The film that started it all was Toy Story. Pixar became a household name in 1995 with the release of their first feature film and changed the way animated movies were made and told. Pixar has since become a box office cash cow almost every year with each animated release. Their sequels even do well and dare I say some are even better than their predecessor, including Toy Story 2 and the incredible Toy Story 3, which looked to come to a conclusion in the Toy universe. It was a wide range of emotion, both happy and truly emotional on how the filmmakers ended Toy Story 3. It was like the perfect ending. Well of course, Pixar and Hollywood are a business and money talks. Since that’s the case, we now have Toy Story 4, which does nothing new and makes every thing worse in their own little universe. This is a blatant unnecessary sequel, but only succeeds on the tails of its already lovable characters and their superb voice actors.
Toy Story 4 is not a good movie, however it still holds onto that charm from the last three films, where you’ll be excited to see your favorite characters again, even if the plot is despicable. We get to meet a couple of new friends along the way too, particularly the phenomenal carnival sideshow toys (voiced by the incredible Key and Peele). Toy Story 4 just gets it wrong on every level and while you might crack a small laugh here and there, you can’t help but think this is just a cash grab void of any real story or furthering any of the characters. Not to mention, it lacks any of the emotional impact of the previous films, which is a low, down, dirty shame.
Toy Story 4 picks up mostly right where the third film left off with the iconic toys led by Woody and Buzz (Tom Hanks and Tim Allen), being the best toys they can be for the young Bonnie. Soon enough, Bonnie heads to 1st grade and the toys all want to make sure she’s happy. Bonnie ends up making her own toy out of arts and crafts, which turns out to be a spork with googly eyes, popsicle stick feet, and soft wired arms. The character looks like it has been on a meth binge for a month and comes to life and doesn’t immediately know its purpose. The newly created toy is known as Forky (voiced by Tony Hale – Buster from Arrested Development), is the new favorite toy and ends up on the family luxury travel van with Bonnie, as her and the family head out on vacation, along with the rest of there toys.
Of course, like in every other Toy Story movie, someone gets lost and separated from the pack, where someone has to be rescued. In this case, it’s Forky and Woody, who end up in a small town antique store with some truly creepy old dolls and toys. Across the street is a traveling carnival, where Woody runs into Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who has taken on a Mad Max: Fury Road role, complete with detachable arm and war life vehicle to travel in. It seems like Forky is being held hostage by some creepy toys in the antique store, where Woody must rescue him. It’s full of adventure from here as Woody slowly comes to realize where he stands at this point in life. It’s a good sentiment and is done well enough, but again, it was all unnecessary.
A couple of good moments come from this sequel though, including the new toy animals, voiced by Key and Peele, which is always hilarious. There is also an excellent homage to The Shining, and a new vintage toy voiced by everyone’s favorite person Keanu Reeves. Most of the time though, you’re just waiting for the movie to end so you can go back and just re-watch the third film. Let’s just hope we can be done with this Toy Story franchise for the time being, because Toy Story 3 was perfect.
Stay til the end of the credits for a great joke from the film.