The new movie will open a fresh chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang of anthropomorphic playthings after they gained a new owner at the end of Toy Story 3. The idea for a fourth movie in the most successful animated series of all time was dreamt up by key Pixar creatives and Toy Story series stalwarts Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter in a statement. “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.”
The film will be Lasseter’s first as director since 2011’s Cars 2. The film-maker was named chief creative officer of both Pixar and Disney Animation after the mouse house bought its smaller rival in 2006 and has since limited himself to only the odd directing gig. Unkrich was in charge for 2010’s Toy Story 3, with Lasseter having directed the first two instalments in 1995 and 1999.
The film series has broken box office records and changed the animation zeitgeist. Toy Story was the first CGI animated feature film, while Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing animated movie of all time (and the first to hit $1bn) until Frozen overtook it earlier this year. The trilogy has taken more than $1.9bn at the global box office and generally benefited from a rapturous critical reception. Toy Story 3 was the best-reviewed widely released movie of 2010, according to the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. It also won the Oscar for best animated film.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 7th November 2014 09.43 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010