Disney has announced that Pixar is producing Toy Story 3, which is currently scheduled for a 2009 release.  Under the first Disney/Pixar agreement Disney had the right to produce sequels to Pixar pictures such as Toy Story, and back in 2005 when it appeared that Disney and Pixar would not be able to reach an agreement on a continuation of their relationship, Disney chief Michael Eisner decided to play hardball and start work on a direct-to-video Toy Story 3 (see 'Toy Story 3 is On'). 


When Disney and Pixar finally did come to an arrangement that put Pixar's John Lasseter in charge of the Disney animation, Lasseter quickly put an end to the Disney-produced Toy Story 3.  Now Toy Story 3 is back on the production schedule, but it is an entirely new project -- a theatrical film from the Pixar team including Lee Unkrich, who co-directed Toy Story 2.  Unkrich will direct the new film from a screenplay by Michael Arndt, author of the Academy Award-nominated Little Miss Sunshine.


Toy Story is one of the celebrated properties in the history of computer animation.  The first two films not only did well at the box office, they also spawned a plethora of merchandise from storybooks to action figures of Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the rest of the gang, while single-handedly reviving a number of vintage toys such as the Slinky.