The folks over at HitFix recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Lee Unkrich, director of next year’s Toy Story 3. The interview touches upon a variety of subjects including whether or not the visual style of Toy Story will carry over to Toy Story 3.

Unkrich responds, “We couldn’t make a “3” that looked completely different than the first two; however, as a studio and both technologically and artistically, we’ve made great strides over the last fifteen years. I mean, you look at “Ratatouille,” it’s just a gorgeous, gorgeous film. And so you want to take advantage of that, but at the same time, you want the world to feel familiar, so that was one of our big challenges at the beginning, working… luckily I had Bob Pauley who was the original production designer for the first “Toy Story”. He designed Buzz Lightyear. He’s my production designer on this film. We all worked very hard to have the world… and it’s a constant challenge to have the world feel familiar, but to take advantage of what we can do now artistically. So if you look at “Toy Story” and then “Toy Story 2,” there was a big leap in the look of the film. You know, just to be geeky, we were able to use depth of fields, which is something we couldn’t do on the first film at all. Suddenly we could use focus and depth to augment our visuals. We’ve made even more exponential leaps doing “3”. We had to rebuild everything. It’s not like these characters were sitting on a disk somewhere waiting to be used again. We had to rebuild them completely from scratch, and along the way we were able to give them more sophistication in their look and in their controls.

Read the rest of the interview at HitFix.