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Toy Story 5 Reportedly Finds Director in Franchise Mainstay

Toy Story 5 Reportedly Finds Director in Franchise Mainstay


  • Toy Story 5
    , set for release in 2026, will be helmed by Andrew Stanton, known for his work on previous Disney Pixar hits.
  • The franchise’s success signals a shift to more sequels, with other Disney favorites like
    Zootopia 2
    Frozen 3
    in the works.
  • Disney’s strategic focus on familiar characters reflects industry trends, aiming to revitalize box office performance.

Toy Story 5 has reportedly found its director in Andrew Stanton, notable for being part of the team for all the previous Toy Story movies, as well as some of Pixar’s other big hits. The first movie was a major hit for Disney Pixar, and the sequel became one of those rare events that outshined the original in many ways. The news was seemingly revealed during an advance screening of Inside Out 2, where Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter made the announcement.

For many fans of the Toy Story franchise, Toy Story 3 provided the perfect bittersweet ending to the franchise that looks at what happens when children aren’t paying attention to their playthings. However, Toy Story 4 arrived in 2019 and became another $1 billion hit, suggesting that there is still plenty of gas in the tank. Toy Story 5 was officially announced last year, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen being confirmed to be reprising their voice roles as Woody and Buzz, respectively. News of Stanton returning to the franchise as director is the first significant update since the initial announcement.

toy Story 5 temp poster

During the recent advance screening of Inside Out 2, Docter shared news of Stanton’s step to the director’s chair after having helped script several previous entries in the franchise. Although Stanton executive produced the badly received spin-off Lightyear in 2022, his 40-year career has been one hit after another, and that can only be a good sign for the new addition to the franchise. In particular, he has been a driving force for the Toy Story franchise, both as a writer and producer. Toy Story 5 is currently looking at a release date of June 19, 2026.

Disney Is Looking to Franchises and Sequels to Dominate the Box Office

In the last few years, Pixar movies have been struggling to connect with audiences. Original movies like Soul and Turning Red were pushed out as streaming exclusives during the Covid pandemic, and subsequent cinematic releases such as Strange World and Lightyear bombed at the box office, but did become more successful when subsequently hitting Disney+. However, it was not just Pixar movies taking a downturn, as even Disney Animation releases like their 100th anniversary celebration movie Wish failed to take off as expected.

This seemed to lead to a massive lack of faith in new stories and original ideas, and earlier in the year Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger suggested that much of Disney’s focus – across all areas including Marvel movies – is going to be put into developing new movies in existing franchises. Announcements of Zootopia 2 and Frozen 3 were made at the same time as Toy Story 5, but it seems that these will not be the only new movies with familiar characters coming to cinemas in the next few years.


Could Toy Story 5 Ruin the Franchise?

It’s time once more for Pixar to return to the well with Toy Story 5.

This December, Disney will return to The Lion King with the prequel/sequel movie Mufasa. With several other live-action remakes already slated for 2025 and 2026, other reworkings and follow-ups will likely join them soon as Disney continues to claw their way back to being a strong theatrical presence.

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