Toy Story 4 – Film Review
There was always a danger that a fourth instalment of Toy Story might damage the fond memories that people have of an original trilogy of films that started in 1995.
Over 26 years later, and nine years after the third Toy Story film appeared to have rounded off a perfect trilogy, what will another new generation of Pixar fans make of Toy Story 4?
The first thing you notice is just how computer graphics – a staple of Pixar over the years – have improved: rain, smoke, dust, hair, and light all look amazing in this film from the first frame.
But what every Toy Story film manages to do is immerse you in a story that make you forget about any shortcomings in the technology.
Concerned fans don’t have to worry as Pixar’s crown jewel franchise delivers once again with a story that explores the motivation of toys and their kids.
Bo Peep returns in Toy Story 4
It wraps this up with a nostalgic return to the series of Bo Peep (Annie Potts), the shepherdess who had a thing for Woody in the original Toy Story.
Also joining the cast are a Canadian toy called Duke Caboom (enthusiastically played by Keanu Reeves) , Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as a couple of soft toys called Ducky and Bunny, and Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, a doll of a similar vintage to Woody.
Woody (Tom Hanks) and the gang return in tow with new owner Bonnie who is off to kindergarten and comes back with a new toy that she made herself during arts and crafts – Forky.
Forky has a special link to Bonnie and has to learn about his new role as a child’s toy during a road trip adventure with Bonnie and her family.
It’s here where some of the changes since the conclusion of the third Toy Story film to set up the fourth film could be called into question.
If you don’t think too hard about the situation the toys find themselves in at the start of the film, the storyline is good, and the visuals are stunning.
Thankfully, Toy Story 4 just about avoids spoiling the integrity of the original trilogy despite some scenes which might be scary for the very young and reductions in screen time for other characters and changes in character to service the storyline.
So it’s not as good as the original trilogy but still very good.
There might not have been a short film before Toy Story as is customary with many Pixar films, but there is a short series of four scenes during the end credits which are well worth waiting for plus a bonus scene right at the very end if you choose to wait it out.
Toy Story 4 – Film Revire (U; very mild violence, scary scenes; 100 minutes)
Director(s): Josh Cooley
Cast Includes: Tom Hanks (voice), Tim Allen (voice), Joan Cusack (voice), Annie Potts (voice), Christina Hendricks (voice), Keanu Reeves (voice)
Summary: TOY STORY 4 is an animated fantasy adventure sequel in which two toys become separated from their owner while on a road trip.
Rating: **** (A good coda to the perfect trilogy)