'Toy Story 4' Hitting Theaters in June 2017

Thursday, 06 November 2014 15:07 Written by  iamrogue
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'Toy Story 4' Hitting Theaters in June 2017

As many teary-eyed moviegoers could attest back in the summer of 2010, Toy Story 3 really felt like the end of a story.

Since the animated sequel made more $1 billion worldwide, though, nobody really thought Toy Story 4 was off the table.

Turns out everybody was right, because Disney has scheduled the fourth Toy Story for a theatrical release on June 16, 2017, just about seven years to the day after we sobbingly said goodbye to Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang.

Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that John Lasseter is returning to direct Toy Story 4 for release in 2017, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen certain to return as the voices of Woody and Buzz.

Pixar founder Lasseter directed the original Toy Story (the first digitally animated feature film) and its first sequel, but stepped aside on the third installment, which was helmed by Lee Unkrich

Lasseter has been plenty busy for the last several years, since he's Chief Creative Officer of not just Pixar, but also Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios.  Disney Animation has had a creative and commercial renaissance under Lasseter, hitting delirious heights with last year's Frozen and getting plenty of attention for this week's Big Hero 6.

Toy Story 4 will mark his first movie as director since Cars 2, which became the first Pixar movie to be critically shellacked way back in 2011.

Disney confirmed the big Toy Story news, revealing that Lasseter cooked up the sequel's story with Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter.

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” quoth Lasseter. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”

In addition to ending Woody and Buzz's story with Andy, the last entry also opened the door for continued adventures under the stewardship of Bonnie, the adorable tyke who inherited the toys.

Over the last four years, the merchandise-friendly characters have stuck around thanks to Toy Story Toons, Pixar's series of shorts like Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex, and last year's TV special Toy Story of Terror!

Toy Story 2 marked Pixar's first sequel back in 1999, but the eminent Emeryville animation studio has gotten bullish on franchises recently, from Cars 2 to Monsters UniversityFinding Dory, a sequel to Finding Nemo, is scheduled to open on June 17, 2016.  Brad Bird is also reportedly writing a sequel to The Incredibles, and Cars 3 will come down the pike in a few years, too.

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