Get ready to dust off your cowboy hats and space ranger wings, because Toy Story is coming back with an unprecedented fifth installment! The universally beloved franchise came from the then tiny and humble studio of Pixar, who made film history with the release of the first Toy Story film in 1995. Not only did the groundbreaking film introduce audiences everywhere to iconic characters of Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and more, but it was also the first ever feature-length film to be 3D animated. Given that 99% of all modern films are 3D animated, it's safe to say that the original Toy Story is one of the most influential animated films of the 20th Century.
Pixar wasn't done pushing the envelope just yet, however, as they outdid themselves with Toy Story 2 (1999), a sensational sequel that is just as good if not better than the original. Considered by many to be one of the best-animated sequels ever made, the second installment in the Toy Story franchise introduced even more fan-favorite characters like Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl (Joan Cusack), and it delivered a much more emotional storyline. Those heart-tugging moments were doubled down on in the third installment, Toy Story 3 (2010), which concluded the original trilogy in spectacular fashion with a film so good that it even received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. With the toys now ready to live a happy life with a new owner, it seemed like Toy Story 3 spelled the definitive end of the long-running franchise, with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang finding their happy ending.
That's why many were perplexed by the release of Toy Story 4 (2019), with the pre-release consensus being the last film ended so perfectly and didn't warrant a sequel. Those fears proved to be unfounded as Toy Story 4 was a fantastic epilogue that gave explored the character of Woody in a way the franchise had never before. So now the franchise seemed over, apart from the mostly unconnected spin-off Lightyear (2022), which did little to impress audiences and critics alike.
Once again, it seems that Pixar isn't done with the Toy Story saga just yet. At Disney's recent Q1 Earnings Call, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger announced that, in addition to Frozen 3 and Zootopia 2, Toy Story 5 is officially in development at Pixar. The surprise announcement was only just revealed, and therefore we don't have a ton of information on the film's plot and returning characters, but the voice behind a certain space ranger did slip that they'll be returning. To learn more about that anticipated return and all the other details we have, here is everything we know so far about Toy Story 5.
Is There a Trailer for Toy Story 5?
Toy Story 5 was only just announced on Tuesday, February 8th, 2023. Bob Iger didn't reveal exact details on how far along in production the fifth Toy Story film is in, but more than likely it's still in very early stages, and we won't get a first look at the new chapter for quite some time.
Does Toy Story 5 Have a Release Date?
Another aspect that shows Toy Story 5 is still in the early stages is the lack of a release date given at the Q1 Earning Call, but we can make an educated guess based on Pixar's current release schedule. On the docket for later this year is Elemental (2023) - a story set in a world where elements come to life and coexist, where a young woman made of fire and a young man made of water defy their differences and fall in love. 2024 is set to feature two separate Pixar projects. These include Elio (2024), an intergalactic sci-fi epic following a young human boy who becomes an alien ambassador, and Inside Out 2 (2024), a sequel to the 2015 hit which will see many of Riley's emotions return with the young girl going from a child into a teenager.
Looking beyond 2024, Pixar has also set three other dates for currently unnamed projects. The dates consist of June 31, 2025, March 6, 2026, and June 19, 2026. It's possible that Toy Story 5 will take up one of those slots or get a date in 2027 or beyond.
Will Toy Story 5 Be Released in Theaters or on Streaming?
It's hard to imagine a world where a Toy Story film isn't released in theaters. The franchise has amassed a grand total of well over three billion dollars at the international box office, and it's unlikely that Disney and Pixar would want to miss out on any of that potential. After that practically guaranteed theatrical run is over, we can also expect to see Toy Story 5 follow suit with the other four films in the storyline and make its streaming home on Disney+.
What Is the "Toy Story" So Far?
Once upon a time, Woody was the favorite toy of Andy (John Morris), the best kid a toy could possibly ask for as an owner. That seemed to change when Andy got a new toy, an intergalactic action figure named Buzz Lightyear. Woody grew jealous of the space toy (who thinks he's a real space ranger) and the two end up getting lost together and in the hands of Andy's delinquent neighbor, Sid (Erik Von Detten). While living under the demented child's roof, Woody and Buzz were able to put aside their differences and find their way back home.
In Toy Story 2, Woody suffers an injury and is unable to play with Andy, and ends up stolen by the owner of Al's Toy Barn (Wayne Knight). Turns out, Woody is an incredibly rare and valuable toy that's part of a larger set consisting of Jessie the Cowgirl, Bullseye his noble steed, and Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer). Buzz and some of Andy's other toys set out to find Woody and bring him back home, and though the treacherous Stinky Pete tries to stop them, they're able to bring Woody back home and welcome Jessie and Bullseye to their toy family.
Toy Story 3 is set nearly a decade after the second film, where Andy is an eighteen-year-old boy prepped and ready to go to college. Being an adult, Andy has long since stopped playing with his toys and has even given some of them away such as Woody's beloved Bo Peep (Annie Potts). They end up being accidentally donated to a nearby daycare and are introduced by a seemingly friendly bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty). However, all is not as it seems at Sunnyside Daycare, and Lotso is actually a maniacal controller who forces the other toys of the daycare to do his bidding. Woody, Buzz, and the gang are narrowly able to escape Lotso's clutches and have a bittersweet ending with Andy giving them to a new worthy kid, Bonnie (Emily Hahn).
Finally, there's Toy Story 4, which sees the toys going on a road trip with Bonnie and her family. Be it luck or fate, Woody is reunited with Little Bo Peep, who has been living the last few years as a free toy who scavenged and explores the world outside a kid's bedroom. It's here where Woody is faced with a unique choice. Does he do what he's always done and be an available toy for a child whose interest in him is waning, or does he spend the rest of his days with the toy he fell in love with? Woody ultimately chooses the latter, wanting to live a free life on his own and saying goodbye to the rest of his lifelong friends.
We don't know much about the plot of Toy Story 5, but it seems that Woody and Buzz will be reuniting after saying goodbye in 2019.
Who Is Starring in Toy Story 5?
Many Toy Story fans were shocked to learn that Tim Allen, who has voiced Buzz Lightyear since the original 1995, wouldn't return to voice the character in Lightyear. Perhaps wanting to avoid another PR disaster like that, Tim Allen took to Twitter to confirm that yes, he will be returning to say "Infinity and Beyond" in Toy Story 5. In Allen's post, he also mentions his excitement to reunite with Woody, indicating that Tom Hanks will also more than likely returning.
With one of the two stars confirmed to return, we can probably expect Bonnie's other toys as well. These include Jessie, Bullseye, Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Buttercup (Jeff Garlin), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), and Forky (Tony Hale). The only two major characters who potentially either won't return or will be recast are Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, mainly given that actors Don Rickles and Estelle Harris have both passed away. Other possible returning characters are the group of toys that joined Woody and Bo Peep as owner-less toys, including Giggle McDimples (Ally Maki), Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key), Bunny (Jordan Peele), and Duke Kaboom (Keanu Reeves).