Toy Story 4 released on June 11, 2019 with Josh Cooley as the director, whom you may know from the extremely touching 2015 Pixar film, ‘Inside Out’. This series reunites us again with Woody, Buzz and Jessie along with the other toys. However, this film has decided to focus more on Woody along with the new additions to the movie franchise – such as Forky, a goofy looking spork, a new doll called ‘Gabby Gabby’, some ventriloquist dummies that look like they jumped out from the ‘Dead Silence’ movie and a plush duck and bunny voiced by the great comic duo – Key and Peele.
This fourth part of the movie starts off with where Toy Story 3 left off, where Andy who’s now going off to college has decided to donate his toys to Bonnie, who is his neighbor’s daughter. This movie before its release has also teased that they will be bringing back Bo Peep, who is the romantic interest of Sheriff Woody, and debuting a more adventurous and new look to her previously plain pink shepherd dress. The animation quality too has improved tons from its 1995 predecessor, with special attention paid to the different materials of each toy, the light being reflected on their faces or eyes or the painstakingly detailed antique store.
There may be some that disagree the need for this film, but I believe that this movie serves its purpose as a finale to the toys’ journeys that we have been on since 1995. The animation has been done beautifully, with extremely intricate details done on every item or doll that we see. The team at Pixar really have outdone themselves with this movie. The animation alone already makes this one of the most stunning Pixar films to date and even if you are not a fan of the series, the stunning visuals and well-written plot will not disappoint you and I highly urge anyone to go watch this beautiful masterpiece.
For the first time, it seems that this movie unlike its 3 predecessors, focuses more on the toys’ side of things rather than on the humans. We see Woody at the start not accepting that Bonnie does not play with him anymore not like she used to when he just arrived and is actively trying hard to stay positive and helping the others, mainly Forky, to hide the fact that he has no reason to stay with Bonnie anymore.
He goes on a massive journey throughout the movie as he tries to find his reason as a toy. He reunites with Bo and sees that there is more to being a toy than just being with an owner. He sees that there are other things he can contribute to and he starts to decide what he actually wants for himself instead of thinking of Bonnie’s sake.
The movie also introduces our new antagonist, “Gabby Gabby”, who is a ‘pull-string’ talking doll similar to Woody, but she had a defect straight out the box which never gave her a chance to find an owner. Her first appearance already gave the audience a sinister feeling about her character but as we see throughout the film, her motives are not evil but they come from her never having a loving owner that would cherish her.
Toy Story 4 frames the antagonist in a way that you feel sympathetic for them most of the times rather than anger. There are also a lot of moments where they show the more sadder parts of being a toy, such as when their owner no longer loves them or when the toys know they are going to be replaced. This is where it is different than its previous predecessors, where the movie was always more light-hearted and fun and such sadder topics were never explored much.
We are also re-introduced to Bo, who used to be Andy’s sister’s toy but was ultimately given away due to not being played with anymore. She told Woody that despite being without an owner, she is still extremely happy with her life as a free toy and that she can do anything she wants because she is not tied to an owner and is free to explore the world outside.
However, that should not stop you from taking your child or your friends to watch this movie. It is still a masterpiece made by Pixar that stands out despite its predecessor’s huge shadow of success among animated films. It was a shock to hear about Toy Story 4 being made as Toy Story 3 ended on a satisfying concluding note but this movie proved that just because the final chapter is closed, that doesn’t mean another one can’t be opened. The plot and characters were well designed and written and it truly made this a memorable movie for any movie watchers out there.
Rating : 9.8 /10