No no no. Toy Story 4? This is just wrong. Sounds like a definite cash grab. Why would Pixar do this? Things ended on such a strong note that anything after would be pointless and possibly harmful.
Or would it?
I honestly thought we were on a hiding to nothing as the three of us sat down to check out Toy Story 4. That maybe at best I’d like it, but it could never realistically hit the same heights. When it finished, I realised two things. Firstly, that Toy Story 4 was another genuinely emotional experience. Second, it showed me that Toy Story 3 was great, but it didn’t really provide closure.
This is hard one to get into the details on. The third film was an emotional rollercoaster, with the toys finally moving on from Andy to their new owner, Bonnie. It looked like a fitting way to end it all. But the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that Woody could never be happy. It’s his series ultimately, with each film dealing with how he deals with a change in circumstances. Based on the last three stories, we also know how well he deals with such things initially.
He ‘killed’ Buzz, nearly left his friends behind to join his original set, and then did leave them at daycare. How could he ever deal with his original owner leaving him behind! How could he deal with not being Bonnie’s #1 toy?
I love the new characters, who all get some fantastic individual moments. Newly created character Forky adds an interesting dynamic to how exactly things are given life. How do toys gain sentience? Do they need imagination applied to them? Does putting a name on them give them life? I don’t think either of those things pan out, but it’s something to think about.
My main issue with Toy Story 4 is that there are quite a few characters, and it fully focuses on Woody. Not that in itself isn’t bad, but it felt as though the other ‘originals’ are somewhat sidelined. Unless we’re talking about Bo Peep. I’m glad that particular loose end was wrapped up.
The improvement in technology is astounding. I’ve watched all four films over the past month with my daughter and wife, and to see Spud the dog vs the cat blows my mind.
Speaking of ‘daughter and wife’, it’s wonderful to be able to share films with both of them now. My wife and I are old timers, growing up with the original, but to our daughter,, Buzz and Woody are all new! This is the first series of films she’s seen in their entirety. When 4 finished, she asked the same question she did the previous three times. More Woody and Buzz please? What a series it’s been. We thought three had wrapped it up, but four does it fully. It might not be the best entry, but it’s more than worthwhile. Just remember your tissues.