After Disney & Pixar released Toy Story 3 earning critical acclaim from critics and families alike as well as winning an Oscar for “Best Animated Feature,” a fourth film was in development since 2014. Rashida Jones signed up to co-write a screenplay with Andrew Stanton & Pete Doctor. John Lasseter signed on to direct the fourth installment. John confirmed that the sequel follows Woody & Buzz reuniting with Bo Peep after the latter character was absent since Toy Story 3. Rashida Jones dropped out due to creative differences. To put salt in the wound, John Lasseter left Pixar for groping employees. Oh how the mighty have fallen! John why did you betray the film industry as a registered groper?! You were made a game changing movie as one of my favorite movies of all time?
After John Lasseter left, storyboard artist Josh Cooley took over directing duties, Andrew Stanton rewrote the script. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Woody, because if he wants to come back for a Toy Story sequel, he has to make sure if the script has emotional investment for the audience who grew up watching the original. Tom has a point, if you want to bring the older generation back to theaters along with a new generation you have to raise the stakes for the characters going through an emotional roller coaster. Tim Allen, Joan Cusack among many other cast members from the last three installments reprise their roles. After a nine year hiatus, “Toy Story 4” is finally distributed worldwide.
Toy Story 4 is currently out in theaters worldwide. Like its predecessors, the fourth installment earned positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. It’s currently generating revenue at the box office.
Today’s review doesn’t contain any crucial SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article if you haven’t refresh your memory to rewatch the last three installments. Does Toy Story 4 live up to a nine year hiatus? Well let’s find out shall we fellow movie goers?
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: The Cast from the last three films such as Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Annie Potts, Wallace Shawn, Blake Clark, (filling in Jim Varney’s role) Jeff Garlin, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Bonnie Hunt, & Pixar’s good luck charm John Ratzenberger reprise their iconic roles and they all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Newcomers to the series including Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele & Keanu Reeves all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.
After Don Rickles died, Pixar incorporated unused recorded dialogue from films, video games & commercials to bring back Mr. Potato Head after Don’s family begged Pixar to hear his voice one last time, but not in a disrespectful manner.
Animation is polished like a pair of expensive boots. Character Models, environmental detail and everything depicted looked incredibly gorgeous. Pixar has come a long way since their short film “Luxo Jr.”
Pixar storyboard artist, Josh Cooley did an amazing job directing the movie.
Andrew Stanton co-wrote the script.
Despite dropping out, Rashida Jones is credited as a writer.
Randy Newman orchestrated music for the fourth entry. He also wrote two songs titled, “The Ballad Of The Lonesome Cowboy” & “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away.”
Due to Character Development from the last three films, Woody is no longer a narcissist who wants to seek attention. He’s depicted as a responsible yet wiser toy who’ll do anything to keep his owner happy.
Forky, Gabby Gabby, Duke Caboom, Ducky & Bunny were unique as each one has a distinctive personality not carbon copies of the main characters.
Humor retains the first three film’s visual gags, witty dialogue & pop culture references.
Duke’s background and flaw is played for laughs.
My favorite part of the film is a scene that reminded me of “Monster-In-Law.” If you’ve seen both Monster-In-Law & Toy Story 4, I think you might probably get it. I’m giving this scene Bonus Points for making me laugh my butt off.
A flashback plays a pivotal part. I don’t wanna tell you. This non-spoiler article is classified.
A quote from “The Matrix” is referenced.” We all know Keanu Reeves portrayed Neo in “The Matrix Trilogy.”
Oh dear god. I refuse to tell you about The Ending. If I were you, bring a couple of tissues. You think “The Notebook” was sad? Well guess again! Pixar is known for making every demographic cry. All I can say is bittersweet.
The marching band drummer from the short film, “Tin Toy” makes a cameo appearance.
Scenes are shown during The Mid-Credits. Make sure you stay seated!
Mel Brooks, Carl Weathers, Betty White, Patricia Arquette, Carl Reiner, Bill Hader & Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) have voiceover cameos.
Negative: A “we are through” cliche happened in a Toy Story film. The cliche is predictable in nearly every buddy cop film or romantic comedy, because we all know two people or more will forgive each other finished what they’ve started.
The Final Verdict: A-
Toy Story 4 is another journey for the toys we all know in love, face an emotional roller coaster that’ll make you weep uncontrollably. If it weren’t for an overused cliche, I would’ve given Toy Story 4 an A. (my highest grade) Despite one gripe, I actually enjoyed Woody & Buzz’ return on the big screen. If you grew up watching the Pixar films during its early years & want to introduce your kids to the recent film, I strongly recommend all three Toy Story films before you and your family can finally see Toy Story 4. The fourth installment is worth the price of admission.
R.I.P. Don Rickles. Thank you for entertaining people with your jokes. Somewhere in heaven, you’re making God, Jesus & Jim Varney laugh.