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SYFY WIRE Original Video

The keys to Toy Story 4? Time, 'transition,' and Keanu Reeves

By Caitlin Busch

When Disney and Pixar announced that everyone's favorite toys would be returning to the big screen for at least one more adventure, many fans expressed confusion. Hadn't Toy Story 3 put a beautiful, perfectly pitched, somewhat traumatizing bow on that story?

At a press conference at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley told SYFY WIRE and other members of the press that these were the very questions the Pixar team considered when contemplating making a fourth film. Weren't they done?

The answer with Toy Story 4 is a resolute "No."

If Pixar’s Toy Story 3 was about the end of an era, Toy Story 4 is about "transition," according to Cooley. This theme pervades every character’s story in the film — and just might guide the franchise into the future.

But we’ll focus on the here and now. Reviews for Toy Story 4 are out, and the overall consensus is blindingly positive. Not that the world expected any different — the series has never dipped down below 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. As Woody actor Tom Hanks said in a recent interview with The New York Times, "I think they would all probably go throw themselves off the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge if they had made a Toy Story movie and everybody said it was just O.K."

When SYFY WIRE got the chance to sit down in person with Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen, they reiterated just how much thought went into this fourth film.

"We put a lot of love, a lot of time, a lot of effort into just making this something that would be special for people that love these characters, and we think we’ve got something with this one," producer Mark Nielsen said.

And it’s not just the film overall. Every character is given their time to shine. This includes Keanu Reeves' Duke Caboom, a small-but-mighty Canadian daredevil action figure with a few … performance issues. Any time Reeves or his character was brought up, the film's creators and stars couldn’t wait to gush — for very good reason.

But perhaps no character was more lovingly crafted in Toy Story 4 than the all-new badass Bo Peep. Annie Potts, who has voiced the character in her other two appearances in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, said she marveled at just how much thought went into every detail of Bo's new life and newly realized personality.

Watch SYFY WIRE’s interview with Potts, Cooley, Nielsen, and Tony Hale (voice of Forky) below to learn more.