I don’t want to be known as the person that hates joy, fun, and nostalgia, but I’m going to come right out and say it: Toy Story 4 is not a good idea.
I think the recent trend of Pixar releasing sequels over a decade after their original movie is nothing more than a cheap marketing attempt to ensure high ticket sales, relying on movie viewers reliving their childhood instead of challenging their movie-telling abilities.
I wanted to keep quiet and let everyone enjoy their Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Monster’s University — I really did. But then Pixar went and did it.
They released a teaser trailer for Toy Story 4.
The original Toy Story was released in 1995, and so when a franchise is literally as old as I am, I think it’s safe to say it is time to throw in the towel. But why would Pixar even consider ending this string of years-later sequels?
After all, Incredibles 2 was released 14 years after the original and still managed to draw in 1.2 billion dollars. That’s billion with a “b.”
And what’s more staggering to me is that I hardly felt like I saw any promotion at all for Incredibles 2. Maybe I’m crazy and Pixar funneled just as much money into promotion for Incredibles 2 as other movies, but I can’t help but have a nagging suspicion that Pixar is aware of who their target market is.
By making sequels to movies that are over ten years old, Pixar is just riding off a nostalgia wave, guaranteeing ticket sales from millennials desperate to relive their favorite childhood memories.
I’m not saying there’s necessarily anything wrong with indulging in a nice scoop of nostalgia from time to time. I just think it’s important to recognize when we are being sold repackaged feelings and memories instead of a fresh, new, and dare I say it, better ideas.
The new Toy Story movie is sure to be a box office smash and will likely garner rave critical reviews. I’m not necessarily saying that it won’t even deserve those accolades.
I’m just asking that we consider if it’s really worth it. Is another Incredibles or Cars movie the best, most creative thing Pixar can come up with?
After all, I don’t think college students or 20-somethings should be the target of Pixar movies anymore. I think kids today deserve to have their own brand-new franchises and movies instead of being forced to come into the fifth installment of any talking toys, cars, monsters, or fish.
Pixar was obviously important in making some the best movies of many of our childhoods, but it’s time we learn to let go and let the next generation have their own movies.