For more than two decades, Pixar movies have been shown in theaters with a warm-up act. It began when A Bug’s Life was released in 1998 accompanied by Geri’s Game, in which an old man plays chess against himself in the park. That 5-minute film pushed the boundaries for CGI animation, won an Academy Award, and started a tradition of Pixar releasing all of its features with a short attached. In recent years these have ranged from the shockingly bad Lava (ahead of Inside Out) to the breathtakingly cute Piper (ahead of Finding Dory) to the devastatingly moving Bao (ahead of Incredibles 2). Even Coco was preceded by Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, though at 21 interminable minutes it did stretch the limits of the word “short.”
Toy Story 4 will break with tradition by going without an animated short when it enters theaters June 21, a representative for Disney confirmed to Slate. That makes it the first Pixar movie without one since the original Toy Story in 1995, which was only paired with Tin Toy (another Oscar winner) on its home video releases, not in theaters. I wouldn’t be too alarmed by the omission, though. Pixar continues to produce plenty of shorts, including through experimental programs like SparkShorts, which earlier this year put out Kitbull, a film very much in the studio’s tradition of making viewers ugly cry.
As for Toy Story 4, you’ll just have to munch your popcorn though the usual 20-odd minutes of trailers and commercials before the movie instead.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else. Join Slate Plus.Join Slate Plus