The time has come. The moment we’ve been yearning for: June 21, 2019—Toy Story 4 premieres. It’s sad to say that all good things must come to an end, but they must. Pixar’s Toy Story franchise will be reaching a full stop. These toys have become a part of our lives, not only in America rater worldwide. From the beginning with the introduction of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, to the addition of Jessie, and now ending with a new character Forky, a spork going through an identity crisis (as many of us are), we can say that it’s time to play with the present and the past.
What We’ve Seen:
This marks the introduction of Woody and his initial enemy Buzz, a new toy given to Andy (the owner of all the toys). It’s the common battle between the old and the new. Sid, the antagonist, and a big move from home create drama between the Woody and Buzz, which ends with an inseparable bond and an even bigger love for Andy. The gang’s all here, and this first film introduces all of the epic characters: Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, Bo Beep, Slinky Dog and the classic Aliens.
“Toy Story 2”
All of the characters we love from the original movie are back and better than ever until an accidental placement in a yard sale leads to Woody being stolen by Al from Al’s ToyBarn. Our new antagonist Al, the collector of “Woody’s RoundUp,” and Stinky Pete the Prospector both have the same goals: placement in a museum in Japan. However, with the help of their friends from the previous movie and our new friends Jessie and Bullseye, Woody and his new friends are able to be reunited back with their family.
After the first two Toy Story films, everything changed for the Toy Story franchise. All we had known for both films was Andy, the creative, loving and (most importantly) young owner of the toys. Toy Story 2 premiered in 1999, only four years after Toy Story. When it came to Toy Story 3, Pixar released it in 2010, almost 10 years later. Most of the viewers had grown up throughout the years but nevertheless, they were still true fans, waiting for the story to give them closure. Pixar made us believe this was the final movie of the franchise—the end of an era.
“Toy Story 3”
The nostalgia hits hard in this film. Andy is off to college, leaving his toys behind. In a memorable scene, he glances at Woody in a bittersweet way, questioning if he should bring him along to college while the rest of his toys are put in the basement or sold in a yard sale like Bo Peep. Alas, these toys are actually sent to SunnySide DayCare where we meet our new star Bonnie, and our antagonist Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. Lotso is the ruler of the daycare, making sure they never leave or (or that they die trying).
In an attempt to save his friends, Woody, the only one left out from the bunch, makes it a mission to protect his friends at all costs and remind them how good Andy once was to them. The turning point of the film was what we thought was the closing scene—all the cast we had come to love being burned to shreds and saying goodbye to the memories we used to know. But, as always, the toys found their way back home, and they were reunited with Andy. Fittingly, all of the toys, including Woody, were gifted upon Bonnie as a final goodbye from Andy.
After the first two Toy Story films, everything changed for the Toy Story franchise.
We’ve covered you might already know; now we seek to find what we don’t know. Who is Forky? Why are the film posters so subtle and what is the meaning behind them?
What may be coming:
“Toy Story 4”
As the trailer rocked our worlds with the soundtrack and our original cast, we can only imagine what is to come. What do we know is that we can be at ease knowing all the toys are still there and we have a few new faces I’m sure we’re going to love. These new faces include the previously-mentioned Forky and Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Key and Peele, recently announced in a second trailer. This duo adds a bit of a lighter and more “adult mood” amidst the chaos. I wouldn’t say Forky is going to be quite meaningful in the overall plot, but rather essential as a break from the drama and a lighthearted character.
It’s said that these toys go on a road trip of a life time, understanding that the world is their oyster and perhaps way bigger than Andy’s room and the nearby daycare. Besides the road trip, there are rumors of our missing Bo Peep returning, a character known for her caring attitude, and well, her role as a love interest for Woody. It’s rumored that the cause for the road trip is to search for Bo Peep, in order to bring the gang back together for the full end of an era.
Will we be seeing Woody? It’s said that this last film premiering in the Summer of 2019 is a “standalone.” On a sadder note, this means Toy Story 3 may indeed have been an ending; it was the true end of Woody’s relationship with Andy, closing that door and opening the door to his new life with Bonnie.
From my own theories, I can assume that the posters are just spotlighting the characters as they are and what they have meant for the series as a whole. It’s an example of peaceful solidarity to each of their own personalities and the meanings that they have given to the films.
After a 24-year friendship with this franchise, it may be time to say goodbye. With the new opening of Toy Story Land in Orlando’s Hollywood Studios theme park, it is easy to say that their legacy will live forever.