Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the Toy Story movies. The first two were a huge part of my childhood, and I unashamedly went to see the third at the cinema amongst the sea of children, and grumbled about how they weren’t even born when the original was released. And yes, I may have shed a tear or two (or many) at the end when Woody and Buzz wave Andy off at the end as he sets off for college. Who didn’t?
The fact that Toy Story is one of my favourite film series of all time is exactly why I’m not exactly thrilled about the idea of a fourth movie. To me, Toy Story 3 rounded off the trilogy so perfectly, we had been taken to the end of the toys’ journey with Andy and all of the loose ends had been tied. Why make another? You can definitely have too much of a good thing, and there’s a pretty fair chance that this newest release could be a massive flop, disappointing fans who have grown up with the story and the characters.
Toy Story isn’t the only cinema franchise which doesn’t seem to know where to draw the line, which is my biggest pet peeve with the film industry. It seems that film-makers can’t get enough of the success that their creations bring, and so draw it out as long as possible by churning out sequel after sequel, even if the quality of the movies suffers.
The Shrek series is one of the biggest culprits for this. Starring Mike Myers as the lovable, socially awkward ogre, the original Shrek movie was a smash hit with viewers of all ages with its witty dialogue and catchy soundtrack. But as the series wore on, the films became slow and difficult to watch, whereas if it had been left as a standalone movie, it would have had so much more impact.
Even the Harry Potter franchise is set to live on, as JK Rowling has recently announced that she is in the midst of writing scripts for some of the books featured Harry’s studies, the first of these being ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them‘, which is supposedly set to be a trilogy of films. While David Yates, director of the final four films in the series, is rumoured to be at the helm of the new project, which is reassuring, I can’t help but worry about how these films will actually turn out, and how fans will respond to them, as they won’t feature the characters that we spent years learning about and growing to love. Yet, inevitably, the film-makers don’t want the franchise to die out, so will continue to adapt anything that comes to mind.
If only those in the film industry could see that, in JK Rowling’s own words “the stories that we love best will live in us forever”, and more often than not, it is better not to try and drag out a franchise until it loses its magic. Eventually, the fans will forget why it appealed to them in the first place, as I have done with the Shrek series. You couldn’t ever imagine someone filming a ‘Jane Eyre 2’ or a fourth Lord of the Rings film, so why ruin the modern classics that generations of audiences have known and loved?