How Toy Story 4 Continues the Series' Tradition of Referencing The Shining

How Toy Story 4 Continues the Series’ Tradition of Referencing The Shining

Since the first Toy Story film, this billion dollar, family-friendly franchise has had a connection to one of the most unnerving horror movies of all time, and that doesn’t change with the latest movie in the series.

About 30 minutes into Toy Story 4, Woody finds himself in an antique store and comes face to face with a new toy, Gabby Gabby. Then, a literal needle drop happens. A record begins playing, which to some may sound like an old-timey song for an old-timey place. But for devotees of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining it’s instantly recognizable as “Midnight, the Stars and You” performed by Ray Noble and His Orchestra from the conclusion of the 1980 horror film. While speaking with director Josh Cooley at the film’s press junket, we asked about the use of the song and the other hidden references to The Shining in Toy Story 4.

“Lee Unkrich is a huge fan of The Shining. I’m a huge fan of “The Shining. I mean, the movie is insane. Every family should go out and see The Shining [laughs]. So just the fact that we were going to be in a creepy place, having the old record player, that was essential. And we put that in as scratch at first, and just temporary. And I loved—it just made me happy. And then, we were able to actually use it and I just went over the moon. I just loved it so much.”

Cooley also revealed that another reference to The Shining exists in the sequel, but this one is a little more subtle.

“The woman who Ducky and Bunny attack, there’s that wide shot of the house when she’s screaming. Her address is 237.”

Kubrick fans will also notice a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey as well within one of Buzz Lightyear’s pre-programmed voice lines. For those curious about the other references to The Shining in the series, check them out in the gallery below!

Toy Story 4 opens in theaters this Friday, June 21! Get your tickets by clicking here!


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