Disney’s subsidiary studios apparently have a thing for breaking from tradition these days, because just a few months after Avengers: Endgame tricked viewers into sitting through the credits just to hear Tony Stark’s ghost banging on some metal in place of a traditional stinger, Toy Story 4 is going to open in theaters without an overly long short to test everyone’s patience before the feature itself beings. This will make Toy Story 4 the first Pixar movie since the original Toy Story to not be paired with an animated short in theaters, with 1998's A Bug’s Life launching the tradition with the Oscar-winning Geri’s Game.
This comes from Slate, which points out that Pixar’s new SparkShorts program allows the studio to put out new shorts separate from the actual theatrical films, so it’s possible that the studio has just realized that there’s a better way to do these things now. Or, considering that the shorts of historically been either really good (it’s probably fun to collect Oscar nominations) or really terrible, maybe Pixar just decided that it doesn’t like playing those odds anymore. Or, to offer a third theory, maybe Pixar just ran out of ways to make a cute cartoon that is also really sad.