Toy Story 4 brings the characters alive in more ways than one

A riveting film on self-discovery


Anushka Patil, News Editor

On June 21, 2019, Toy Story 4, a sequel in Pixar’s popular Toy Story franchise, made its way into theaters nationwide, bringing with it the franchise’s stellar animations and characters.

Kindergartner Bonnie embarks on a road trip with her parents, taking her toys, including a new one, Forky, along with her. As the adventure progresses, Forky proves to be a challenge that Sheriff Woody must fix. While Woody attempts to get Forky to cooperate, he ends up running into his old friend Little Bo Peep. Throughout the movie, Woody is faced with multiple obstacles and events that allow him to see what he desires for his future.

The film was directed by Josh Cooley, with Rashida Jones, Andrew Stanton, Will McCormack, and Stephany Folsom working on the screenplay. The movie’s box office result was significantly lower than those of the previous films in the series but still surpassed its 200 million dollar budget. As expected with such its high budget, the movie delivers incredible visuals and details for the entertainment of its viewers. The colors, animations, and designs come together to bring life not only to the toys but to the movie itself.

Tom Hanks starred again as the voice behind the beloved character of Sheriff Woody, along with many esteemed actors and actresses such as Annie Potts (Little Bo Peep), Tony Hale (Forky), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Christina Hendricks (Gabby Gabby), Keanu Reeves, (Duke Caboom), and Madeleine McGraw (Bonnie).

The film starts off with a flashback to Woody’s life when he belonged to a young boy named Andy. During the rainy night, the film depicts the sad reality of being a toy, in which a toy will eventually be forgotten. In the saddening scene, viewers watch as Woody reacts to the unfortunate event of Little Bo Peep being sent off for donation. This heartfelt scene sets the theme in motion for the rest of the film based on whether a toy chooses to remain loyal to their owner whether or not the owner is fulfilling the toy’s desire to be played with, or if a toy chooses to remain loyal to themselves by being a toy for countless children to play with for a short amount of time.

In my opinion, this scene is necessary and includes key information for the viewers to keep in the back of their minds throughout the duration of the movie. As this movie has a lot to live up to, considering the great execution of the previous three films, the first scene of Toy Story 4 does a good job at setting the film up to be as riveting as the others.

As the movie progresses, the new characters of Forky, Duke Caboom, Ducky, Bunny, and Gabby Gabby become major parts of the story. One thing that I think this movie was able to fully capture were the different sides of each of these characters, regardless of being newly introduced. Instead of throwing in a group of characters with poorly developed personalities, I feel as though the movie adds the right amount of dialogue, actions, and events in order to highlight and enhance the presence of each of the new characters, which fully develop toys that the audience can understand and relate with.

Also, the film includes heavy amounts of emotional dialogue that tie into the strong narrative of the movie in order to create a story that keeps the audience wondering how the actions taking place will affect the greater scheme of the film. Leading the movie, the idea of self-discovery is a powerful force of emotion that carries the plot of the film. The characters’ words carry a delicate amount of emotion to keep the dialogue serious but not serious enough to pose as heavy for the children who have come to watch. I believe that the intricate details of hiding a grander meaning behind the simple discussions between the characters prove to be properly executed in order to leave the movie a childhood favorite but still interesting enough for all ages to enjoy.

The humor bestowed by the characters to the viewers allows for numerous laughs throughout the film. The different types of personalities of each of the characters, namely Ducky, Bunny, and Duke Caboom, allow for hilarious scenes in which the audience is bound to find funny. One part of the movie that is notably entertaining is when unexpected mishaps may lead Bonnie’s father to jail!

Aside from being filled with unforgettable laughs, the aspect that separates the movie from the rest of the films in the franchise is the tone that it has and the mood that it creates for the audience. The film delves into a deeper, more sophisticated realm of thought that shows intentions of making the audience view Toy Story 4 in a different way than that of the previous films. The film adds new characters, a new plot, and a new goal, while still using characters and ideas from the other movies in the franchise, making Toy Story 4 a sequel that does not take away prestige from the franchise by being a movie that does not live up to the rest of the films.

My only critique is that I did not find any notable flaws with this inventive tale about self-discovery.

Overall, I feel that Toy Story 4 is able to include and appropriately deliver the major attributes of a memorable movie. This beautiful and heart-tugging movie is a must-see in my opinion because it brings back memories in older viewers while still presenting a unique, lively storyline that causes the audience to debate the meaning of life.