Title – Toy Story 4 (2019)
Director – Josh Cooley (feature debut)
Cast – (Voices of) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves
Plot – Woody (Hanks), Buzz (Allen) and the gang of colourful toys must work together to help save newest addition Forky (Hale) from an antique shop run by Gabby Gabby (Hendricks) while the surprising return of Bo Peep (Potts) complicates matters further.
“Woody, we have a situation”
Review by Eddie on 21/06/2019
We’re only half way through the year but I think it’s safe to say we may have already discovered our favourite cinematic character of the year, in the form of an animated fork, named Forky.
But I digress, more about Forky later, as the colourful new addition to the beloved Toy Story universe is but one of the reasons why this at early times surprising fourth film in the billion dollar franchise is yet another big win for Disney and Pixar studios, in what’s likely to be a crowd pleasing box office smash.
Filled with the ever expanding workmanship and eye-popping craft of Pixar’s evolving and stunning CGI work (from rainy nights, to the glistening porcelain of the returning Bo Peep), Toy Story 4 sees debut feature filmmaker Josh Cooley bring back the whole gang for a whip smart adventure that touches on a number of themes and conversations that centre around finding ones place in the world and ones meaning when life around it is constantly changing.
As usual however, these themes are wrapped around a big old barrel of fun, something that’s always been a prevailing factor in the Toy Story films and what made them quickly become such a worldwide favourite and with some great new additions and a fairly wild ride for our characters to partake in, Toy Story 4 is arguably the outright funniest film yet in the franchise’s history.
As Woody, Buzz and the gang (who it must be said get a relatively brief screen time in this yarn in one of the films mild disappointments) set out on a mission to rescue new addition Forky from an at times downright creepy antique shop run by the devious Gabby Gabby, Toy Story 4 throws in a number of genuinely laugh out loud moments that are mostly instigated by the films newest additions that include Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s Bunny and Ducky, Gabby Gabby’s ventriloquist doll henchman and Keanu Reeves scene stealing stuntman extraordinaire and proud Canadian Duke Caboom.
It’s a joy to watch these colourful rag-tag bunch of characters interact with their even more vibrant worlds and from carnivals, playgrounds, kindergarten rooms and the core antique shop, Toy Story 4 is an imaginative treasure trove of sight gags, witty dialogue and personality beats that culminate to make a highly entertaining all-ages affair that will have adults and children laughing (and more than likely shedding a tear or two) in equal measure, especially when Forky is first finding his feet in the great big world his been bought into.
When weighed up against its predecessors, the ground-breaking first film, the thoroughly entertaining second adventure and the perfectly judged “finale” in the form of the third film it’s hard to say exactly where Toy Story 4 fits in the overall scheme of things, as while it is a comedic gem there is a sense it’s not as emotionally powerful as previous entries (despite its strong finale) and you can’t help but wish there was more group activities with the original gang, with the film more than ever focused on Woody (which isn’t a bad thing thanks to Hanks voice work), with even Buzz feeling more like a side player within the films narrative.
Final Say –
A visual and comedic delight, Toy Story 4 is another impressive feat of film-making by Pixar and one that’s sure to charm fans of old and newcomers alike. While its slightly disappointing more of the original crew don’t prominently feature, Toy Story 4 ensures the new additions to the universe keep things ticking along all the way until a fittingly emotional finale.
4 trash cans out of 5