Movie Review – ‘Toy Story 4’

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

The Disney film trilogy at the cinema for the summer of 2019 continues! It started with the live-action ‘Aladdin’ film in May. This month in June, we continue the trilogy by looking into the fourth instalment of a movie series that I’ve loved and grown up watching since childhood. I’ve seen ‘Toy Story 4’!

Unlike ‘Aladdin’, this is a CGI animated film by Pixar Animation Studios. Once again, the animation by Pixar for ‘Toy Story 4’ has been superb as it’s beautifully well-done. Compared to other animation films, ‘Toy Story 4’ has charm and the story has been well-crafted to match the animation style of it.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie very much. Like I said, ‘Toy Story’ is a Disney/Pixar movie series that I’ve grown up loving and watching since the first ‘Toy Story’ film back in 1995 at the cinema. I later saw ‘Toy Story 2’ in early 2000 and ‘Toy Story 3’ in 2010. The first three movies are pretty good.

I’ve also seen the ‘Toy Story Toons’ and the two short films ‘Toy Story of Terror’ and ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot’ set between ‘Toy Story 3’ and ‘Toy Story 4’. I reviewed most of these ‘Toy Story’ films on my ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog in 2016. I admit that a ‘Toy Story 4’ didn’t really need to be made.

But I was looking forward to seeing and finding out what this fourth film would be like. I heard good things about it beforehand as the critics praised it highly. I hoped to have a good time watching the film at the cinema. I have seen it twice now. First it was with my cousin; then it was with my parents.

After seeing it twice at the cinema…I found it okay. The film was decent; there was a nice story going on and like I said the animation is great. But I couldn’t help feel a little underwhelmed the first time I saw it. It was better the second time though. I just couldn’t help feel there was an anti-climax to it.

I didn’t know what to make of the movie the first time I saw it at the cinema. I felt unsatisfied by the direction it was going for at the end. I didn’t find it as funny as the first three films. Even my cousin didn’t find it as funny as the first three films. There were funny moments in the film, but not enough.

How can I explain this? Well, the story has Woody reuniting with Bo Peep. This was something that appealed to me. I missed Bo Peep in the third film and it was nice to see her back in this film. Bo Peep has fended for herself over the years and it was so intriguing to see how Woody reunited with her.

The story also focuses on a new toy that Bonnie made at school (kindergarten in America) called Forky, made out of a spork which is a spoon-fork. Woody finds himself having to babysit Forky and persuading him to know that Bonnie needs him as her new toy and not to be thrown away as ‘trash’.

The movie also has our ‘Toy Story’ characters embarking on a road trip adventure. This is when Forky gets lost; Woody recovers him and soon meets up with Bo Peep at a carnival fair. There are quite a few humorous moments that I enjoyed seeing before it got quite emotional towards the film’s end.

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen return to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear in the film. There’s also Annie Potts back as Bo Peep and Joan Cusack back as Jessie. There’s the return of Rex (voiced by Wallace Shawn), Hamm (voiced by John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (voiced by Blake Clark), Bullseye and Mrs. Potato Head (voiced by Estelle Harris).

Sadly, Don Rickles died before the film was made. But archive recordings of him as the voice of Mr. Potato Head are included in the film which is nice. There’s also the return of Dolly (voiced by Bonnie Hunt); Trixie (voiced by Kristen Schaal); Buttercup (voiced by Jeff Garlin) and Mr. Pricklepants (voiced by Timothy Dalton) from the third film.

With the past characters back for the fourth film, I did feel most of them were underused here. The film focused a lot on Woody, Buzz and Bo Peep as well as Forky. I didn’t feel Jessie did much in the film and I think it would’ve been really nice if everybody had standout moments for us all to enjoy.

In terms of new characters, there’s Forky (voiced by Tony Hale); Ducky (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key); Bunny (voiced by Jordan Peele); Billy, Goat and Gruff (Bo Peep’s sheep); Giggle McDimples (voiced by Ally Maki); Gabby Gabby (voiced by Christina Hendricks) and Duke Caboom (voiced by Keanu Reeves). Some of the new characters are quite interesting and amusing to watch in the film.

The film’s music was once again composed by Randy Newman, who did the music and songs for the first three films. It was nice to hear ‘You’ve Got a Friend In Me’ again, performed by Randy Newman. There are also two new songs in the film including ‘I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away’ sung by Randy Newman and ‘The Ballard of the Lonesome Cowboy’ sung by Chris Stapleton during the film’s end credits.

Like I said, the film has an anti-climax of an ending. At the end of the film, Woody decides to stay with Bo Peep and help lost toys find new owners. Buzz and the gang go separate ways to rejoin Bonnie. There is quite an emotional farewell as Woody and Bo receive goodbye hugs from Buzz and the gang.

Now on the one hand, I do like this. I like that Woody gets to be with Bo Peep at the end as the two have had a bit of a love story going on between them in these movies. But I also wonder why Bo Peep didn’t rejoin the gang at the end of the movie. Bonnie could’ve had another toy to play with at the film’s end.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t feel the movie ended on a note I was hoping for and that there was more still to be told. Maybe this was setting things up for ‘Toy Story 5’. I’m not sure. But I didn’t like it that Woody left the gang at the end. It means there can’t be more ‘Toy Story’ films without Woody.

The second time I saw this movie with my parents, I asked for their opinion on it. They said they found it a good film, mentioning that it had good morals and there was more of a maturity to it in terms of growing up. It was interesting to hear their insight on it and I’m glad they enjoyed the film.

I suppose a part of me is feeling that I don’t want the ‘Toy Story’ film series to end and I don’t like it when certain characters go separate ways from each other. Maybe it’s a good thing Woody’s gone off with Bo Peep at the end and I’m pleased he had a happy ending. I just want to know what happens next.

Overall, ‘Toy Story 4’ has been a decent instalment in the ‘Toy Story’ film series. I don’t think it’s as good as the first three films, but maybe I’ll change my mind when it comes getting the film on Blu-ray and reviewing it in full detail. I’m hoping to do this once I get the complete movie series on Blu-ray.

Maybe ‘Toy Story 4’ didn’t need to be made. But for what it’s worth, I’m glad I saw this film. It challenged my perception and personal feelings on how these ‘Toy Story’ movies work out. I’ll give it credit that ‘Toy Story 4’ did surprise me with its ending. It was something I didn’t expect whilst watching it.

Anyway, looking forward to the live action version of ‘The Lion King’ next in July 2019!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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