Toy Story 4 is the latest installment in Pixar’s most beloved franchise. Toy Story will go down as the most sentimental films for myself. I used to watch the original film and Toy Story 2 frequently on VHS back in the early 2000s when I was a child and I used to own numerous toys that were linked to the movies. My parents also took me to see Toy Story On Ice when I was around the age of four so these movies mean a lot to me and I was apprehensive when the fourth film got announced because Toy Story 3 felt like a perfect close to the franchise with Andy passing off Woody, Buzz and gang to the new kid, Bonnie as he went off to college. A fourth film could have been disastrous and put a blemish on a trilogy that I believe to be perfect. Fortunately, that is not the case with Toy Story 4. Toy Story 4 is a beautiful epilogue that expands on the themes from Toy Story 3.
From the initial moments of this film, there was water flowing from my eyes as I was being drowned in an ocean of sentiment thanks to being re-introduced to seeing characters in a theatre that I have adored since I could recollect any memories from my childhood. The introduction revolves around how Bo Peep became separated from the rest of the group, which explains her absence from Toy Story 3. This is where subverting audiences’ expectations come into play. Going into this movie, I thought this would be a search and rescue for Bo Peep and that the plot would focus on her. The focal point of the film is Forky, who is a spork created by Bonnie(with help from Woody) due to her being sad and alone on her first day of kindergarten. Forky is the only happy moment she has from that day but Forky believes he is trash because he is just a plastic utensil.
As the movie continues, Woody tries to teach Forky how he is a toy, while Woody is also trying to adapt to not being a child’s favorite toy. Woody is getting “older” and he feels lost because he feels as though he has lost the love of a single child. Once you realize what this film is setting up for, the waterworks will come out and I am not ashamed to admit that I was in tears for about fifty percent of the film. There is a fresh take on how the antagonist fits into the plot and the animation is flabbergasting. Whatever technology Pixar has acquired is immaculate. The animation looks photo-realistic and the most detailed that I have ever seen in an animated feature. There are no annoying characters either, which is a major sigh of relief. Forky is hilarious and adorable. Key and Peele play to plush toys who provide amazing comic relief. The “Plush Rush” had me rolling for minutes. Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom is genius.
This is another masterful Toy Story entry. The only negative thought I have about this film is that it is unnecessary for continuity purposes. Like I said, the ending of Toy Story 3 is the true ending to this franchise while this film works as an epilogue. I am praying that there are no more entries because we do not need a perfect franchise being watered-down. Toy Story 4 is a must-watch and one of the best films of 2019 so far.