Randy Newman playing the piano next to the Toy Story 4 logo.

Here's everything we know so far about 'Toy Story 4'

When it comes to 90s childhood movies, there are few flicks that are as iconic as Toy Story. Prior to the release of the critically-acclaimed Pixar movie, CGI animation was seen as a dead end, an experimental form that would ultimately end up too costly to be commercially viable. Yet, despite all the problems the production endured, the movie turned out to be a smash success and has since spawned two (equally-beloved) sequels.

Spoilers ahead!

Toy Story 3 seemed to end on a relatively happy note, with Andy bequeathing Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the cast to a precocious little girl, before taking off to go to college. This was supposed to be the bittersweet end of the franchise, wrapping up all the loose ends and tying them in a neat bow. But to the surprise of fans around the world, Pixar soon announced that there would, in fact, be a fourth movie, released sometime in the future.

Then: silence. Disney clammed up about it and people worried that the fourth film had either been cancelled or stuck in development hell. Indeed, the movie was first announced back in 2014, and is apparently set for release on June 21, 2019 - that's one hell of a delay. But the good news is that the project is still greenlit. Here's everything we know about it so far.

The film is apparently meant to be a love story, and will focus on Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the other toys searching for Bo Peep, who was absent from the third film after apparently being sold offscreen by Andy's mother in between movies. Pixar employee Jim Morris has stated that the film is more of a standalone instalment, rather than a continuation of the established trilogy.

John Lasseter, former chief creative officer of Pixar, stated: "What we wanted to do was find a type a story that we had not done in Toy Story before, and really our goal is to create something really original, something that’s different from what you’ve seen before. In every sequel that Pixar does we try to do something that is very different from the original, but is as good in a different way." 

The original cast, which includes Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal and Laurie Metcalf, have all signed on to the project. However, unfortunately, a few cast members will be unable to reprise their roles due to unfortunate circumstances. R Lee Emery, who voiced the army men, and Don Rickles, who voiced Mr Potato Head, have both died in the interim between films.

The movie has had something of a rocky journey thus far, even by comparison to its precursors. The biggest wrinkle was probably John Lasseter's sabbatical and eventual dismissal from Pixar, after numerous Pixar employees made allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Furthermore, according to Bo Peep's voice actress, approximately 75 per cent of the original screenplay has been rewritten, after the original screenwriters, Rashida Jones and Will MacCormack left the production. However, when it comes to Toy Story sequels, I say better late than never!