Film Review – Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 (G)

Directed by: Josh Cooley

Starring: Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Tim Allen

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

After rounding out a beautifully realised couple of films with a surprisingly successful and heartwarming threequel (which made for a neat conclusion), Disney Pixar have taken the Toy Story series back out of storage.

It is a bit of a gamble – the more you toy with something good, the higher the chances that it can get banged up a bit. And would audiences be bored with these familiar characters like an eight-year-old would get with their old play-things?

Woody (Tom Hanks) Buzz (Tim Allen) and the gang are enjoying a new life with youngster Bonnie, after their owner Andy gifted them to her when he went to college

But when Bonnie comes home from kindergarten with an arts and crafts creation, Forky, made from some disposed items such as a spork, pipecleaners and a popstick, she has a new favourite.

Bonnie treasures her new, self-made toy more than the others, and Woody makes it his mission to keep Forky safe and within Bonnie’s loving reach at all times to ensure her happiness – despite Forky’s instinct to return to the trash where his parts came from.

During a family holiday road trip, Woody encounters antique toys in a small town with a sinister agenda and is reunited with Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who several years earlier, left out live out in the big wide world.

There is no denying the charm that these films and their characters have is still there – this series could go on for five more installments and just on that alone.

Even at part four, they have the ability to make you smile warmly and even shed a tear; we have become to connected to and attached to them throughout the years.

toy-story-4

Toy Story 4 is, like its predecessors, about more than just toys coming to life while we aren’t watching – this one tackles how to deal with change and learning to let go.

The heart and wit is still very much evident in this series, even at this point, however, it does struggle with balancing all the characters.

Having kept all the toys from the earlier films, adding Forky and new ones such as sideshow prizes and the creepy crew from the antique shot, Toy Story 4 has more characters than it knows what to do with.

Even Buzz is relegated to the backseat for most of the action.

And the animation is glorious, but just one tiny quibble: even though our heroes are essentially hand-me downs that have endured years of play with Andy, four films worth of hair raising adventures and now Bonnie – their appearance is surprisingly pristine.

Hardly a chip, dent, scuff or scratch can be seen! That’s not how my toys looked after years of playing with them in the backyard.

 

 

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