Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 opens internationally this week.
The new adventure sees Woody and Buzz embark on an epic road trip and sees audiences lining up for another fun romp. 96% of reviewers are giving the latest in the franchise a thumbs-up and Rotten Tomatoes writes, “it manages to extend a practically perfect animated saga”.
The Toy Story series has built an empire on bright and colourful storylines; movies that are genuinely funny, delightfully wholesome and full of rich, loveable, diverse characters.
Diverse, because at the core of it, Woody the Sheriff and Buzz Lightyear are unlikely friends. Woody is an antique 1950’s pull-string doll where Buzz is the shiny new toy – a space ranger action figure complete with a (real) laser beam. Cloth Woody is soft, Plastic Buzz is strong. Woody is cautious, Buzz zealous. Woody is a measured problem solver, Buzz is a bull at a gate. Woody is meek, Buzz is confident and proud. Woody’s initial hostility to Buzz comes from his fears of being replaced as Andy’s favourite toy, but he quickly puts these reservations and fears aside and begins to celebrate their differences, quickly becoming inseparable best friends.
Differences are good. Diversity gives us depth. Does your show deliver this?
On air, opposing views from rich characters bring life to any topic. They flourish in spirited discussions through memorable counterpoints and create lean in moments for the audience.
Shows full of agreeable voices become fatiguing and forgettable very quickly.
It all comes down to casting the right people. People from different walks of life, with different experiences and thoughts. People who add to each other to form a dynamic unit. The challenge is to celebrate the differences as much as the commonalities. Teams do not need to be BFFs to succeed, they just need a common goal, a unified understanding, and empathy for each other.
It’s this acceptance and depth that will take you to infinity and beyond.