Here it is, folks - the main trailer for Pixar's upcoming Toy Story 3. Looks very good, and it's definitely grabbed my interest. It promises more pathos this time around, as the boy grows up and leaves for college, leaving all the childhood toys behind. This is going to be an interesting challenge for Pixar - this is a subject with a definite end date (the end of childhood), but it's countered by the public's need (and Disney's need) for endless sequels.
Toy Story 3 was originally used as Disney's bargaining chip against Pixar when it appeared the studio would leave and become fully independent. Disney threatened to flood the market with Pixar spin-offs, since they owned the rights to the characters. This move essentially forced Pixar back into the fold...which ended with Steve Jobs spectacular jujitsu of a takeover. I'm still amazed he pulled it off.
Anyway, Toy Story 3 is looking great. It's definitely a showcase for the technology and graphics skill of the Pixar artists. Compare the clean, sparse design of the original movie with the 2009-2010 installment. The studio is eager to show off their considerable skills, and remind everyone why they remain America's best animation studio.
Will this actually be the final Toy Story? Will childhood truly end, as it must in real life? Or will the pressure to keep Buzz and Woody alive and wisecracking for sequel after sequel? This is a very real dilemma for Pixar right now, as we can see from the slate of upcoming sequels to Cars and Monsters, Inc. and possibly more. This is an interesting new chapter in their careers, so let's hope they manage to find the right balance between satisfying the market and taking creative risks.
Update (8:25 pm): It appears that this trailer was meant for movie theaters only. Disney has shut the Youtube video down. D'oh!