"the adventure of a lifetime, one not to be missed, an incredible addition to this wonderful franchise"
Directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 is the fourth entry in the beloved Toy Story franchise that sees Woody and the gang look after a newly made toy - Forky - a Spork turned toy, with Pipe cleaner arms and googley eyes, who believes himself to be trash and not a toy, even though he was brought to life when Bonnie made him at Pre School, he's constantly trying to throw himself away, which is the core of much of the hijinks in the film.
Whilst protecting Forky, and convincing him he is a toy and that he is loved, Woody, voiced once again by the brilliant Tom Hanks encounters Bo Peep (Annie Potts returning) who has gone the lost toy route, drifting from place to place in her remote controlled Skunk with her best friend Officer Giggle McDimples (Ally Maki), a Polly Pocket type toy, that largely stands on Bo’s shoulder.
Toy Story 4 is about belonging and finding your place, themes that Josh Cooley and his Creative Team absolutely nail, the film is beautifully told and looks stunning, backed by an incredible score from Randy Newman, who has provided music for the franchise as a whole, since it began.
When a fourth entry was announced, after the incredible success and rounding out of the story in the flawless Toy Story 3, much was said about why a fourth entry was even needed, and after seeing the film, I believe it was needed to round out the journey of the veteran toys and to begin a new journey with Bonnie’s toys.
I don’t want to give anything away, so all I will say is that you’ll really feel for the antagonist of the film, and understand her motivations to do what she wants to do, that being said, she's voiced by Christina Hendricks, who is a wonderful addition to any project!
A stand out for me was the inclusion of Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, an Evel Knievel type Stunt Performer toy that is just an awesome addition, with a tragic backstory, that is reminiscent of Buzz's plight in the iconic original, there are many call backs that you'll have fun spotting and remembering fondly.
Much of the comedy comes from the new additions Ducky and Bunny, Carnival Prizes, voiced by the comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele respectively, they're funny and slightly unhinged with hilarious consequences.
The heart of the film is the Existential crisis that Forky, voiced perfectly by franchise newcomer Tony Hale is experiencing, his chemistry with Hanks’ Woody is flawless, in a way it sort of brings it all full circle, as Woody was the one to make Buzz (Tim Allen) believe he was a toy in the original Toy Story.
All in all, Toy Story 4 is the adventure of a lifetime, one not to be missed, an incredible addition to this wonderful franchise, I look forward to future adventures with Forky and the gang, I know immediately they are making shorts for Disney+, but I would be keen to see the franchise continue on the big screen. .