Plot: When Bonnie has trouble adjusting to Kindergarten, she utilizes some arts and crafts to make Forky (voice of Tony Hale). She really cares about her creation so much that Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) does everything in his power to protect him. While doing such, their adventure together has Woody reuniting with an old friend.
I was very cautious with this movie. Toy Story 3 is my top five favorite Pixar movies. While I love the other two movies in the series, I felt that three ended the arc of the toys we’ve come to know and love (over a span of 15 years at that point) perfectly. The door was shut. But then this film was announced. I saw the trailers, but I felt resistant. Being the Pixar advocate I am though, I knew I would give the movie a shot.
Pixar, I am sorry for doubting you. While some of your movies do leave something to be desired, you have always handled the Toy Story franchise with the utmost care, and why I thought you would drop the ball on this was silly of me.
Toy Story 4 is not Toy Story 3 levels of great. I still think that the third movie is the best overall. But damn, Toy Story 4 does not give it much room at the top. This sequel is Pixar running on all cylinders. The formula is intact and again finely tuned to deliver a cinematic wonder to its audience. It’s funny, it’s adorable, it’s charming, it’s heartwarming, and of course, it wouldn’t be a Pixar flick without getting some tears out of you. And that it does. Multiple times.
Be forewarned that the main Toy Story ensemble crew (Rex, Hamm, Potato Heads, etc) is kept at bay for most of the movie. The primary focus is on the two leads — Woody and Buzz (voice of Tim Allen) — but the new character of Forky isn’t just a major plot point … he steals the show. He’s a wonderful, quirky new addition to the series.
As he and Woody try to find their way back to Bonnie (after Forky gets lost through a series of events), they encounter a slew of new toys (and a familiar one) that share a lot of screen time, but their presence felt organic to the story. The standouts are Ducky (Keegan — Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) who have some hysterical procedures during a scene about how to obtain a key. Keanu Reeves also makes a lighthearted turn as Duke Kaboom, a Evel Knievel-style toy that poses like you wouldn’t believe.
There is a “villain” of sorts in the movie but nothing compared to Lotso, Al, or Sid from the previous movies. It’ll be up for debate how people react to that arc but overall (as to not spoil anything) I was fine with it, and it also leads to a pretty big tearjerker moment in the film.
As for the animation in this movie … wow. Pixar continues to set the standard for eye-popping visuals and this movie is no different. It’s colors are vivid and just a feast for the eyes. A+
I don’t know how much more I can emphasize about how much I loved this movie. But I sincerely, truly did. Toy Story 4 did not need to be made whatsoever, but I am so glad that it was. It is clever, smart, and provides the kind of cinematic escapism a kid, teenager, or adult would love. I guess at this point if they continue the adventures of Woody and company in a Toy Story 5, I would have no reason to doubt them. Good on you for making me a believer, Pixar. To infinity and beyond.