story 3.
Two actors, however, have died since Toy Story 3: R. Lee Ermey, who played the Army Sergeant, and Don Rickles, who played Mr. Potato Head. Ermey is less of a problem; the army soldiers took off at the beginning of Toy Story 3. But Mr. Potato Head is in the teaser for Toy Story 4.
It's unknown whether Pixar has unused Rickles footage from prior films that they'll reappropriate, or if they'll simply recast the role.
3. New toys and new actors
There are a few new characters that we know of so far. There's Forky, played by Tony Hale, who Bonnie made out of a spork and pipe cleaners. There's Ducky and Bunny, played by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who are carnival toys. Keanu Reeves and Patricia Arquette will also be playing characters, though Pixar hasn't announced their roles yet.
4. Randy Newman returns
Randy Newman is as identifiable with Toy Story as John Williams is with Star Wars. So it's great news that Newman has returned to compose music for Toy Story 4. We're looking forward to hearing his folksy, soft-on-the-ears drawl, which complements Woody perfectly.
5. The script has been to hell and back.
The story was originally conceived by John Lassetter as a road trip to find Bo Peep; Lassetter said that he based the story on his wife.
But since then, it's gone through several rewrites and reimaginings. Lassetter stepped down as co-director, and he later left Disney under a cloud of allegations. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, originally part of the writers' room, left the project, citing creative and "philosophical differences."
Approximately 75% of the script has been rewritten since those early days, according to Annie Potts. It's anyone's guess how much of Lasseter's original idea remains in tact. But who knows? This current script might be better.
6. Josh Cooley will direct
With Lassetter gone, Josh Cooley will be the film's sole director. This is his first full-length feature film. He wrote and directed the Inside Out short film Riley's First Date, but he has spent the majority of his career as a Pixar storyboard artist. Fortunately, he has some experienced, gifted filmmakers surrounding him (this is Pixar after all) should he need their guidance.
Forky seems like he's going to be an important character who will address the franchise's overarching themes about life's purpose and responsibilities. In fact, Forky may be the catalyst to the main plot. Check out this Toy Story 4 teaser text:
"Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy."
8. It's going to make you cry
We probably all knew this, deep down. But Tim Allen confirmed it in an interview with MovieWeb:
"Yes, I gotta resist getting emotional. I don’t want to give it away, but this is an incredibly great story. It is so emotional, it’s so funny, it’s so big, the idea they’ve come up with, I’m startled. I couldn’t even get through the last scene. I would love to be a Washington leaker. I just can’t do it. I can’t give any more away. They’ve got great characters but a couple of scenes toward the end were really hard to get through."
And Tom Hanks also chimed in during a separate interview with the BBC, in which he called the film's ending a "moment in history." Buy stock in Kleenex as we get closer to June 21, 2019.