Disney CEO Bog Iger surprised Toy Story fans on February 8, 2023 with the news that Pixar is now producing Toy Story 5. Everyone thought Toy Story 4 wrapped up the series for good as Woody and Buzz Lightyear went their separate ways, with the former living with Bo and her friends as a lost toy and the latter back home with Jessie, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head and the rest of the toys taking care of Bonnie. Though the news received a warm welcome by many fans of Pixar movies, others questioned the necessity of a fifth Toy Story film.
Pixar released Toy Story in 1995, its first full-length animated feature that broke barriers as the first fully CGI animated film in the entertainment industry. Since then, the film series has generated over $3 billion, with Toy Story 4 raking in $1.07 billion worldwide when it was released in 2019. Those sky-high profits alone were enough for Pixar to greenlight another sequel featuring Woody, Buzz, and all of our favorite toys. Here’s everything we know so far about Toy Story 5.
Potential Release Date
The gap in release dates for each Toy Story film widened in the last 24 years of the series’ lifetime. Toy Story 2 came out four years after the first film in November 1999. Toy Story 3 came out a decade-and-a-half later in June 2010, and Toy Story 4 released in June 2019.
Assuming that Toy Story 5 follows the same development schedule as its predecessors, we won’t see it until anywhere between 2026 and 2028. That’ll be about seven to nine years from the last film.
Toy Story 5 Cast
Soon after Toy Story 5 was announced, Tim Allen confirmed he will reprise his role as Buzz Lightyear on Twitter/X. He shared a photo of the iconic Space Ranger and wrote, “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!”
Allen told The Daily Mail in May 2023 that Toy Story 5 had been in the works for a while before it was officially announced. “Toy Story 5 had been kind of laid down quite a while ago, but we just couldn’t get into it,” he said. “Then Disney announced it about two months ago. So I’ve made friends with all of the people in Toy Story, especially Tom Hanks [who plays cowboy Woody]. So for that, I’m blessed to have these friends in my life. I love that character. I love that story. So I always wait to see the script.”
Tom Hanks, who voiced Woody in the first four Toy Story films, hasn’t commented on whether he’ll reprise his role as the cowboy. Even if he has, the official cast list hasn’t been released yet.
Toy Story 5 Potential Story
Given the closure Woody and Buzz got in Toy Story 4, there is a possibility that the plot of Toy Story 5 could be split into two parts, and maybe intertwine with each other. The first half may focus on Buzz leading Jessie, Rex, and the other toys, including Forky, helping Bonnie going through the motions of being in 1st grade — or perhaps 3rd grade, if two years have elapsed after the events of Toy Story 4. The second half may revolve around Woody’s new life as a lost toy at a carnival along with Bo, Ducky, Bunny, Giggles McDimples, and Duke Caboom as they help prize toys find new owners.
Toy Story 5 may also see the return of Andy as he graduates from college and goes to the carnival where Woody lives to celebrate and see him by chance, as the carnival travels from place to place. As for who the villain will be? It comes down to either Sid, who has become a trollish YouTuber spreading misinformation about the toys being alive, given the trauma he suffered from Woody’s uprising against him and his mistreatment of the toys in his possession, or a Wall Street businessperson seeking to put the carnival out of business, forcing Woody and his new friends to take action and prevent their eviction.
Since we don’t have any details, all we can do is speculate about the potential storyline.
Where Toy Story 4 Left Off
In Toy Story 4, Bonnie creates a new toy out of trash items Woody secretly laid out for her on her first day of kindergarten named Forky. Naturally, Forky develops an existential crisis and keeps trying to throw himself away, as he sees himself as trash, not a real toy. During a road trip with Bonnie’s family, Woody jumps out of the RV after Forky and they come across Bo’s lamp at an antique shop, only for Woody to reunite with Bo and her sheep at a playground after escaping the store without Forky to avoid getting his voice box taken by Gabby Gabby, whose voice box is broken.
Meanwhile, Buzz gets lost at the carnival and becomes a prize toy, but escapes with Ducky and Bunny. Buzz and the group meet up with Woody and Bo and come up with a plan to rescue Forky, who is held hostage by Gabby at the antique shop. Woody makes a deal with Gabby to give her his voice box in exchange for Forky, and Gabby finds a new owner in a little girl that got lost at the carnival.
As Woody and Buzz prepare to go back home, Buzz assures Woody that Bonnie is fine without him — she hasn’t acknowledged his existence throughout the movie, anyhow — and that he can live with Bo as a lost toy. This results in an emotional goodbye between the two friends and Woody handing his sheriff badge to Jessie, making her leader of Bonnie’s room.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.