Toy Story 4 film review: fun and innovative as original

Toy Story 4.
Toy Story 4.

THE original Toy Story is 24 years old and it is a credit to Pixar the fourth sequel is as fun and innovative as that first film.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and the gang are a few years into being owned by Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) and Woody is struggling to come to terms with the fact he is not the favourite toy – as he was under their original owner Andy (Jack McGraw).

At Bonnie’s first day of school, she crafts a toy out of trash and names him Forky (Tony Hale), declaring him her new favourite toy.

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Toy Story 4.

However hard the toys try to convince Forky he is a toy, he insists he is still trash and tries to escape to the nearest bin.

Woody takes it upon himself to ensure Forky never leaves Bonnie’s side, made increasingly difficult when the family and the toys head off on a road trip to a carnival where they meet a host of new toys and an old friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts).

Toy Story 4.

As Woody’s love interest, Bo Peep did not have a lot to do in the original film.

In Toy Story 4, she is transformed into an independent action lady who challenges Woody’s long-held fear of becoming a lost toy.

The villain of the piece is Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), whose smiling, antique doll face is truly sinister while her ventriloquist doll henchmen provide several genuinely scary scenes.

Many new characters appear throughout the film, all highly entertaining and beautifully designed, but it does cause the original gang to be sidelined, including Buzz Lightyear.

Toy Story 4.

Toy Story 3 was about Andy and his toys learning to let go of each other as he moved on to college and they moved on to a new child, which felt like a natural conclusion to the series.

This film does extend this idea to look at whether a toy needs to belong to only one child to be fulfilled, with an ending that puts into question whether further sequels are possible.

The Toy Story films have a tricky job of needing to appeal to adult fans who grew up with the original films and a new generation of children meeting the characters for the first time.

I cannot speak for whether the films succeed with the latter, but for the former Toy Story 4 is a nostalgic and delightful trip back into childhood.

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THE ESSENTIALS

Toy Story 4 (G)

Directed by: Josh Cooley

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

Four stars

Review by: Lucy Rutherford

In cinemas June 20