What the Forky? Pixar is taking a short break this year. It’s not clear why yet, but it appears Toy Story 4 will break the streak of running an animated short film before the feature.
Running a cute short film before a feature has been a Pixar tradition since A Bug’s Life came out in 1998. The only other Pixar movie to skip a short in the theatrical run is the first Toy Story movie back in 1995. That was Pixar’s first-ever feature and it only included a short film, Tin Toy, in its home release.
That’s slightly surprising, at least to me, since Pixar is hot off an Oscar win for Best Animated Short Film with Bao, which played before Incredibles 2 last year. Pixar shorts are regularly nominated in that category, and the studio has wins for Tin Toy, Geri’s Game, For the Birds, and the adorable Piper short that played before Finding Dory.
There was controversy over the short that played before Coco, mostly because it wasn’t really a short. It was a full Frozen featurette called Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and it lasted for more than 20 minutes. That had a limited run before Coco, but it was around long enough to irritate many people.
It’s possible Toy Story 4 will still get a short for its home release, maybe even something feature-related. It doesn’t sound like that has been announced yet.
Don’t go thinking no Pixar short means Toy Story 4 will get you out of the theater under two hours, since there will still be the usual trailers and ads before the movie. One of those trailers will probably be for Disney’s Frozen 2, which is opening on November 22, but rest assured that they’ll cap it off after a couple of minutes and not go for a full 20-minute featurette.