Toy Story 4 Director Chosen Plus Pixar’s Next Project Announced

Toy Story 4

Amid a torrent of announcements at today’s D23 animation panel, we learned that John Lasseter will not be directing 2019's Toy Story 4, as previously thought, passing the reins to Josh Cooley instead. Following in the footsteps of Lee Unkrich, who took over from Lasseter on Toy Story 3, Cooley will lead Buzz, Woody and the gang on their fourth outing, having come a long way from his days as a Pixar intern on the first Cars film, before stepping up to become a writer on Inside Out.

Taking to the stage, Cooley teed up a short teaser film of him wandering the Pixar offices and talking to many of the artists and designers involved in the film. As the film played out, we briefly glimpsed a new toy that looked a lot like a Hawaiian doll called Lulu and early pre-vis of a toy chick.

In other Pixar news, Lasseter announced an as-yet-untitled new project to be directed by Monsters University’s Dan Scanlon. Set in a suburban fantasy world populated by elves, trolls and sprites, where unicorns trawl through garbage cans like candy-striped possums, it offers the premise that magic was real but has long since been forgotten and replaced by modern technology. The story follows two teenage brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember and they set out into this fantasy world to spend one last magical day with him.

Following the recent release of Cars 3, attendees at the panel were shown a glimpse of the next film to be set in the Cars/Planes universe, this one looking to the heavens rather than merely earth or sky. With the working title of Space (as in 'this Space to be filled with a title when we think of one'), the film teased two supersonic jets racing through the sky before being soundly thrashed by a high speed craft that flies in from the upper atmosphere. The film is due to arrive just before Toy Story 4 in April 2019.

Rounding out the Pixar presentation was some new footage from Coco and, more excitingly, our first glimpse at The Incredibles II. A sneak sequence showed Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) babysitting Jack Jack, blissfully unaware that his toddler has already developed a dazzling array of super abilities. With his father distracted, the infant engages in battle with a marauding raccoon, deploying an assortment of powers from self-immolation and eye lasers to telekinesis and cloning.

Nelson is reunited with co-stars Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson and joined this time around by Huck Milner, who replaces Spencer Fox as the family's oldest son, Dash. Brad Bird will also add his vocal oldeststylings once again, as diminutive fashion designer Edna Mode, whose virtues were extolled to comedy effect in the below video.