Once upon a time computed animated films were a novelty. With the exception of a few films that included CGI special effects like Tron, completely computer-animated films had no place on the big screen, instead the stuff of home release. And then in 1995 Pixar came along with a little film called Toy Story. Now over 20 years later we return to the Toy Box for the last time with Toy Story 4.
To catch you up in case you have been living in a cupboard under the stairs for the last few decades – Toy Story is the animated film by Pixar which centres around that all Toys are sentient and come alive when no one is watching. So basically a completely true documentary about your favourite toy.
In this story, we follow the adventures of Sheriff Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) the favourite toy to a boy named Andy. Over the first 3 films in the franchise, we saw Woody cope with Andy getting new favourite toys (such as Buzz Lightyear voiced by Tim Allen) and what comes from growing up with Andy moving on to College & gifting his toys to a young girl named Bonnie. Honestly, there are 3 films here and entirely worth your time if you haven’t seen them but not overly necessary to see before this latest film.
Toy Story 4 is the final chapter in the story of Woody as he copes with his new life with the other toys under the care of Bonnie. While far from Bonnie’s favourite, Woody still takes the responsibility of being a kid’s toy very seriously and takes it a step further in looking after the (slightly suicidal) new favourite toy made by Bonnie in Kindergarten – a Plastic Spork with googly eyes named Forky.
While previous films in the franchise have very much been about the buddy-toy duo of Woody and Buzz this film is all about Woody with much of the other toys from the previous films playing side characters as Woody goes AWOL to track down Bonnie’s new favourite. Along the way he will meet some new toys such as Duke Ka-Boom – Canadian’s Greatest Stuntman played by Keanu Reeves as well as some old favourites like his possible girlfriend Bo-Peep.
Pixar has been on a little bit of a sequel train of late with Wreck-It Ralph 2 and the upcoming Frozen 2 and the new Toy Story is no different in that it is more of an ending for the Toy Story franchise played as ‘The Continuing Adventures of’ rather than the final part of a series. That being said we always love to see how far Pixar has come from the original Toy Story film with slightly terrifying human animations and easter eggs that show that Pixar was the first connected film universe way before the MCU (see the Pixar Theory for more on that).
So should you go see it? This is a tough one and really depends on you. Toy Story 4 is definitely aiming to end the franchise and will stick you with a bad case of the feels towards the end. While Toy Story 3 aimed to do the same thing if you didn’t really get the closure you wanted from the last film this one will make up for it.
We would love to tell you that you should go see it just for Keanu Reeves alone, however, the amount of screentime he gets means if you have a lot of other films on your watch list you might want to knock those over first. But if you have some smaller versions that you are looking to take to see a Toy related movie then this is the one to pick (just don’t confuse it with the other living toy movie out right now).
Toy Story 4 is in cinemas across Australia right now.