Since Toy Story 4 was announced, the big question was that is it worth bringing the series back after succeeding thrice. You could argue that at least they waited 9 years to do it and during those years they received a compelling pitch for a new installment so it wasn’t a rushed process. For me Toy Story 3 was everything you’d want from an animated movie all while putting a nice bowtie for Andy’s, Woody’s and Buzz’s story. Thank the heavens that this one doesn’t meddle with that, instead it is its own retrospection of Woody’s journey and a toy’s purpose as a whole.
2019 was a massive leap for animation all around with the gorgeous sceneries of How To Train Your Dragon 3, remake of The Lion King and Frozen 2. Though with Into The Spider-Verse you might’ve expected a new trend to emerge, Toy Story 4 along with the previously mentioned upped the level in a different way. Its animation style is jaw-dropping, especially the water and grass elements in the beginning. It’s in the title but the series is constantly known for the story beats and once again they managed to tell a perfectly fitting one, taking in consideration both what came before and what will come after. Woody’s arc gets a (most likely) nice wrap-up and on the other hand Bo Peep gets a massive improvement as a character, she’s fun to watch here.
This is a feature debut for director Josh Cooley and it’s a damn impressive one. We’re always with the characters, the story is easy to follow and the way the shots are especially in the outside scenes is worth being noted. It’s all tied also to voice acting overall. Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz) and Annie Potts (Bo) are as good as ever but another highlight is also the newcomers: Keanu Reeves is incredible as Duke Caboom, Tony Hale’s anxious delivery as Forky is pure fun while Jordan Peele as well as Keegan Michael Key as Bunny and Ducky, respectively, are hilarious. The new original songs from composer Randy Newman kind of disappoint as they sound more like parodies rather than earnest anthems. Toy Story 4 also doesn’t hit as deep as mainly 3 and 1, even with the heartfelt moments between Woody, Buzz and Jessie at the end. But the film is another sincere addition to the arcs of the characters and that is something to admire.
Smileys: Animation, story, directing, voice acting
Honestly though, I thought that the rain at the start was real.