D23 Expo: Love Is In The Air In Toy Story 4

Credit: ABC/Image Group LA
Credit: ABC/Image Group LA

Toy Story 4 isn’t a story about a kid and his toys. It’s a love story about Woody and Bo Peep. And it’s going to be wonderful.

In a presentation at the D23 Expo, Pixar Animation Studio’s John Lasseter said they’d made a solemn promise not to make another Toy Story film unless they had an idea that was going to out-do Toy Story 3. Lasseter knew this was a tall order, but when the concept of finding Bo and reuniting her with Woody was floated, he knew they’d found the right plot.

“Each of the stories is a different genre,” Lasseter said, “and Toy Story 4 is a love story. It’s a love story between Woody and Bo Peep. Bo’s returned for Toy Story 4. Woody and Buzz head out to find Bo. It’s a very, very emotional story, and it’s very fun doing a story about [those two characters].”

Bo was noticeably absent from Toy Story 3, with Woody sadly remarking she was one of the toys who left Andy’s room as Woody’s pal grew up. But we know she and Woody had a sweet romance (toymance?) in the previous films and young Andy often used the Sheriff to rescue Bo while playing with all his toys. In addition to being Woody’s best friend, Buzz is definitely a good partner for the quest to rescue Bo because he’s already found his own ladylove, Jessie. Might she also be joining the boys in their adventure? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Credit: Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Other plot details are scant at this point but new characters are said to be coming as well. Joining Lasseter and the Toy Story 4 filmmakers on stage Friday afternoon were new additions to the writing team, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. The latter teased audiences by asking when they were going to meet Woody, leading everyone to believe voice actor Tom Hanks might make a surprise appearance. It turns out McCormack was joking about the toy being real.

We did get to see a life-sized version of Woody and his friends at the end of the presentation. Composer Randy Newman’s, who will return for the fourth film, performance of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was followed by toy soldiers descending from the ceiling and breaking out in dance on stage. They were joined by the other characters in celebration of Toy Story’s 20th Anniversary.

Toy Story 4 will be directed by Lasseter and produced by Galyn Susman and is set to release on June 16, 2017.

Stephanie Coats