The much-awaited Toy Story 4 has finally come to cinemas and it promised to be the most emotional yet – even Tom Hanks and Tim Allen got emotional recording it. So I turned up, tissues in hand, ready to crush my heart while stuffing my face with popcorn.
BEWARE! I won’t give too much away, but there will be some small spoilers coming up.
I turned up knowing I was going to cry, but I didn’t know it would be so early in the film. It starts with memories of the toys and Andy when he was younger and as he grew up – between Toy Stories 1 and 3. It showed him playing with Woody, meeting Buzz, Jessie, and Bullseye, all the way up to playing with Bonnie. It made me realise that we didn’t just watch Andy grow up, we grew up with him, went to school with him, went to college with him, and that’s why it all really hits home.
That’s why it makes Bonnie picking the other toys over Woody so upsetting. He’s looked after Andy his whole life and only knows how to look after his child. He was so worried about Bonnie on her first day of Kindergarten that instead of worrying about not being played with, he went out to look after her. After all, if he didn’t, we wouldn’t have met the wonderful Forky.
I was looking forward to meeting Forky ever since seeing him in the trailers, and he did not disappoint. Tony Hale nails this role perfectly with a friendly, yet intensely worried voice. As Forky is made of trash, it’s no surprise that the other toys have to try their hardest to keep him out of bins, which he later reveals are his happy place where he feels comfy.
It’s Forky’s determination to end up in the trash that starts the ball rolling. Woody sees Bo Peep’s lamp in the window of an antiques shop and goes looking for her. While he doesn’t find her there, we do meet the antagonists: Gabby and her crew of creepy ventriloquists dummies *shudders*. Everyone knows that ventriloquists dummies are not to be trusted, even if they do have kind of good intentions.
Who best to come to the rescue than Bo Peep herself? With her new look, she’s hard as nails now. After her lamp wasn’t selling at the shop, she abandoned it to live with the other lost toys at the park. While I love her new look and badass attitude, I did feel it could be a little too much at some points. While it appeared natural in some scenes, in others it seemed like it was all a front. But Woody still loves her, maybe even more now he’s found her again.
Pixar have come a long way in animation since the first Toy Story film. As it was the first big computer-animated film, you can’t expect it to be without its faults, but putting the two side-by-side, you can see how much computing has progressed in almost 25 years. That’s right, Toy Story came out 24 years ago in 1995. It was a huge achievement for them to even do this sort of computer-animation back then and a lot of companies didn’t trust it. But aren’t you glad Pixar embraced it?
Toy Story 4 was all about new beginnings and second chances. Forky gets a second chance as a toy. Gabby gets a second chance at finding a child. Woody gets a second chance at love. It was such a great ending for everyone.
While I thought the toys going to Bonnie would be an excellent ending to the Toy Story franchise, I’m so glad it wasn’t. However, I can see this being the last one. But hopefully not.