Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang are back for Toy Story 4. Along with returning favorites are plenty of new characters. Check out our Toy Story 4 Review with some parental guidance.
Toy Story 4 Review
Place in the Toy Story World
At the end of Toy Story 3, Andy is leaving for college and gives the gang of toys to a young girl, Bonnie.
Toy Story 4 starts with a scene in the past that shows how Bo Peep was separated from the rest of the gang prior to the events of Toy Story 3. I loved this past scene because it included Andy and his sister Molly in the film.
The action then jumps to the present day. The toys are with Bonnie who is heading to Kindergarten. Later in the film, Woody reunites with Bo Peep who is now a toy without a kid. Bo Peep plays a large role in the film in helping Woody rescue Forky and help Buzz and Woody find their way back to Bonnie.
Thoughts on Characters
Toy Story 4 adds some great new allies for Woody and Buzz. Forky, a friend that Bonnie created at Kindergarten orientation harkens back to the original days of Buzz in insisting “I am not a toy!” Woody takes Forky under his wing once he sees how much Bonnie loves Forky.
Ducky and Bunny (Key and Peele) are standouts as plush carnival prizes. I also enjoyed Duke Caboom, a daredevil stunt toy voiced by Keanu Reeves.
Unfortunately, the screen time for the new characters comes at the expense of the existing characters. Hamm, Mr Potato Head, Rex, Slinky Dog, and others are reduced to mere bit players. Even Jessie’s role is greatly diminished in this movie. The diminished role is probably how they were able to use existing recordings for Mr Potato Head since Don Rickles passed away before recording his role.
Our Toy Story 4 Review
While Toy Story 3 wrapped up Andy’s story and time with Woody and Buzz, it left open the door to new adventures with Bonnie. These adventures started in TV specials and shorts and continue with Toy Story 4. This movie definitely provides a more definitive ending to the series.
I asked my daughter for a quote about the movie.
“A lot of times when a series goes on this long, it isn’t good. But, yes I did like it. I think it might be the last movie – potential spoiler alert, so I’m not going to say why” – My 13 year old
I agree that often times the quality of a series erodes over time. Personally, I thought Toy Story 3 was the best. Toy Story 4 does not quite live up to that, but it is a worthy addition to the franchise.
Toy Story 4 Trailer
About Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 opened on June 21, 2019
Parental Guidance for Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 is rated G. After seeing the movie, I was a little surprised it was not rated PG. There are several instances of suspense that might be intense for younger children.
The new antagonist in the movie is Gabby Gabby. Her henchmen are ventriloquist dummies and they are made out to be creepy. My first thought was the evil dummy from the Goosebumps series. But young kids may not have this association and they may not seem as menacing.
It almost seems that Toy Story 4 got a G rating because the prior installments were also G. I think if your child is ok with the prior Toy Story movies, they will be ok with Toy Story 4.
Final Thoughts on Toy Story 4
Yes, we recommend seeing Toy Story 4. We saw a regular 2D movie, so I can’t comment on the importance or quality of IMAX or 3D.
Make sure you stay through the beginning of the closing credits. There are a couple of extra scenes. After the fact, I heard that there is a final tribute to Don Rickles (Mr Potato Head) and an animator Adam Burke.
Did you see Toy Story 4? Let us know what you thought.