With a new lease on life, Andy’s toys are now Bonnie’s toys and have a new child to love and care for. In Toy Story 4, when Bonnie goes to Orientation Day for her new kindergarden, in what would have been an otherwise awful experience, Woody practically is Bonnie’s guardian angel and saves the day. Inspired by the breadcrumbs that Woody leaves behind to help her, Bonnie creates a new friend, Forky and slowly chaos ensues.
Forky voiced by Tony Hale, doesn’t understand what it means to be a toy, nor be loved by a child. So Forky keeps trying to (hilariously) escape and desires to be thrown in the trash – because apparently to a plastic spork, the trash is a ‘happy place’. As Woody has always been the leader of the pack, Woody assumes responsibility to fetch Forky and reunite him with Bonnie.
In the previous three glorious Toy Story films, Andy’s toys have always been against getting abandoned by their owners or lost, thriving on the love from their child. But for some reason, in Toy Story 4, getting lost isn’t considered such a bad thing – which not only makes no sense to me but is completely out of character. While I appreciate the loopholes being sewn up by explaining Bo-Peep’s sudden disappearance from the franchise, this reunion was not enough to satisfy me due to the awful way that Toy Story 4 ends. Yes, it’s great being reunited with the Toy Story gang again after nine years, but at what cost?
Tom Hanks is wonderful, bringing our beloved cowboy, Woody back to the big screens. His performance is flawless, effortless and extremely heartfelt. While it is great to hear all the original voice actors including Tim Allen as our favourite space ranger Buzz Lightyear, the comradery we have experienced from previous Toy Story films is disappointingly nowhere to be seen.
I loathed new character Gabby Gabby voiced by Christina Hendricks as I found her extremely manipulative and creepy. Her minions sure didn’t help ease the creep factor either. While she may have shown one redeeming quality (and I do mean one), the way she goes about getting what she wants is through selfishness, self-preservation and the unfortunate unconditional kindness of others.
I know I have a lot of negative criticism for this film but there were some things that I did surprisingly enjoy. For starters, Pixar are just as good as ever with their nostalgic visuals, bringing us back into the Toy Story world. I also enjoyed Forky and really loved the scene where Woody and Forky have a heartfelt conversation while heading back to reunite with Bonnie. Keanu Reeves is basically himself with his character Duke Caboom and I guess this is forgivable because who doesn’t love Keanu Reeves? But it is Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s characters Ducky and Bunny that are the saving grace in an otherwise depressing animation, providing much needed comic relief.
I guess if you are really curious to check out Toy Story 4, you can. Because if it does do well at the box office, I would hope a fifth one comes along to undo all the things they did in THIS one. I am not a Toy Story hater. In fact, I love Toy Story. The third one even made me literally sob for half an hour (and everytime I have watched it). But Toy Story 4 is not the Toy Story world that I fell in love with. The previous Toy Story films are heartfelt, beautiful, endearing and wonderful masterpieces. Toy Story 4 has no heart.