Toy Story 5 Won’t Be The Same If 1 Crucial Pixar Figure Doesn’t Return

Summary

  • Toy Story 5 needs to bring back Randy Newman, who has been responsible for the music and songs in the franchise.
  • Newman’s signature sound and distinctive singing voice are as integral to Toy Story as the characters themselves.
  • Pixar has yet to confirm whether Newman will return, but his absence would be a huge loss for the movie.


With Toy Story 5 on the way, Pixar needs to bring back a vital component of what made the franchise so popular. Names like Tom Hanks and Tim Allen may carry the movies, but there are other important figures. Although the person in question may not voice a character, their sonic contribution to the first four Toy Story movies has been just as important. Without this instrumental figure, the adventures of Woody and the gang wouldn’t be the same. Seeing as Toy Story 5 can end the franchise, it only seems right to bring back as many people as possible.

There have been four movies to bear the Toy Story name, and the core group of creatives has remained largely intact. Although certain voice actors have been replaced due to their unfortunate passing, efforts have been made to keep the series as consistent as possible. Starting in 1995, much of the creative team behind the Toy Story movie franchise has returned time and again. This includes the first movie’s director, John Lasseter, who has been involved in some capacity in the production of each installment. However, there’s perhaps a more recognizable name that needs to be in the credits, and they’re not a member of the Toy Story 5 cast.

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Toy Story 5 Needs Randy Newman To Return

Newman’s signature sound is strongly associated with the Toy Story franchise

Movies aren’t just a visual medium, and voice actors aren’t the sole contributors to the sound of a film. A movie’s soundtrack is just as important as what’s happening on-screen, and Randy Newman has been the man responsible for the music of Toy Story throughout the first four installments. Newman hasn’t only been responsible for each movie’s orchestral score but also for every song in the Toy Story movies. For instance, he wrote and sang the movie franchise’s theme song, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me,” among others. Newman’s signature musical arrangements and unique vocal talents are as intertwined with the fabric of Toy Story as the characters themselves.

As well as being excellent movies in their own right, the Toy Story films also run on an element of nostalgia. Music is a big factor when it comes to making an audience feel nostalgic. Another movie composer could arguably emulate Randy Newman’s composing and arrangement styles for the orchestral elements of the Toy Story 5 soundtrack. However, his songwriting abilities and distinctive singing voice would be a huge loss for the movie. With all of this being said, Pixar has yet to confirm whether Newman will return to provide his musical services for the next Toy Story movie.

Randy Newman Hasn’t Scored A Movie Since 2019 (& Didn’t Return For Lightyear)

His break from the film industry may not have been entirely voluntary

Buzz reaching out in Lightyear

While Newman’s name is most closely associated with the Toy Story franchise, the first movie sparked a streak of working on additional Pixar properties and for other studios. However, his most recent project was in 2019, when he provided the score for Netflix’s Marriage Story. This gap is one of the longest of Newman’s career. The break becomes more interesting when it’s considered that, within this period, Pixar has already shown a willingness to work on a movie from the world of Toy Story without the presence of one of its most integral components.

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Although Newman has worked with Pixar for all the main Toy Story movies, he was not involved with the spinoff, Lightyear. Pixar’s decision to work with Michael Giacchino over Newman for Lightyear could mark the end of a decades-long arrangement, but it could also be due to the disparity in tone between Lightyear and the rest of the Toy Story movies. Chris Evans also took over the lead role of Buzz Lightyear for the movie, a character previously voiced by Tim Allen, since Lightyear focused on the figure the toy was based on. Still, this compounds the theory that the personnel choices for Pixar’s Lightyear were an intentional attempt to separate it from the main body of Toy Story movies.

Randy Newman’s availability to score Toy Story 5 could also be judged by the status of his songwriting career outside the franchise. Away from the world of cinema, Newman has continued to enjoy a music career alongside his film jobs. Although he hasn’t released a studio album since 2017, SoundTrackFest states that the 80-year-old Newman was forced to cancel the European leg of his 2023 tour as he recovered from a surgical procedure. Hopefully, Newman’s health will return to a point where he is able to work, and he is invited to return so he can once more apply his craft in Toy Story 5.

Source: SoundTrackFest

Toy Story 5

Franchise
Toy Story

Production Company
Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios

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