Most would say that Toy Story 3 did a stellar job of concluding the saga of our favorite sentient toys. Which brings up the key question “Was Toy Story 4 necessary?”
No. It wasn’t. However, I sure as hell am glad that it exists. The folks at Disney/Pixar deserve all the credit that can be heaped upon them for making a fourth movie in a franchise not only be entertaining, but also worthy of its predecessors. Guys, Toy Story 4 is an absolute blast.
Is the storyline solid? Yes it is.
Is it funny? Yep.
Is it true to the characters we know and love? You bet.
Will it catch you in the feels? Definitely. If it doesn’t, you are a soulless monster who needs an exorcism.
Does it seem like a stale sequel at some points? Not really. Once the story gets in motion it keeps going. There are plenty of clever new ways that they explore a world where toys are living. Also, the new characters that are introduced don’t feel like proverbial cash crabs. They serve a purpose and make sense with the plot and settings of the movie.
Will the kids love it? Probably, but who cares? You’ll enjoy it and it’s animated so they’ll like it by default.
I won’t go into describing much of the plot because you’ve likely seen all the trailers and commercials. What I can say is that the return of Bo Peep is fantastic. The movie quickly updates us on what she has been up to and justifies a really significant development of her character. She’s quite the badass now and I feel it would steal the movie if it weren’t for the new characters.
I’m sure you’ve chuckled at the likes of Bunny, Ducky, and Duke Caboom from the previews. Luckily their best stuff wasn’t spoiled in advance. They’ll become the favorites of many kids and adults alike. My favorite new character was Gabby Gabby, the retro talking doll. I won’t go into any details about her because it would spoil too much. What I will say is that she’s as sympathetic as a toy could ever be.
One last observation. The voice casting for the movie deserves an award. Key & Peele, Christina Hendricks, Tony Hale, and Keanu Reeves aren’t just stunt casting efforts. They are perfectly picked to bring memorable characters to life.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Toy Story 4. It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. It’ll still be fun with multiple viewings.