Toy Story 3 featured the return of beloved characters Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang as they struggled with the fact that their owner Andy was going to college. This struck a nerve with audiences who were children when the original Toy Story film was released in 1995 and who now found themselves moving forward in their post-adolescent life. Concluding with Woody and the gang being donated to a younger child while Andy moved on, audiences praised the film both on its own merit and for providing the perfect conclusion to the three part film series. However, when Pixar announced that a fourth Toy Story film was in development many fans were surprised and concerned that a Toy Story 4 was unnecessary, considering the third film is widely regarded as being the perfect ending to a trilogy. However, Pixar’s Andrew Stanton revealed in an interview with Yahoo! that despite the full-circle nature of Toy Story 3‘s ending, it was never intended to be the final installment of the franchise.
When asked about Toy Story 4, Stanton addressed the concerns of fans and explained that Pixar had always planned to continue the film series.
“Well, nobody’s harder on us [about] making a great Toy Story movie than we are. We know what it feels like to hit the bull’s-eye. And that’s part of the reason we’ve delayed it, so that we can really nail it. I know there’s a lot of concern about ‘why a fourth?’ But the truth is, we always had the intention of continuing.”
Fans worried that a forth film might undercut the conclusion of Toy Story 3 may have no reason for concern as the film will allegedly be a separate story, moving away from the relationship between the Toys and their owners while focusing on a new love story between Woody and Bo Peep.
Toy Story 4 is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 21, 2019.