Although not born at the releases of the first two, Toy Story holds such a nostalgic place to me and many of the children of the early 2000’s. The fourth installment comes nine years after the excellence that was Toy Story 3, it delivers a worthy entry just as great as the others. Like the others, Toy Story 4 is a true master work in animation, capturing the very same heartwarming and funny aspects that captured many generations hearts.
It brings back all of its beloved characters, along with a very specifically exciting returning toy and introducing us to a batch of brilliant new toys — all of them adorable and hilarious. Toy Story 4 is an utterly endearing joy, it had me cackling with laughter and sobbing with streams of tears.
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip and a new toy named Forky (Tony Hale). The adventurous journey doesn’t go correctly, as Forky begins to question his purpose and runs away. This leads to an unexpected reunion as Woody’s detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. Woody meets a range of new faces, as evil lurks close behind the cabinet of a second-hand antique store.
Woody is seen trying to find a purpose after the leave of Andy, all he wants to do is help Forky be the figure to Bonnie that he used to be to Andy. The film casts big questions of human life and what is the meaning? This is seen most evidently in the contrast of the now-free Bo Peep to Woody, who is stuck in an existential crisis of sorts. The maturity and poignancy of which the story is told will charm both children and adults alike.
The hilarity factor is two-fold, with the ridiculous charisma and hilarity of Forky, Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) – this is the funniest entry yet and it completes the implausible feat of continuing the magic that the other films carried. This is a film that we needed, and it sure did deliver beyond all expectations. “Trash” is perhaps the funniest line of all, a continued comedy motif that will never fail to crack up any spectator. Forky is the next big thing, absolutely genius.
Toy Story 4 is beautifully animated. The series marks 3D animation at its finest, whilst I’m much more fond of 2D, Toy Story (and The Incredibles) is a grand exception. The nostalgia factor is undeniable, with the re-use of “You’ve Got a Friend” kicking in early tears, we are shown the progression of a toy’s life which perfectly parallels to many fan’s own age now.
Toy Story 4 acts as a poigant end to a marvelous journey that spanned many generations. Tears will flow, not just one tear or two. But puddles are certain to those who’ve followed all these many years and to those who are new.
5/5 Stars ★★★★★