Movie review: Toy Story 4 (Pixar)

a fine coda

Toy Story 4I saw Toy Story 4 in a movie theater, the Spectrum 8 in Albany. Every Toy Story I’ve seen at a cinema. Since the first two movies came out in 1995 and 1999, respectively, pre-parenthood, it was my own volition in seeing them.

The third film I saw with my wife but without my daughter in 2010. Since my wife and daughter saw #4 without me, I saw it by myself.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and the rest of the toys are on a road trip with Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) and her parents (Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan), just before Bonnie enters kindergarten. The toys’ primary task is keeping track of the new character named Forky (Tony Hale), who has issues.

Woody unexpectedly runs into his long-lost friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts), now a “lost” toy. They have philosophical differences when it comes to what the role of a toy should be. Bo, despite her porcelain construction, is impressive.

Ultimately, Woody, Bo, and some new friends such as Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele), have a mission. They have to sneak into the antique store run by Margaret (June Squibb), a place Bo knows too well. It’s not just the old-school doll Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), but her friends, all of whom are creepy identical ventriloquist dummies named Benson.

There is a lot of insecurities revealed in Toy Story 4, including from daredevil Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves). It can be difficult to find your place in the world, even if you’re a doll.

This is a fine coda to the franchise. Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Jessie (Joan Cusack) had smaller but vital roles in the narrative. I LOLed at a scene involving dependence on GPS.

Toy Story 4 received a 98% positive rating in Rotten Tomatoes. Matthew Norman of the London Evening Standard wrote: “The legislation it flouts is the law of diminishing returns which governs movies with numbers after their names.”

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Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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