November 10, 2014
The Toy Story Never Ends
Pixar fans responded to last week’s announcement of a new Toy Story movie with decidedly mixed enthusiasm. CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian explains why, at least for the moment, the return of two of Disney’s most treasured characters might be too much too soon.
When Toy Story 3 ended, most movie fans declared it the perfect ending to the trilogy. Andy had passed his toys on to little Bonnie (setting up a sequel) and moved on to college. It was the ultimate emotional closure. Then came the shorts and the TV spots and the endless commercializing. And why not? The stars were toys, after all. Fans were more than content. They were loyal and they were legion.
But now, some of the original creators of the first movie have come back with a new Toy Story to tell.
It’s an interesting PR problem. While the third movie left a plotline wide open for a sequel on several fronts, the fans were utterly content to leave things as they were. They continued to buy Toy Story movies and memorabilia, and adults who grew up watching Toy Story are now introducing it to their young children. The marketing and PR was a perpetual motion machine that was just growing MORE profitable.
The original trilogy found new life on Amazon Prime, and Toy Story toys became constant sellers on just about every toy store shelf. The live action Toy Story productions and character interactions at Disney parks never lost popularity, even as both Disney and Pixar continued to hit it out of the park, movie after movie after movie. Even Frozen and Cars, popular as they have been, have not dimmed the ardor for the adventures of Woody and Buzz.
So, why a new movie? Well, according to director John Lasseter, he and co-conspirators Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich could not stop thinking about the new idea they had. Despite all the reasons not too, that little itch kept growing, and now Buzz and Woody will be back and the Toy Story franchise will keep chugging along. To infinity and beyond.