Friday, June 14, 2019

Toy Story 4: Non-Spoiler Review for the Best Toy Story Movie Yet

Back in 1995, a little known company called Pixar, released the world's first computer animated movie called Toy Story and animated films have never been the same. Now, Toy Story 4 is ready to hit theaters and this may very well be the best of the entire franchise. It is charming, poignant and follows a beautiful story arc that makes a logical progression from each of the previous movies. It is also the funniest of the four. In fact, I know I missed a lot of dialogue because of all the laughter coming from the audience.

The movie begins with a flashback to where Bo Peep went and then we get back to the present time with Bonnie and her first day of school. She created a new toy named Forky and then her family is off on a road trip. Forky doesn't understand why he exists and Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky the value of being a child's toy. Along the way Woody runs into Bo Peep and we are off on our adventure.

First time Director Josh Cooley takes the themes from the previous three films and greatly expands upon them. The ending of Toy Story 3 is expanded upon in a way that feels natural. This fourth outing takes us to a small town and we learn that there can be more than one reason for a toy's purpose and more than one reason for a toy to be happy. The difference between free will and one's own purpose is expanded upon here. The other main theme of the relationship of a toy as a child has always been the theme throughout the series as we watch children grow up before our very eyes is expanded upon as well.

The new characters fit in perfectly and we learn more about each of them. I was already a fan of both Ducky and Bunny from the teaser trailers and they continue with the laughs throughout the film. The standout additions are Forky and Duke Caboom. Forky's childlike innocence is infectious and helps advance the story and a reminder of a toy's purpose. Caboom's charm and charisma steal every scene that he is in. Gabby Gabby and her ventriloquist dummies and an element of comedic horror to the mix.

The film is visually stunning and the photorealistic quality is second to none. Wait until you see the rain sequence at night. Great new characters with our old friends out on adventure that make you laugh and make you cry. Toy Story 4 works not only as a sequel to the progression of our favorite toys but also as a wonderful stand alone movie. If this is indeed the end to this franchise then it is a perfect sendoff. I would be more than happy to see if there is a fifth chapter to this beloved franchise in a few years and I will be the first to welcome Toy Story 5 with open arms.

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