Back in 2010, Toy Story 3 gave what many fans thought was the perfect ending to Pixar’s trilogy. In an emotional scene, a grown-up Andy gave Tom Hanks’ Woody, Tim Allen’s Buzz and the gang over to little Bonnie as he said goodbye to his childhood. Naturally, when Toy Story 4 was announced, some fans were outraged. However, having seen the latest instalment in the series, its existence is certainly warranted.
Toy Story 4 is another solid outing in the series that’s just as good as its predecessors. Set not long after the end of the third outing, we see new toys introduced and old favourites returning.
Tony Hale’s Forky, a confused spork with pipe cleaner arms and lollypop stick legs, gets the biggest laughs alongside Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom (Canada’s greatest stuntman) and Key & Peele’s Ducky and Bunny.
While the return of Annie Potts’ Bo Peep is very welcome after her absence from Toy Story 3.
This time the shepherdess and love-interest of Woody has a major role; having evolved from the damsel-in-distress of the first two films to a strong independent leader – a move that feels completely natural in her character development.
Without spoiling where the plot goes in its exploration of what it really means to be a toy, the ending totally justifies Toy Story 4’s existence.
And just as Hanks and Allen teased, it’s another tear-jerker for fans, so make sure to bring the tissues.
However, this heartwarming film isn’t without its problems, giving a lack of screen time to some of the regulars.
The likes of Jessie, Rex, Slinky, Hamm and the Potato Heads barely have anything to do, while Buzz’s sub-plot of listening to his inner voice isn’t weighty enough for Woody’s No 2.
Although, wonderfully the late Don Rickles’ Mr Potato Head was incorporated thanks to unused voice recordings from previous films – a fitting tribute and inclusion of one of the franchise favourites.
Additionally, the animation is gorgeous and painstakingly detailed from just the right reflections and shadows to the continuity of Woody’s arm stitching from Toy Story 2.
For some fans, Toy Story 4 will feel like an epilogue to the third film, but after such a warm return to these characters here’s hoping there’s more to come.
Certainly, this ending has room for more adventures further down the line…and beyond.
Toy Story 4 is released in UK cinemas on June 21, 2019.