I was apprehensive about Toy Story 4 (and all the sequels and reboots lately), until I saw the trailer and was intrigued by Forky. Toy Story 3 wrapped everything up nicely that a another film wasn’t needed, but the fourth one exceeded my expectations, and in the end justified why it was worth creating.
Toy Story 4 chronicles Bonnie’s transition into kindergarten where she makes Forky as a new friend. To the surprise of Woody, Forky comes to life. As Bonnie’s new favourite toy, Woody vows to keep him safe. Forky doesn’t want to be Bonnie’s toy and keeps trying to escape into the trash.
I thought the plot was going to be predicable. It sounded like the first movie all over again where Woody had to convince Buzz that he was a toy while also being jealous of Andy playing with him more. Thankfully it surprised me. After all these years, Woody had to develop as a character. Toy Story films do seem to have their own mono-myth so this wasn’t absolutely ground breaking in terms of the plot. However it was refreshing in it’s own way.
This film really highlighted just how far Pixar have come in terms on animation. At first people thought it was funny how different Andy looked in the Toy Story 4 trailer compared to the first film. Let’s be honest – Andy looked creepy back then. There’s some absolutely gorgeous scenes in this film. They took so much work, time, and care to perfect, and it was worth it.
I found this film to be funnier than it’s predecessors. Characters like Duke Caboom, and Ducky & Bunny are my favourite new characters. I think the concept of kids making their own toys was also a wonderful addition to the franchise. Kids actually do that! You can buy a kid a toy and they have a better time with the box it came in! One of my most cherished toys was something I made.
What I didn’t like
What I didn’t like was that Andy’s toys, including Buzz, were on the sidelines. I didn’t have a problem with Bonnie’s toys being more involved, but given that we know and love Andy’s toys it felt like they were cast aside. Slinky, Rex, Ham, and the Potato Heads didn’t have much screen time or dialogue and it felt wrong.
Unfortunately Don Rickles, the voice actor for Mr Potato Head passed away before production started. They used clips of his voice from other movies and games. Although that explains a quieter Mr Potato Head, it doesn’t explain why the rest weren’t involved much. Bo was different to how we remember her, but I don’t think her development was out of character from the first two films. I was really glad they developed her more rather than simply leaving her as Woody’s love interest.
This film made me feel sad for Andy. He only gave Woody away because he thought he was going to be Bonnie’s favourite toy. To an extent, they did disregard the previous films.
The bottom line
I teared up a few times but was actually in tears at the end which I never expected. If I was gonna cry at any point of the franchise it would have been the end of the third film, but I didn’t cry then. Andy’s toys feel like my toys, which it why it made me emotional. I even had Slinky when I was very young. Pixar might have made this film for the now adults who grew up with these films. They probably know we’re all probably having quarter life crisis’ now and Forky is the embodiment of an existential crisis. I think that the actual kids right now it might be a bit heavy or un-relatable.
Overall, it’s a fantastic movie, not perfect, but I would still highly recommend it, just make sure to bring tissues!