Woody and Buzz’s last adventure is doing something no Pixar movie has done in decades: It’s arriving in theaters without an animated short.
Slate broke the news that Toy Story 4 will go without an animated short film before the main feature when it opens wide on June 21. This is the first Pixar animated film to hit theaters without a short since the first Toy Story in 1995. (The short “Tin Toy” was featured with the first movie on its home video release, though.)
Pixar movies opening with a short film have been a moviegoing tradition for audiences, one on par with the famous text crawl that opens a Star Wars movie. While no official reason was given by the studio for the change, fans can rest easy knowing that Pixar is not getting out of the short film game. Future Pixar films will likely be released with shorts attached.
As IndieWire reports, Pixar continues to use its SparkShorts program and the short films it produces to help new talent develop their ideas and find an audience. Earlier in 2019, the program premiered the excellent tear-jerker “Kitbull.”
A Bug’s Life, released in 1998, was the first Pixar theatrical release to have a short precede it. “Geri’s Game” featured an elderly man playing an intense game of chess with himself. It won an Academy Award and sparked Pixar’s tradition of short films. Some have been instant classics (“Presto,” “Piper,” or Incredibles 2‘s “Bao” — which won the Oscar for Best Original Animated Short last year). Others have been less successful (“Lava,” which ran ahead of Inside Out). Audiences only seem to like Pixar handling the short films; when parent company Disney attached “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” before 2017’s Coco, its 21-minute run time tested viewers’ patience to the point where bad buzz forced Disney to quietly remove the short from post-opening weekend screenings.
Thankfully, fans disappointed by the lack of a short film before the upcoming sequel have an exceptional feature-length film to look forward to. As Atom Insider’s Alisha Grauso wrote in her review, Toy Story 4 is “the funniest of the four movies” and is “comedic perfection.”
Toy Story 4 opens everywhere Friday. Click below to get your tickets now!