Welcome to the 2019 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success. If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below. If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “Toy Story 4”

DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios/Pixar
DIRECTOR: Josh Cooley
PRODUCERS: Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera
WRITER(S): John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Will McCormack, Stephany Folsom, C.S. Anderson
CAST: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts. Keegan-Michael Key, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Hale
SYNOPSIS: When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. (IMDb)

SCHEDULED RELEASE: June 21, 2019

POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS:

If one is good, two is great, and three is fantastic, then four is sure to be downright stellar. The fourth installment of the “Toy Story” franchise is due to hit screens summer 2019. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and Hamm (John Ratzenberger) have been with us since 1995. To put that in perspective, the week the first “Toy Story” was released, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” was just starting its 16-week run at the #1 spot on the charts. There is familiarity with these characters that, for some, are closer than family – never mind the fact that they are animated.

“Toy Story” has achieved the Holy Grail in movie-dom. It has spawned spin-offs, theme park attractions, and merchandise that put our ol’ pal Mickey to shame. But, none of that matters without a perfectly solid movie, and it has that in spades. Moments like Sid the bully strapping firecrackers to Andy’s beloved toys. Or, how about when Woody and Buzz got separated? The sheer terror that went through the audience was not matched anywhere else.

As the second and third movies were released we saw the Andy grow up (like kids often do) and we witnessed the addition of new toys; Jessie is a favorite. “Toy Story 4” is no different. The addition of Keanu Reeves and Tony Hale to the audio booth has the potential for big laughs for kids and adults alike.

While there are less than a handful of Oscars to the entire franchise, there is certainly a lot of money. Overall the series has brought in almost 2 billion bucks. With money like that, you know you are in for fun that is fit for the entire family.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES:

There has been almost a decade since audiences have last seen Woody and the gang. This has the potential to lose relatability for the fans who have been with the franchise since the beginning. Thank goodness Andy has siblings; otherwise, there would be a lack of possible stories.

“Toy Story 4” is the first big project for director Josh Cooley. While Cooley has been Oscar nominated for his writing work on “Inside Out,” directing is an entirely different animal. Not to mention directing an animated movie. Cooley is the captain of the “Toy Story 4” ship.

Too many characters are also a potential challenge. Some big names like Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, and Tony Hale have all been added to the cast. While that is great for the marketing department, audiences could find their favorite characters losing screen time. Or worse, added characters could start to resemble other established ones. Tim Allen in a recent interview said that all he knew of the Keanu Reeves is that we was “Buzz-like.” Does the world need another Buzz? That’s a question we will not get the answer to until June.

POTENTIAL AWARD CATEGORIES IN PLAY:

  • Best Animated Film  (Pete Docter, Jonas)
  • Best Achievement in Music (Randy Newman)
  • Visual Effects (To be announced)

POTENTIAL KEY NOTICES FROM OTHER GROUPS

  • Best Animated Movie (Golden Globes): “Toy Story 3” took home this award in 2011.

Are you excited or over “Toy Story 4”? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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