It seems as though animated films have truly accessed the Fountain of Youth. Years after original films were released, sequels are still in production, introducing the same beloved characters to new generations while still appealing to its original fanbase via the nostalgic route.
The proof is in the pudding: Toy Story 4 is being released 9 years after the third installment in the franchise, and this isn’t the only animated film to do so. Finding Dory came out 13 years after Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles finally gave fans a sequel after 14 years. Even Frozen will be getting a sequel, six years after the movie took the world by storm (no pun intended!).
It might seem strange to allow so much time in between sequels, and this trend is particularly strong in animated movies. However, it actually does make sense if you think about it. It seems as though studio executives want to capitalize on the beloved characters that have proved to be successful, and introduce them to multiple generations. Basically, their thought process is that: “it works, so why stop now?”
One huge advantage of animated films is that there is no fear of actors aging out of their roles. Thus, however much time is needed (or wanted) can be taken without worrying about whether a child actor will outgrow the role. For example, despite the fact that The Simpsons has been on air for over 30 years, the show’s main kids, Bart and Lisa, have not aged a single day.
Even though many people feel that endless sequels takes away from the quality of the story and believe that a good movie should be just left alone, it doesn’t seem like this is how the future of the movie business is going to go. Anything that is a box office success will almost definitely get the sequel treatment…and maybe even two or three more.
Toy Story 4 is set to premiere on June 21st, 2019.