Toy Story 4

The fourth installment in the beloved computer animated Pixar Toy Story series that began with the original released in 1995, Toy Story 4 is a clever and bittersweet follow-up to the widely popular Toy Story franchise and lives up to the other movies that brings back nostalgia for the original characters while also presenting new and fun characters. The movie follows the group of Andy’s toys as they have been the toys for the kindergarten-aged Bonnie for several years, and they face a new challenger for Bonnie’s affection as she heads off to kindergarten. Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, is still the leader of the toys but has recently been left out as Bonnie decides to play with other toys, including Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen. One day at kindergarten orientation, Bonnie makes her own toy made from a spork and other craft supplies and names him Forky, voiced by Tony Hale. Woody encourages Forky who insists he is only trash to stay with Bonnie as her new favorite toy that can help guide her through kindergarten like Woody did for Andy years ago. Struggling to keep Forky with Bonnie, the family goes on a road trip with the toys and a cute and humor-filled adventure begins as Woody encounters new and quite scary toys in a small town antique shop. Always saddened by the loss of the shepherdess Bo Peep, voiced by Annie Potts, Woody discovers a possible clue to finding his love Bo again. However, Woody along with the other toys, including his best friend Buzz Lightyear, face obstacles to returning to Bonnie and finding Bo Peep with the appearance of a devious old doll named Gabby Gabby, voiced by Christina Hendricks, and her creepy ventriloquist dummies. My favorite part of the movie is the appearance of the character Duke Caboom, voiced by the perfectly cast Keanu Reeves, who is a Canadian daredevil toy and is a laughably depressed toy because he cannot do as advertised. filmmakers and animators do a brilliant job of realistically recreating an antique shop and carnival to replace Andy’s and Bonnie’s bedrooms as the more expansive settings for the characters’ unique adventures. Overall, I found it to be a charming film that was somehow able to continue the magic and witticism of the original released almost 25 years ago and appeals to both adults and children as a result of its remarkable ability to entertain while also teaching lessons about growing up and loss.

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