Toy Story 4 is the latest in the Toy Story franchise which began in 1995 as the first fully computer animated feature film and all of the previous movies have been award-winning films. A production from Pixar for Walt Disney Pictures using all of your favorite all-star actors from the series is a tall order to fill, but it delivered in a big way. Available in several platforms, we saw it in 2D IMAX. Get your popcorn and drink, bring some tissues, and prepare for non-stop entertainment.
The movie begins nine years prior to the end of the last movie—Andy is still young and worried about Woody being missing. Woody has gone after Bo Peep and tries to help her escape from a box. Bo reminds Woody she didn’t belong to Andy and he can’t stop her from leaving.
Fast forward to Bonnie’s world. A lot of the toys have been swept into the closet and worry they’ve become “lost toys”—the worst place for toys to be. Once forgotten, they are at risk… Bonnie is going to kindergarten orientation and Woody tags along in her backpack. Alone at a table, another boy takes the craft supplies from her, and she’s feeling sad. Woody saves the day by finding a few discarded items in the trash and placing them in front of her. Forky comes to be from a spork and a few other bits of art scraps. Forky is constantly confused and thinks he’s trash, so he’s always escaping. It’s a fun running gag throughout the movie.
With a week’s vacation before school starts, Bonnie’s family is taking a road trip in an RV. All the toys are in the RV, including Forky. Woody has assigned himself the role as guardian of Forky and the two of them are left behind at a stop. Woody explains to Forky the importance of being a loved toy. As they come into town where the campground is, Woody sees Bo Peep’s lamp in a window display of an antique store. He knows she must be somewhere nearby.
Woody and Forky enter the store to search for her, but they meet up with some other toys. A chatty doll named Gabby Gabby discovers Woody’s string and voicebox work, and she wants it—hers has always been defective. She uses her minions of ventriloquist puppets, the Bensons, to corral Woody and Forky. Woody escapes, but Gabby refuses to give Forky back without Woody’s voicebox.
In the town park, Woody and Bo Peep are reunited while evading a bus load of kids. Bo drives a motorized skunk which is a great way to foil people from capturing her and a few other toys in her menagerie, including some soldiers and a Little People female cop named Giggles. Bo agrees to help Woody rescue Forky.
At the same time, Buzz is trying to use his inner voice—Woody had previously tried to explain about one’s conscience, but Buzz misunderstood and thinks it means his command buttons which seem to have the perfect advice he needs—to help guide him as he searches for Woody and Forky.
Antics ensue as Woody and Bo enlist the help of a 70s Canadian daredevil toy: Duke Caboom, a hilarious stuntman with a lot of near-misses in his attempts at success, complete with a fun catchphrase: “I CANada!” Meanwhile, Buzz becomes part of a carnival game and meets the comedic duo Ducky and Bunny as he tries to help find Woody and Forky.
Through all of the escapades, we are reminded of friendship, sacrifice, love, and knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. Unexpected decisions are made, and it’s very emotional near the end. Toy Story 4 is nostalgic, heartwarming, and adventurous. The soundtrack filled with music from Randy Newman has all the feels. Be prepared to laugh, cry, be startled, wonder what will happen at each turn, and in the end—is it over? Will there be another? Who knows? Stay through the credits–in the beginning, there are hijinks interspersed in the roll, and at the very end, two very special tributes. It’s a must-see movie for the whole family. Toy Story 4 will take you on a sentimental journey “To infinity and beyond!”
Toy Story 4 opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.
Toy Story 4 Official Trailers