EXCLUSIVE: It’s not easy to tell an engaging story. It’s even harder when you have to bring a long-running tale that’s familiar and beloved by the world to a fitting conclusion.
That was the formidable task faced by screenwriters Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom when they set out to tackle the script for Pixar’s Toy Story 4. It was to be the finale of an animated franchise that has grossed more than $3 billion worldwide in box office and countless millions more in ancillary revenue. In the process, it captured the hearts and minds of a generation with characters like Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, Slinky and more.
Stanton has been nominated four times for Best Screenplay for such Disney staples as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E and Toy Story 3. He also has won two Oscars for directing Finding Nemo and Wall-E. Folsom was brought in to collaborate as part of the Pixar initiative to add more diversity to the voices of its writing teams.
The team-up obviously worked, as Toy Story 4 soared to over $1 billion at the worldwide box office and a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score. In addition, it won kudos from film critics groups around the country, scoring awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (runner-up) and wins from Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas-Fort Worth, among others.
As Folsom joked on the red carpet, her goal was “not to screw-up anyone’s childhood.” Consider it mission accomplished.
Read the script here.
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