“I was made to help a child, but I don’t remember it being this hard.”
Toy Story 4 brings backs those famous toys, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, Jesse and the band of misfits, for another epic adventure. This time Woody must make sure that Bonnie’s new toy, Forky, stays to be a friend to her during her last week before Kindergarten. But as the gang sets off on Bonnie’s family vacation, Woody find himself engulfed in another situation concerning good and evil toys. In a turn of events, Toy Story 3 was not the last time we’d see our favorite toys. For myself, and I’m sure so many of you, Toy Story has had a huge impact on my life. Here we are 9 years since Toy Story 3, and the toys are coming together, once again, treating us to another film that will take us right back to being a child.
It will be incredibly hard for you not to enjoy Toy Story 4. The film didn’t have much to lose with this newest installment, especially since the original cast was here to reprise their iconic roles. Tom Hanks, who plays Woody, is the central character of this story, with the other toys, who were more prevalent in the prior films, taking a back seat. This includes Buzz not being as front and center as he had been. The story takes an eerie turn when Woody lands himself in an antique shop, and meets some rather strange toys in the process. The eerie turn does include a more horror-esque type vibe as Woody’s first encounter with Gabby Gabby, a lonely doll, plays to the ending music that was in The Shining. Lots of respect in turning Toy Story 4 into a horror movie, even if it was only for a brief second. The story at the center of the film doesn’t only tailor itself to children, but can easily be relatable for the adults. Much of the story’s premise of focusing on the future and not the past, while still being true to yourself, is something that we all need to hear.
And with a story as emotional as that, Hanks’ performance as Woody was another knock out of the park as the famous cowboy. What I loved from the characters’ voices, especially Hanks, was that their voices have seemed to age right along with their characters. The toys’ lives, now aged by constant playing, or lack thereof, begin to take its toll. So for Hanks, who has clearly aged too, made for a more vivid performance to establish the longevity of being a loyal toy to his owner. It’s hard to fully examine the strengths of the other actor’s performances, however, there were some surprises in that regard. Annie Potts comes in once again as soft-spoken Bo Peep. But this time, Bo Peep is no longer the timid and soft spoken girl we’ve seen in the prior films. Her new kick-ass persona definitely makes her a new favorite. But my favorite addition to the Toy Story world has to be Ducky and Bunny, played by none other than Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. These two were absolutely hilarious every time they were onscreen. Not to mention, they also made up the majority of laughs in the entire film. I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie for a while, but I must say that they were the comic relief that Toy Story 4 needed. As for the rest of the characters, I was surprised at how short-lived their time was onscreen. I would have loved to see more Buzz and Jesse, but I guess we had to make room for the newer characters making their debut in the film.
Toy Story is the pinnacle of emotion when it comes to childhood movies, so how could we not be excited for Toy Story 4? I would have liked for there to have been a little more screen time between Woody and Buzz, seeing as, most likely, this is where the Toys Story franchise will stop. There’s tons of humor for adults and kid humor to make your child laugh. I think that the Toy Story franchise should leave good enough alone, and leave these movies right where they have left off. But in all its Toy Story glory, the most important thing I leave you with is that Toy Story 4 will surely turn you into a child once again.
Toy Story 4
Directed by: Josh Cooley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and Keanu Reeves