In a surprise announcement, Toy Story 5 was confirmed in early 2023 to be in development at Pixar Animation Studios.
Toy Story 4 was released in theaters on June 21, 2019 and grossed $1 billion worldwide, on par with 2010's Toy Story 3.
Despite the overwhelming success of the franchise, many fans are mixed on a fifth installment, just as they were when the fourth film was announced.
When Will Toy Story 5 Release?
Pixar has several dates reserved for untitled films set for the next few years, with Inside Out 2 and Elio set for June 2024 and 2025, respectively.
The studio is also set to release untitled new films on March 6, 2026, and June 19, 2026. Toy Story 5 is the only titled projected in development at Pixar without a release date, so it will likely end up taking one of the two dates.
As Disney has opted to place the last two entries in the popular franchise over the summer, June 19, 2026, appears to be the most likely release date.
Toy Story 5 Cast: Is Tom Hanks Returning as Woody?
A staple of the Toy Story franchise, Tom Hanks' voice is iconic as Andy and Bonnie's toy cowboy Woody.
Hanks is expected to return in the definitive voice-acting role of his career.
While speaking with Variety, Pete Docter, Pixar’s creative chief officer, said, "We have another Toy Story, so Woody and Buzz are back."
There is no Woody without Hanks, so expect the claimed actor's return.
Will Tim Allen Voice Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 5?
The last time fans saw Buzz Lightyear he was not voiced but Tim Allen. Instead, Chris Evans took on the role in Lightyear, a Pixar film with lofty expectations that fell short.
However, Lightyear was a Toy Story spinoff about Buzz as a space ranger, not as a toy. Allen has already confirmed he'll be back as Buzz for the fifth Toy Story installment:
"See ya soon Woody, you are a sad strange little man and you have my pity. And off we go to a number 5! To infinity and beyond!"
What Will Happen in Toy Story 5?
Many believe Toy Story 3 had a perfect ending with Andy, the owner of viewers' favorite toys, passing along his collection to Bonnie.
The 10-year gap between releasing Toy Story 2 and 3 emphasized the effect on kids who grew up watching Toy Story had also grown up.
"So long, partner."
Toy Story 4 explored a new era, this time focusing on a toy's purpose through the lens of Woody, the doll fans have gotten to know the longest since the first film in 1995.
Eventually, Woody chooses to leave Bonnie and the other toys and stay with the newly re-introduced Bo Peep and the other "Lost Toys." This definitive ending for Woody puts the fifth movie in an interesting place.
Toy Story 5 will be the first film in the franchise that begins with Woody not owned by a kid unless something has happened since the events of 4 ended.
As far as Buzz, Forky, Jessie, Rex, and the gang, they'll likely still be with Bonnie, who will have probably aged a bit.
Details on the plot of Toy Story 5 will likely remain a mystery until official announcements are made or until the teaser trailer releases.
However, Pixar CEO Pete Docter has already hinted at a "surprising" direction for the film:
"I think it’ll be surprising. It’s got some really cool stuff that you haven’t seen before.”
In an interview with The Movie Dweeb, Buzz actor Tim Allen revealed a Toy Story 5 plot pitch he and a barista came up with and thinks would be "wonderful" to see. The concept would see Andy reuniting all his old childhood toys as an adult and a father with children:
"I don't know if this is where the story is going, but what if the whole story was [about] Andy as an adult, he has children, and they just happen to be online and the kids goes 'have you ever seen this toy?' Andy sees that Buzz has got a hand missing, and they're selling these vintage toys. And Andy goes and gathers all the toys up."
Allen went on top explain the concept would see Andy bring all his favorite toys together and "[start] the whole thing over again with his son:"
"He has to go out, find each one of them, and put them back together, [and] bring them back to his house. It starts the whole thing over again with his son. And I said 'What a wonderful idea.' He brings it, it's all through Andy's eyes. We made his life, and now he's returning that favor."
Will Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head Be in Toy Story 5?
Don Rickles, who portrayed Mr. Potato Head, was set to return for the fourth film but unfortunately passed away before recording his lines.
However, the filmmakers creatively utilized unused lines from the previous three films, video games, and other media sources. Consequently, Mr. Potato Head's presence in Toy Story 4 was noticeably reduced due to his limited dialogue.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head were in the fourth film but were nowhere near the forefront. With Rickles now gone long before Toy Story 5 entered development, Disney may opt to retire Mr. Potato Head for the next movie.
Then again, anything could happen, and the studio could repeat the same creative tricks to bring him back with the same voice, as a recast seems unlikely.
Toy Story 5 has no release date yet.