Pros: Well-known characters from the Toy Story series and several new toys; return of Bo Peep; a serious message to parents, hidden behind a light entertainment scenario; amazing quality of drawing; post-credits scenes Cons: The film is too focused on Woody, the rest of the characters get little screen time; some secondaryness is still felt Toy Story 4 / “Toy Story 4”
Director Josh Cooley
The roles were voiced by Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Mrs. Davis (Laurie Metcalf), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Bo Peep (Annie Potts), Wydelyk (Tony Hale), Duke Caboom ( Keanu Reeves) and others.
Pixar Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Year of release 2019
Honestly, it seemed to many, including yours truly, that Toy Story 3 (2010) drew the final line under the story of cowboy Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Spiral, the Potato Heads couple and other toys, but it turned out that Pixar is still there what to say on this topic. And, most importantly, this is not a forced sequel for the sake of a sequel, but a completely logical continuation and now, probably, the real completion of Woody’s story.
For young viewers, Toy Story 4 is just another fun adventure in which the toys go with their young owner Bonnie, who ended up with them at the end of Toy Story 3. Bonnie is going through a difficult period, it’s time for her to start going to kindergarten (in fact in fact, it seems to be a preparatory class of a school and localization features), so she is nervous. Woody, despite the ban on toys in the garden (after all, this is a school), goes on the first day with his mistress and accidentally helps her create a new toy – Vydelyka (in the original Forky, in the Russian version of the cartoon – Wilkins) from a plastic fork-spoon and wire. Now Vydelyk is the girl’s best friend, but the problem is that the little man, assembled from garbage, doesn’t want to be a toy at all, he wants to be garbage. Woody tries to reason with his new friend Bonnie and tell him how important and responsible it is to be a toy.
Actually, Toy Story 4 has everything you need for a good children’s film. Firstly, bright characters, and the usual ensemble is joined by several old lost heroes and several new ones, one of whom, by the way, was voiced in the original by Keanu Reeves. Secondly, interesting adventures, and toys traditionally set off to free their friends from a bad place. Thirdly, good jokes, both very light for children and more serious ones intended for adults. But, and this is the most important thing, the cartoon has the inherent lightness of Toy Story along with the ability to delicately raise serious topics.
After all, in fact, the story of Woody, who no longer needed his child, is the story of parents who must be able to let their children go when the time comes and find a new purpose in life. Live for yourself, after all. Additionally, in Toy Story 4 one can find the theme of toxic relationships and meaningless expectations in which some people waste their lives. And… you won’t believe it, again the topic of overprotection. It seems that the US is really worried about this.
There is even… an anti-consumer note in the cartoon. Yes, despite the fact that Disney’s main goal is to sell as many toys based on popular cartoons as possible, in Toy Story 4 there is a certain protest against consumerism, which Vydelyk personifies. After all, sometimes a child’s imagination brings to life objects that are not at all suitable for play, and a toy literally made from garbage can be much more important than a branded and advertised pacifier bought for a lot of money. By the way, wait until the end credits, there are several short scenes hidden there, one of which is simply piercingly touching.
Interestingly, Toy Story 4 was originally supposed to be directed by John Lasseter himself, one of the founders of Pixar and creator of the first two films, and Josh Cooley was supposed to take the place of his assistant, co-director. But in the end, Lasseter stepped aside, including because of the sex scandal associated with him, and Cooley received the rights to a full-fledged director. Interestingly, during his 14 years at Pixar, Cooley has grown from a simple storyboard artist to a screenwriter, short film director and now feature director. Well, we can say that the generational change was successful here too; Josh Cooley did it well.
And traditionally, I would like to note the technical part of Toy Story 4. Pixar technologies continue to improve year after year, and if this is not so noticeable on toys drawn in a traditional manner, then in the rain scene at the very beginning of the cartoon, Pixar simply shows some kind of transcendental quality of graphics and physics water. However, very competent work with lighting is visible in almost all frames of the film.
Well, Toy Story 4 seems like a logical ending to the story that we may have been missing after the third part. Will Disney decide to continue? Who knows, in 2010 they weren’t even planning a fourth part. Wait and see. In the meantime, we can with a clear conscience recommend Toy Story 4 for viewing by both children and their parents. And, perhaps, to parents first of all.
A logical conclusion to the story of cowboy Woody and an excellent final (is it final?) part of Toy Story