“Toy Story 4” Has Some New Tricks With Few Strings Attached


Bradley Hare, Centurion Staff

Pixar really pushed their luck with “Toy Story 4”.
Pixar already had a perfectly wonderful film trilogy with “Toy Story”, “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3.” The third installment wrapped up the series and the fourth film’s announcement only confused fans.
Some fans were outraged, others were hopeful, but they all were going to see it was worth the extra movie.
The film picks up where “Toy Story 3” left off, with Woody and the toy gang now belonging to kindergartener Bonnie. However, Woody is no longer the favorite toy and Bonnie often pushes him to the side.
Desperate to try to help Bonnie out no matter what Woody sneaks into her backpack to her first day of kindergarten. At school Woody stealthily gives Bonnie the idea to create a new toy.
Bonnie creates the new toy out of pipe cleaners, crayon, glue, googly eyes and a plastic fork. She gives the toy the name of Forky, and he reluctantly comes to life.
Now it’s up to Woody to save Forky from throwing himself away and make him accept that he’s now a toy and not a fork anymore.
Upon first starting the movie, you’re instantly hit with a wonderfully dark and stormy night.
Raindrops falling onto the gravel with intense speeds, lights that are on fading the further they go. The detail is insane. Even if you think this film is a cash grab, calling the animation and visuals rushed is a severe disservice to Pixar.
That said, once the actual story starts, that’s where the age of these toys starts to show. Woody finds himself torn between two worlds, his current world with a life with his kid, or the life of a runaway toy with his old friend Bo Peep.
Meanwhile, the rest of the toy gang fears the worst and tries to save Woody.
If this sounds familiar to “Toy Story 2”, don’t worry too much, differences pop up enough to make it feel more unique.
Woody’s run-in with Bo Peep has him exposed to the idea of being a lost toy with no child.
Bo is happy at the idea of having no kid while Woody can’t imagine such a fate befalling him.
The story itself feels like there was still more that could be said. While there are some hints that Woody may be too loyal for his own good, it feels like the story is forcing Woody down a certain path, leading up to an incredibly awkward and force fight between Bo Peep and Woody that really didn’t need to be there.
On the topic of characters, they are disappointing more often than not. Woody and Bo Peep are the main focus of the film after all, and their character arcs are done greatly.
The main antagonist of the
film is antique baby doll Gabby Gabby, who is after Woody’s voice box. You really do begin
to feel for her and how
genuinely desperate she is for
the voice box.
The new toy characters are fun, like Duke Kaboom a stuntman with a hilariously tragic past, and the two plushies, Ducky and Bunny with their own hilarious antics.
However, the rest of the
characters aren’t that special. Despite being funny, Forky’s character arc is resolved so quickly I think it qualifies for a world record.
And then, veteran toy Buzz light year;
my favorite character of the franchise, is just reduced to a joke of him not knowing what a conscious is and thinking it’s his voice box. It gets old real fast and feels like they have to make Buzz look like an idiot.
While the characters and story can be lacking, the jokes can be funny, with more hits than misses.
Despite all the rough play
sessions these toys had, the film is still as sturdy and a welcome addition to the Toy Story franchise. Let’s just hope that this time, we don’t see anything else that happened to infinity and beyond.
Overall Score: 7/10