MOVIE REVIEW | “Toy Story 4”

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Toy Story 4” is another perfect, computer-animated movie gift from Disney Pixar.

We begin where the third film left off, when Andy gave up his toys for college and a life full of adulting. The new toys’ owner, Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw), is just beginning kindergarten and is in for some major life adjustments of her own.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and the gang are here to help, going so far as to pull items from the trash for Bonnie to craft together a new friend – the googly-eyed spork known as Forky (Tony Hale). Created and thus brought to life in the genesis, Forky immediately is in existential crisis, questioning why he’s a toy and not trash?

Woody takes it upon himself to convince Forky to fully embrace toyhood, which turns out to be easier said than done. Bonnie soon takes the motley toy crew on a road-trippy family adventure, leading to an antique store and carnival, both of which present two different paths: the past and the future or, rather, the road not traveled.

UntitledBo Peep (Annie Potts) returns as a strong feminine force, belying the delicate countenance Woody had known, busting into and through uncharted territory with gusto and heart. Meanwhile, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is off searching for Woody, instead finding himself the prize at a carnival booth.

He is able to escape with the help of plush toy duo, Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele). It’s a mad caper for the gang trying to reunite as a whole, in the midst of deciding where they ultimately belong in the world, as individuals.

As a story-arc begun twenty-five years ago, “Toy Story 4” is poignantly present and current, and wholly relatable in lessons learned during real-time adventuring.

Nothing is stale after all this time, handling its surprisingly heavy doses of philosophical queries with maturity, nuance and tenderness.

Ultimately, we are all left to ponder topics such as identity, regret, forgiveness, transformation and finding, or rediscovering, life’s true purpose.

“Toy Story 4” is rated G and runs 90 minutes.


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