Review: Toy Story 4

Director: Josh Cooley
Screenwriters: Stephany Folsom, Andrew Stanton
Starring: (voices of) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Keegan Michael-Key, Jordan Peele
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Kids/Family
Release Dates: 6/21/19 (Wide Theatrical); 10/1/19 (Disc/Streaming-Disney+)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

I’m not sure if this movie was needed, seeing as Toy Story 3 ended so terrifically that it seemed like the end of the toys’ stories (see what I did there?), yet it’s hard not to love seeing Woody, Buzz, and the others yet again — and supposedly for the last time.  I grew up with these movies, having been only seven when the first one was released in 1995.  And, like the franchise’s [human] characters, I’ve grown considerably.  The fourth installment is perhaps the funniest and goofiest one, introducing new toys such as Tony Hale’s delightfully inept Forky and Keanu Reeves’ scene-stealing Canadian stuntman Duke Kaboom.  And, the ending is both bittersweet and earned.  Yet, I can’t help but wish more time was spent with the characters we already knew so well, rather than with characters we meet for the first time or haven’t seen in years (i.e. Bo Peep).  That said, Woody’s struggle to figure out his place in the world is understandable and relatable.

Grade: A-