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Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter confirmed on Friday what fans have speculated about for the better part of a year: "Toy Story 4" will revolve around a romance between the blockbuster's main character, a toy cowboy voiced by Tom Hanks, and a nursery rhyme doll.
Lasseter rose to prominence in 1995 as director of Pixar's "Toy Story," a movie about toys that come to life and the first feature-length computer-animated film. The groundbreaking picture and its two sequels have earned about $2 billion at the international box office.
Pixar, which Disney purchased in 2006, is also preparing to release follow-ups to the 2003 blockbuster "Finding Nemo" and 2004's "The Incredibles."
"At Pixar and at Disney, we only make sequels if we come up with a story that's as good or better than the original. That's our rule. We don't do things just to print money," he said.
Lasseter made his comments on the first day of Disney's D23 Expo, a biannual convention where the company gives fans a behind-the-scenes look and previews its future releases.
As the creative director for all of Disney's animated films and projects, Lasseter has presided over a renaissance at the storied studio following a period of decline in the early 2000s. Under his oversight, the studio has turned out a number of critical and commercial hits, including the No. 1 animated feature of all-time, "Frozen."