After a nine-year hiatus, the Toy Story franchise will get its fourth instalment this year, with the release of Toy Story 4 in June, and such has been the anticipation for the return of the popular animation that some bookmakers have even given it a quote in the market for the Best Picture Oscar in 2020. Irish bookie Paddy Power rate the movie a 14/1 chance, just behind Rocketman, 1917, and Cats, which can all be backed at 11/1.
The original Toy Story was released to great acclaim in 1995 and was regarded as a ground-breaking moment in cinema. It was the first feature-length movie to be fully animated by computer, and earned a Special Achievement Academy Award in 1996, following Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in 1938 and the 1989 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The third instalment in the series also won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2010, a category that was only introduced in 2001, largely due to the new wave of animated movies unleashed by Pixar’s success.
But although Toy Story 4, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprising their roles as Woody and Buzz, is likely to be a box office hit, it faces an uphill battle in the race for the Best Picture Oscar. No animated movie has ever won in this category, and only three have ever been nominated: Beauty and the Beast (1991), Up (2009) and Toy Story 3 (2010). And it faces some stiff competition, not least from another Tom Hanks film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (9/1), in which Hanks takes on the role of beloved children’s television broadcaster Fred Rogers.
There are also some lively contenders featuring other Hollywood heavyweights, including 3-1 favourite The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorcese, The Laundromat (4/1), which stars three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (7/1).