Friday, 21 June 2019

Toy Story 4 (Movie Review)


I was concerned from the very moment I'd heard that a fourth Toy Story movie was in development. I mean, the third movie had already been sold as the last one in the series upon its release, and it had ended so beautifully that it was always going to be impossible to match or surpass it. Well, leave it to the masterminds at Disney and Pixar to prove us wrong, as they've not only managed to craft a worthy successor, but one that also stands as a beautiful conclusion to the entire series in its own right.

Set two years after the events of the previous film, the movie finds Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the other toys from Andy's room already settled into life in Bonnie's room, the little girl who had taken ownership of them as Andy went off to college at the end of that film. It also opens by shedding some light on the circumstances surrounding Bo Beep (Annie Potts) and her departure from the group.

At the start of the movie, Bonnie is just about to start kindergarten and is struggling to deal with first-day jitters. This is not helped by the fact that she wasn't allowed to bring any of her toys with her. To cope with this, she creates a new toy in class, fashioned out of a disposable spork, some sticks and gum, and immediately grows to love and cherish this new toy, Forky (Tony Hale), above all others. But the toy itself struggles to deal with its newfound role, believing its place is inside the nearest available trashcan.

During a family road trip, Forky ceases the opportunity to act upon his suicidal tendencies, jumping out of their moving RV, and thus leaving Woody with no choice but to go after him. This leads them on an adventure where they come across an assortment of "lost" toys that include the imaginative duo Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele), the sweet but sinister doll, Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendrix), the stunt-crazed biker, Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), and a certain old flame whose reappearance has Woody reconsidering his place as one of Bonnie's often forgotten toys.

If Toy Story 3 was about accepting the inevitability of growing up and moving on from childish ways, then 4 is about rediscovering your inner child while embracing life and living it to its fullest potential.This is exemplified by its two main leads, Woody and Forky, and the fact that they have so much to learn from one another, despite being at different points in their respective lives. The ending of the movie didn't quite destroy me as much as the preceding one had, but the journey it took to get there was filled with more than enough heart, laughs and visual splendor to please children and adults alike.

8 comments:

  1. This one seems like the first real fresh statement in the series since the first one. They got a little caught up in maudlin sentiment, which if Pixar weren't so beloved by critics might be viewed differently (as it is in any live action movie these days).

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    1. I actually loved the direction they took the previous two movies, but yeah, this one is up there with the first one.

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    2. I liked the second one, which was basically just everyone enjoying how entertaining the idea was. But the third one particularly, for me, was a needless rehash. If they really wanted to say goodbye to Andy, to my mind he would've had to be a more important character from the start. And he really never was.

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    3. I feel Andy has always been central to the films, at least he was to the first one. But I see what you mean. The third one really got by on pure nostalgia for the most part, but boy, what an ending.

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  2. I thought it was really good although it dealt with a lot of really adult themes that kids won't get. Forky stole the show.

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    1. Yeah. Forky was a highlight for me as well. And that's what sets Pixar's films above the rest, the fact that they manage to go beyond making kid's entertainment by leaving something in for adults too.

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  3. Looking forward to reading your Spider-Man review (assuming you're going to see it!). I reckon Toy Story 4 was a better film (more rounded storyline), but I enjoyed Spider-Man more... which I think makes an interesting debate!

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    1. Hi Ed. I posted my Spider-Man review earlier today. I think I'd agree with you that Toy Story 4, while the better overall film, was nowhere as fun and exciting as the new spidey.

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