Tom Hanks might be the most beloved actor working today and is an inspirational figure both on and off the big screen. But his most iconic role consists of only his warm and friendly voice: Woody from Toy Story. Hanks has played Woody from 1995 onwards in multiple critically acclaimed Pixar sequels, but for me, the original is still the best.
Disney Plus audiences seem to agree, as per FlixPatrol the first Toy Story is zooming up the streaming charts like it’s got a firework duct-taped to its back. Sure, the CGI animation might be antiquated by modern standards (you could probably render it in real-time on a PS5), but the story of Woody learning humility and Buzz realizing he’s not a real space ranger still hits you in the feels just as it did for audiences 26 years ago.
So what’s next? Each new sequel has been cautiously welcomed, with the main fear that nobody wants to see the franchise go off the boil. Fortunately, 2019’s Toy Story 4 was loved by both critics and fans, with most considering it a moving finale for the characters.
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Tom Hanks has been asked about the possibility of a Toy Story 5 but says that he considers the franchise to be over. That doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the line, though, as a giant paycheck and a great script would likely win him over.
We’re also getting spinoff Lightyear in 2022. This is set within the fictional universe of the Buzz Lightyear world and will see Chris Evans taking over from Tim Allen as the voice of the heroic space ranger. That’s due out on June 17th, 2022, so let’s hope for a trailer soon.
In the meantime, I’m tempted to follow the crowd and take a trip back to the mid-90s to see Toy Story one more time.