5 reasons Toy Story 4 is the Worst Idea Ever
We’re generally never ready for breaking news before our breaking-fast, so anything that doesn’t involve some gentle Kevin Costner casting before 1pm tends to throw us for a loop. Upon watching John Lasseter absolutely refuse to deny the Toy Story 4 rumours on BBC breakfast this week, we stared at the TV for several hours in silent, uncomprehending horror, only jolting back to life at 3.30pm because the orange glare from Dickenson’s Real Deal was starting to melt our Batman Begins pyjamas. The flabbergastery of the world as a whole was sobering, heart-felt and deeply, deeply unsexy. What on earth was going on?
However, we’ve now had a few days to think about it, a few days to calm down and to look at this rationally, free from knee-jerk, fan-boy whining. And we’ve come to the conclusion that NO NO NO NO NO IT CANT I’LL KILL THEM NO NOT WOODY NO NO NO.
There are five reasons why making Toy Story 4 would be the worst idea ever. Fill your eyes with them.
1. They actually managed to do a threequel without fucking anything up
Do they have any idea how rare that is? Nod your head to the cheering crowds, Pixar, wave your hand and gracefully leave the stage. Even the most beloved threequels of all time had their flaws – The Return Of The Jedi took a desperately ill-advised trip to Teddy Town, Back To The Future 3 had too much fainting chick and not enough smokin’ hover-board, and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade… OK fine, Last Crusade was still pretty bad-ass, but I for one never wanted to see Indiana as a young boy. As far as I was concerned he clawed his way out of the womb a whip crackin’ stubble maniac, and frankly my life was a little worse for knowing the truth. And, also, lest we forget, post-trilogy there was
2. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of All Our Souls Exploding Silently
The fourth film never works. Why must you fly so high, Icarus? Why must you fly so high?
3. There’s no plot left
Tracking the simultaneous maturing of Andy and the toys he loved so dearly was what made the Toy Story trilogy so weep-punchingly heart-collapsing. The bildungsroman-ian arc of Andy/Woody’s tale spread gloriously over the three films, beginning with exploring the initial child-horror of realising you’re not the centre of the Universe, and ending with the adult tug of understanding that you have to let those you love go free – IT WAS SODDING BEAUTIFUL. Where do you go from there? If Pixar were to continue with the Toy Story franchise, it would – by its own glorious, perfect goddamn rules – have to continue with this mirrored development of both Andy and his toys. All Andy can do now (according to the rules of films) is a) get married or b) die. I don’t wish to watch Woody or Buzz echo these life milestones. Not even if Jessie promises to get raunchy.
But WAIT, I hear you cry, this is PIXAR we’re talking about. Pixar, who don’t just flop around, sobbing and retching up sequels just so that they can pay their way through their next whore-farm. And that would be a good (if needlessly aggressive) point, were it not for one thing:
4. Cars 2
We did believe in it. We honestly did. Even though it looked a bit pointless and really really BIG and didn’t seen to have the nuanced, exquisite calm of a traditional Pixar premise, we wanted to believe in Cars 2. Pixar quite literally had never put a foot wrong before, so why should we listen to our own shrill thought-alarms over the collective VROOMYEAH of team Dis/Pix? And then the reviews came out. And the words in those reviews were not the words we wanted them to be. Cars 2 currently stands at 35% fresh in the holy land (rotten tomatoes): by FAR the lowest ranking Pixar film of all time. No more Midas touch, Pixar. No more automatic up-grade. We’re as unhappy as you are about it.
5. Why Pour Boiling Oil On The Fields Of Originality?
We are in a world-wide ideas famine. The only point of making a film in Hollywood in this day and age is because, at some point, you’ll be able to make a sequel. Or a prequel. Or both. And then a re-boot. And then a re-release in 3D. And then a prequel re-boot re-release with Bieber, Black and limited edition socks where the cameras should be. I’m going to release a film called Butter Clones 4: Reimagined Terror 3D, and work backwards through seven films until my final, poignant, astonishingly original release: The Butter Man meets with critical acclaim. At least that would mean quality would always be on the up. Pixar, at least, were all about originality: a rat chef? Goodness me! A house that totes is all full of BALLOONS: YES! A Bug’s Life? IT’S ANTZ BUT NICELY COLOURED IN, YAY! And then Toy Story 2 happened, and it was OK, because it was brilliant. And then Cars 2 was commissioned. And then Toy Story 3. And then Monsters Inc 2. And now, well, we just don’t know what to think. And when people don’t know what to think, they end up working on the internet forever. Is that what you want, Lasseter? Us here forever? Didn’t think so.
Sequels make money, we get that. But is that all it’s about? Even for you, Pixar? Was it always about becoming Gulp’n’Blow, after all?