Nine years after we blubbered bittersweet tears at the near-perfect “conclusion” to the TOY STORY saga, we are given an extra instalment. Necessary? Not really. Enjoyable? Read on to find out…
In a lovely opening montage, we recap the ever-loyal Woody’s transition from his beloved Andy to his new “kid” Bonnie. Woody may be just as loyal, but he has fallen from the lofty favourite toy status he enjoyed with Andy. Instead, Bonnie favours a dodgy craft creature, “Forky”, who seems hell-bent on discarding himself as trash. Aware of how much Bonnie needs her new plastic pal, Woody tasks himself with making Forky realise he is a toy.
While it embodies the same heart and has similar values at its core, TOY STORY 4 has a different feel than its predecessors – namely due to the more modern comedy style (there’s also a decent helping of adult humour). Thankfully it doesn’t stray too far from what we know and love, partly owing to the warm and fuzzy songs by Randy Newman which help keep it grounded in familiar territory.
As with all the TOY STORY films, the voice work is strong. There is also the hilarious new of addition of Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom. The animation is beautiful (as always) and the script well-paced for a younger audience.
A newbie to the franchise may be equally besotted with this fourth instalment, but as someone who enjoyed the story coming full circle almost a decade ago, this new addition seems a little unnecessary. With Woody’s story arc so expertly concluded in TOY STORY 3, I personally felt his character had little development to do. As such, the narrative felt a little weak.
TOY STORY 4 is a funny and sweet flick that brings the franchise to a whole new generation of kids. But for us oldies who were there at the beginning, it’s simply a lovely, not-strictly-needed revisit to some well-loved characters.
I rate it 7 stars.