Have you seen the new Pixar’s Toy Story 4 yet?
But, here’s a summary of the new movie (No worries, we won’t spoil anything.):
We see the classic toy characters like Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the gang return, joined by new toys like Duke Caboom, Forky, Ducky and Bunny. The story picks up where Toy Story 3 left off: Andy has grown and passes down his toys to his little sister, Bonnie. Bonnie is about to start kindergarten and is nervous to start school. Woody wants to tag along to keep her happy, even though toys are not allowed. As the story goes, Woody and the gang get flung into another adventure far from home.
Pixar’s Animation Evolution
Over the past two decades, Pixar’s animation technology has advanced a lot. Toy Story 4 showcases how far Pixar has come. Just look at the rainstorm in the beginning as opposed to the sparse droplets in the original Toy Story.
As software evolves, so does the moving-making and animation process. To start, with each Toy Story movie, all of the characters have to be re-created. Then, the animators add more and more details to the characters. For example, adding fibers and weaving Woody’s clothing. To make sure that everything is precise and consistent, the filmmakers reference the previous films to check that the characters animate as they always have.
Where Pixar is really able to push its limits with software technology advancements is in the details like the rainstorm in the opening scene, adding dust and other elements to rooms, and with the antique mall where there are too many objects to count. A few decades ago when the original Toy Story released, Pixar had far less ability to do these things.
Not only are animators able to create these life-like scenes, they are also able to do it faster. What might have taken half a day to set up before is practically automated today.
Is this the last Toy Story?
Rumor has it: Yes. But that is what everyone thought with Toy Story 3 – filmmakers, animators and directors included. While many have been on the record saying that Toy Story 4 will be the final – Tom Hanks included – who knows? There could be a fifth.
Regardless, the creators of Toy Story 4 had a goal: Make this a complete film that is consistent with all of the others, even with so much time past and advanced technology.