In an interview with Tom Hanks on the BBC Breakfast Show this morning, he told the BBC that not only is Toy Story 4 going ahead, but that it’s being worked on right now, Ain’t It Cool News report.

A decade had lapsed in between the releases of the second and third films, which left a lot of fans in doubt as to how good Toy Story 3 would be, but when it was released last year, it was received with rapturous applause from all over, being the first animated film to clear the $1bn. mark.

So whilst some people may take news of Toy Story 4’s announcement with a bit of a small sigh, just remember how good Toy Story 3 was, and have faith in Pixar that they’ll be bringing back Woody and co. in another brilliant film in the Toy Story series. Lee Unkrich didn’t miss a beat in his direction of the third film, and having worked on the series since the beginning (as an editor on the first film, and co-director on the second), he clearly loves these toys as much as we all do.

It was Toy Story 3 that was the first of the series to win an Academy Award, winning both Best Animated Feature Film (for Unkrich) and Best Original Song (for Randy Newman’s We Belong Together), so clearly the series is still doing tremendously well. And though a lot of people felt the third film did have quite a nice feel at its close to finish off the Toy Story films, I think Pixar will make sure that this coming fourth film will stay true to the series and give the fans something we’ll all love.

Since it was Unkrich who delivered such a brilliant film with Toy Story 3 as director, there’s every chance that he’ll be coming back to direct the fourth film. It was first time directing a feature solo, and he won an Academy Award for it, so he’s already proven in my mind that he’d be the perfect choice for the next film. Having said that, there is of course a good chance that he’d return to co-direct the film with John Lasseter, director of the first two and chief creative officer at Pixar.

Being such a big franchise, I don’t think any of us need to worry about the original cast reprising their roles; that’s pretty much a given. Everyone knows that Tom Hanks is the voice of Woody and Tim Allen is the only one who can do Buzz Lightyear, and I’m definitely already looking forward to hearing them and everyone else bring those characters back to life.

No news yet as to a potential release date, but given that work is already underway on the film, hopefully we can look forward to seeing this released in a few years’ time. Monsters University, the Monsters, Inc. sequel, has a summer 2013 release date currently scheduled, so maybe we’ll be seeing Toy Story 4 in the summer of 2014, or with any luck, even before then. I don’t think anyone will begrudge them wanting to take their time to make sure they get it right.

I’m also hoping that Hayao Miyazaki’s Totoro will be returning in CGI form for the fourth film after his cameo in Toy Story 3, but I’ll have to wait a few years to see whether or not that happens. Until then, I’ll leave you with this brilliant line from the third film to spark a little nostalgia into the start of your week:

“The thing that makes Woody special is: he’ll never give up on you. Ever.”