Toy Story 4: Emotional Finale Will Leave Fans in Tears of Joy

5 out of 5 stars (Classic)

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I didn’t want a Toy Story 4.  The series was a nearly perfect trilogy, and Pixar’s new crop of sequels had been solid but slightly disappointing.  Each of them missed what we had loved about the original films, relying more on nostalgia than strong scripts.  Thankfully, Toy Story 4 understands exactly why kids and adults alike adore this series, providing a funny, emotional conclusion that, despite minor flaws, is a beautiful swan song that proves some toys should be played with one last time.

Woody (Voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang have adjusted to their new kid, Bonnie (voiced by Madeleine McGraw).  While he isn’t getting as much play time as he used to, Woody works hard to bring Bonnie joy, even sneaking into preschool orientation.  She creates a spork, calling him Forky (voiced by Tony Hale), and brings him and the gang on a family road trip.  However, Forky doesn’t want to be her toy and jumps from the RV near a small town rest stop, followed by Woody.  Now he and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) set out to retrieve him, encountering new friends, foes, and even someone from the past who changes everything.  The remaining toys prevent the family from leaving, but are otherwise sidelined.

The script for Toy Story 4 was heavily reworked partway through production, thus its pacing and main plot aren’t as fluid as previous entries.  Two new characters voiced by Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key slightly annoyed me, but their humor appealed to the kids in my screening. However, Toy Story 4 retains the heart, clever wit, and subtle complexity of its predecessors, thankfully aimed at my generation more than young kids.  It gives me joy to type that Toy Story 4 is a funny, emotionally complex, and wholly satisfying end to one of film’s greatest series.  See it.

Rated G for Great Ending.

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