I thought that the Toy Story franchise had wrapped up with Toy Story 3 back in 2010, and I was a bit iffy but also excited when I found out about Toy Story 4 being released. I asked myself many times what more is there to Toy Story? The story felt like it was over for fans after Andy went off to college in Toy Story 3. However, Toy Story 4 is not a waste of time. In fact, it is charming, funny, positive, and will leave viewers laughing one moment and in tears the next. The gang we love including Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen), and Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack) are all back for another amusing adventure that fans and family will enjoy for years to come. The song, You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman (which was released in 1995 the year the first Toy Story released), brings back the nostalgic feelings of the previous adventures and memories from the other Toy Story movies when viewers are reunited with the characters they love. These same warm feelings came to me starting with Toy Story 2 back in 1999 and then again eleven years later with Toy Story 3 in 2010, and now with Toy Story 4.
The plot of this Toy Story movie involves Woody, Buzz, and all the other toy characters we know ending up on a road trip to visit the child Bonnie (voiced by Madeleine McGraw). A stick figure toy comes into the story named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). They expect the trip to be a positive experience, however, for Woody the trip becomes a nightmare. Woody comes face to face with his friend that he has been out of touch with for a while and that character is Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts). She was the one in the previous films who was part of Andy’s world that they all lived in, and she would always try to convince Woody to have a positive attitude in his moments of agitation or frustration. She was in the first and second film, but absent from the third one. The trip has some crazy disasters, and other toy problems that make this movie a rollercoaster ride of laughs. However, for Woody and Bo they come to realize they are from two completely different worlds in terms of being toys. Through their experiences, they find out that the world is bigger and more stressful than believed it to be.
What I love about the Toy Story movies is how the toy characters learn that there are situations in life they need to live with even though it might not always be fair. In the first Toy Story, Woody was jealous that Buzz came into the picture, because he felt that Andy would lose interest in him. After that, Woody saved Buzz from the bully Sid and they have been good buds since. In Toy Story 2, Woody ended up meeting Jessie and she was someone who was alone, so he let her into his environment with the toy characters he had lived with for ages. When Toy Story 3 came around, Andy went off to college and the main toys in his life felt they were not going to be in a safe environment, but they ended up finding a new home in a different child’s life. Now with Toy Story 4 there are new positive elements that fans will love. However, they need watch this for themselves to see.
The Toy Story movies are special because there are so many moments in the films where there are silver linings waiting to be discovered. Even in the saddest of times, positive messages come through. I admire how the goal of the Toy Story movies is to make people feel encouraged and happy by the end. I absolutely love every Toy Story movie, and this is one of the best films of the summer. Four stars.