Whether you like it or not, Toy Story 4 is happening. When first announced, you could hear the collective gasp at the thought of unnecessarily extending a story that ended so sweetly in Toy Story 3, capping off one of the best and complete trilogies in film. Since then, everything we’ve heard about the film has done nothing but make those who doubted feel bad, because while Pixar may not hit it out of the park with every film anymore, it surely wouldn’t treat the property that made it as just some throw-away toy.
First we learned that John Lasseter would be returning to direct. Lasseter directed the first two entries in the series before letting Lee Unkrich take the wheel for Toy Story 3. Not only that, but Rashida Jones and Will McCormack are penning the script based of a story by the Pixar braintrust of Lasseter, Unkrich, Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton. And of course, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and company would be coming back as well
Then we learned that rather than a direct sequel following the first three films, this new story will be a separate story- specifically, a love story. In the words of Pixar Studio President Jim Morris, “It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3.Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children.” But who will the lovers be?
Why, Woody and Bo Peep, of course! Bo Peep was noticeably absent from Toy Story 3, ostensibly because she was given away in a yard sale. For the studio’s first romantic comedy, this idea seems like a good place to start. Bo Peep didn’t have much involvement in the first two films and didn’t appear in the third film at all. Seeing as Woody is the dual protagonist along with Buzz, his relationship with Bo Peep seemingly deserved some exploration, as it was already settled when we first meet them.
Now when this news was first reported, we wondered at the time if the actress who voiced Bo Peep, Annie Potts, would return. While we still don’t know if she will, we have learned of a new addition to an already stellar voice cast. According to The Wrap, Patricia Arquette will be lending her voice to the film. Arquette is said to voice “a laid-back mom who’s described as a hippie.”
It’s interesting that an emphasis is placed on the fact that she is ‘laid-back’ and a ‘hippie.’ They had said that there will be less emphasis on the interplay between children and the toys, but the toys still live in a human’s world. Perhaps Arquette is a neighbor to the little girl who ended up with Andy’s toys at the end of the last film. Or the mom to someone who ended up buying Bo Peep at a yard sale. We will find out when Toy Story 4 hits theaters on June 17, 2018.