Toy Story 4
24 years after Pixar’s inaugural film and introduction into our lives, the “Toy Story” franchise has come to its conclusion with “Toy Story 4.” All of our favorites from the original film are back with a few new amazing characters. We pick up essentially shortly after we left “Toy Story 3,” when Andy gave his toys to a little girl named Bonnie. Like Andy, Bonnie is a very imaginative little girl who loves and takes good care of all of her toys.
The story starts with Bonnie being nervous about her Kindergarten orientation.
Bonnie wasn’t allowed to take any toys with her to her to orientation. Out of fear, she makes a new toy using items she found in the trash, and has given life to Forky. When Forky is brought home to meet the other toys, Forky immediately rejects the idea that he is a toy and insists he is trash. He is constantly trying to return to the trash can and Woody tirelessly tries to explain Forky that he is now a toy and just how important he is to Bonnie. This has certain parallels of the first film when Woody was first trying to convince Buzz Lightyear that he was a toy and not an actual space ranger.
When Bonnie’s parents decide to take a road trip in their RV, they stop in a small town with an antique store and a carnival. It is here where the audience is introduced to new toys (and has Woody reunite with an old one.) Bo Peep is back living as a nomadic toy with no owner and completely independent. She has now fully embraced the life of being “free” and briefly tries to convince Woody to do the same. Ducky and Bunny are carnival prizes that are attached together and come up with the most devious plans to overcome a challenge that never even get attempted.
One of the new (and more important) characters we encounter is Gabby Gabby, a pull-string doll from Woody’s time with a defective voice box. She is protected by clone marionettes with no strings and one of the only toys that doesn’t speak. (Genius.) Convinced that the reason that Gabby Gabby never had an owner was because of her defective voice box, she tries to take Woody’s so that she can finally have an owner and feel the love from a child that Woody has felt most of his life.
This is the first part of Pixar’s genius of taking very adult themes and wrapping them in adorable packages. When Gabby Gabby holds Forky hostage in the antique store, she learns all about Woody’s past and tries to use it against him. Themes such as loyalty and acceptance regardless of flaws are paramount with nearly every character you encounter.
Once again Pixar utilizes its genius of animation, design, and storytelling in this tear-jerker and beautifully poetic conclusion to a storyline and characters that started nearly a quarter of a century ago. “Toy Story 4” is a must-see. Bring your Kleenex. Bring lots of Kleenex.