Pixar chief teases Toy Story 5 – and reveals the "soul searching" after Lightyear

Toy Story
(Image credit: Pixar/Disney)

Pixar's chief creative officer Pete Docter has teased the "surprising" Toy Story 5 in a new interview – and opened up about the "soul searching" after Lightyear failed to lift off in cinemas.

"I think it'll be surprising," Docter told The Wrap of Toy Story 5. "It's got some really cool stuff that you haven't seen before."

A fifth Toy Story movie was announced during Disney's Q1 2023 earnings call by CEO Bob Iger alongside Frozen 3 and a Zootopia sequel. Docter maintains that, despite a new Toy Story movie being in the works, it was never the plan during production of Toy Story 4.

"The thing we've been really trying to do, and this has been the case for a while, is we've been looking at them a little bit like, 'Okay, we're not planning for the future'," Docter said. "When we made the first Toy Story, we had no idea there would be a Toy Story 2. We're just trying to make this movie."

Toy Story spin-off Lightyear, an in-universe Buzz Lightyear movie that Andy watched as a child, was one of Pixar's first real flops, grossing only $226m at the box office.

On the lukewarm response, Docter said, "We've done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie. We love the characters and the premise. I think probably what we've ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience. When they hear Buzz, they're like, great, where's Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex? And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they're like, What?"

Toy Story 5 is currently undated. Check out some of Pixar's greatest hits in our ranking of the best Pixar movies.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.