Nearly 24 years after the premiere of the original Toy Story, we’re getting the fourth installment in the franchise, and if you thought the ending to Toy Story 3 was epic, then you definitely aren’t ready for what Toy Story 4 is going to bring. Unfortunately, an ending as big as the one Tom Hanks (who voices Woody) is teasing might mean an end to the franchise altogether. At this point, we pretty much know the cast of both new and old characters and a little bit about the storyline for this fourth flick. We still don’t have an answer, however, for the most important question of all: will this be the end of Woody and the gang as we know it? The answer, we’re sorry to say, is probably yes.
Tim Allen (who voices Buzz Lightyear) was the first to hint that the ending of the fourth film would pack a pretty powerful punch. “It is so emotional, it’s so funny, it’s so big, the idea they’ve come up with, I’m startled,” he explained in an interview on The Talk. “I couldn’t even get through the last scene.” Tom Hanks took it a step further when he described his own experience with the ending of the movie. On Chris Evans’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show, Hanks explained how usually the voice artists record while facing the creative team, but on his final day of recording (which also happened to be the final scene of the movie), he decided to face away so he could have a few last moments alone with Woody. “. . . I didn’t want to see them and pretend they couldn’t see me,” he explained. “When I realized what they were going for, I realized, ‘Oh, this is a moment in history.'”
As well as getting choked up recording those final lines, both actors also took to social media to bid adieu to their characters. “Final line, final session as Woody of Toy Story 4,” Hanks captioned his Instagram post in January. “We rode like the wind, to infinity and beyond. Hanx.” On the same day, Allen tweeted, “Finished my Buzz for Toy Story 4 today and it got emotional. Wonderful full body story.” Yes, they could just being saying goodbye for now, but we can’t help but think these seem more like goodbyes for good.
Let’s keep this in mind, however: the Toy Story franchise did seem to reach a nice conclusion after the third, so if Pixar has already decided not to stop at a trilogy, why not do five films? When asked on Entertainment Tonight about the possibility of more installments past Toy Story 4, Allen replied that Hank wasn’t holding his breath, but Allen himself thought it still could happen. “Once you’ve gotten to four, you’re passed that trilogy, so I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t do it, certainly,” he said. “If you ask me, I’d say do five.” Um, same here! We all thought Toy Story 3 was the end, so who’s to say that won’t happen again?