Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Toy Story 3 Trailer

It has become a grand Pixar tradition that, attached to their current film, is the first trailer for their next film.

So, with their current film, Up, having hit theatres yesterday, that means we get our first look at their next film, coming Summer 2010. And that film is the wholly unnecessary sequel, Toy Story 3.

Now, Toy Story 3 has already had a long and storied history. You may remember a few years back, Disney and Pixar were re-negotiating their contract. Pixar didn't like what Disney was offering, and decided to walk away from the table. Under the original Disney and Pixar arrangement, Disney retained all sequel rights to the films that Pixar made under their deal. That means that Disney could make Finding Nemo 2, The Incredibles 2 and so on without Pixar's involvement. So, in a gigantic "fuck you" to Pixar, Disney announced that they would be forming a new animation studio, Circle 7 Productions, and the sole purpose of Circle 7 would be to produce Pixar sequels. The first one on tap? Toy Story 3.

The whole Disney/Pixar contract re-negotiations ended with Disney flat-out buying Pixar. At first, animation geeks like myself worried that this meant Pixar as we knew it would die. But then we looked at the fine print and saw that most of Pixar's management would be taking on the same roles in Disney animation. So, at the end of the day, it looked more like Pixar took over Disney. And that meant that John Lasseter, the head of Pixar animation, also became the head of Disney animation. And one of Lasseter's first official acts was to shut down Circle 7 Productions.

But he didn't close the door on Toy Story 3....

Lasseter explained himself last year, when Disney announced their upcoming slate of animated films until 2012, and Toy Story 3 was on the list. Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story films said he got to looking at it and said, "Ya know? I think there is a third story that could be told with these characters." So he gathered together the Pixar brain trust, they went to all their old favourite hang-outs where they hammered out the first two Toy Story films, and they came up with a plot for a third one.

Back in the Circle 7 days, the plot was that a defect was discovered in Buzz Lightyear, and Buzz is recalled to the factory in Taiwan. So, all the toys head to Taiwan to rescue Buzz. That is no longer the case. Pixar has been silent on what the new plot is. The popular rumour right now is that the franchise will be taking a very dramatic turn, as young Andy, the owner of the toys, is now a teenager, and Woody, Buzz and the gang come to grips with the fact that they are in the twilight of their years.

Directing the film is Lee Unkrich, a member of that Pixar brain trust, who was the editor on the first Toy Story and A Bug's Life, and was also co-director on Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. Michael Arndt, the Oscar-nominated writer of Little Miss Sunshine, was brought on to write the script.

As for the voice cast, pretty much everyone is coming back. Tom Hanks is back as Woody, Tim Allen is back as Buzz Lightyear, and so on. For new voices, Michael Keaton is voicing Ken, the beloved of Barbie, and Ned Beatty is voicing a teddy bear.

As I've already said, I don't understand why the world needs this sequel, but as I love everything Pixar does, you know I'll be there opening day.

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