Toy Story and Pixar have been part of Disney for a while

Toy Story 4 Review


Director: Josh Cooley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack

I’m firmly of the belief that the Toy Story trilogy was one of the best trilogies of all time. Each film was perfect in its own right, and can honestly think of no other trilogy which can come close to it.

It might sound like a strange thing to say, but if you think of all other movie trilogies, there’s always one film which is much weaker than the rest. The Godfather Part III is an awful film. Star Wars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi isn’t quite as effective as the previous two films in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Bourne, The Matrix, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future… They all have one film which lets the trilogy down a bit. The only trilogy which in my mind comes anywhere close to the perfection of Toy Story’s is The Lord Of The Rings, but I have my own problems with those films, and I just don’t have the time to go into those now.

Anyway, the cut a very long opening to this review short, I love Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, and I was very nervous when Pixar announced they would be making a fourth movie.

Toy Story

Image via Pixar

I am not a toy, I was made for soups, salads, maybe chili, and then the trash. Freedom!

I just didn’t see the point of it. Toy Story 3 finished off the saga in a very satisfying way, and I couldn’t really see where they could take Woody and the gang next.

And after having watched Toy Story 4, I can say that my trepidations weren’t altogether unfounded. Don’t get me wrong, Toy Story 4 is a perfectly good film, and it features some very poignant observations on life and growing up, but these are themes which the other movies, Toy Story 3 in particular, covered I would argue more extensively than this film.

Where the film really succeeds is in its portrayal of Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and newcomer Forky’s (Tony Hale) relationship, and Woody and Bo Peep (Annie Potts).

Forky is a new addition to the gang. He’s a toy which Bonnie made on her first day in Kindergarten out of a plastic spork and some other things she found lying around.

Toy Story

Image via Pixar

I was made to help a child, I don’t remember it being this hard.

However, Forky is struggling with a crisis of identity. Is he a toy or is he, as he always puts it, ‘trash’. He’s sort of a combination of the two, yet Woody does everything he can to convince him that he’s Bonnie’s most important toy.

Things go a bit awry when Forky escapes which Bonnie and her family go on a road trip just before school starts, and Woody takes it upon himself to save the new toy.

They happen upon a fairground and that’s where Woody bumps into Bo Peep, who’s now living life not unlike Sarah Connor in the Termination movies. She’s lived in the fairground for so many years that she’s become adept at fending for herself.

Bo Peep is actually the film’s most interesting character since she offers another way of looking at the world; something which Woody really struggles with. The interaction between Woody and Bo Peep is easily the film’s strongest point, and they are joined by a whole host of amusing new toys, such as the rather sinister plushy duo of Duck and Bunny (voiced by the ever-brilliant Kay and Peele), and Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom, Canada’s greatest stunt man (toy).

Toy Story

Image via Pixar

Open your eyes, Woody. There’s plenty of kids out there. Sometimes change can be good!

The problem I had with this film was that I didn’t think it was needed. The film seems to cover a lot of the same ground as the previous ones, and even though it’s funny, charming, heartwarming, tearjerking, and all the other things we’ve come to expect from a Pixar movie, it’s not one of their films I would revisit as I do the other Toy Story movies.

Moreover, Toy Story’s original toys: Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, Slick Dog etc get nothing to do in this film. Buzz does get to go on a little mission, but there’s not much to his story arc at all in this film, and I think it’s because his character’s developed over three movies now, and the writers aren’t sure what to do with him anymore.

As I said before, Toy Story 4 is a fun movie and one which many people will enjoy, but after leaving the cinema, I realised that it didn’t pack the emotional gut-punch which Toy Story 3, or make me fall in love with the toys like the first and second movies managed to.

Toy Story

Image via Pixar

She’ll be okay. Bonnie will be okay.

If anything, it felt like an extended version of one of their Toy Story shorts, which I believe is a problem. I really hope they don’t make anymore since I feel that Pixar have got enough mileage out of these characters and it’s time to retire them and concentrate on making other things.

Meanwhile, why not have a read of our articles on the 5 ways Game of Thrones season 8 dropped the ball, and the 5 movies you should watch if you still think Robert Pattinson won’t be a good Batman.

You can also have a read of our reviews of Aladdin, Detective PikachuJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – ParabellumGodzilla: King of the MonstersAvengers: EndgameHellboy and Glass.

Toy Story 4 is in cinemas all across the UK now.

Have you listened to our podcast yet? Small Screen Radio features Small Screen’s Film Club and Cinema Ramble. If you like movies, listen to our podcast!

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