Author Topic: Toy Story 4 (2019)  (Read 39502 times)

Offline westendboy

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Toy Story 4 (2019)
« on: June 25, 2019, 18:41 »


What’s the noblest thing you have ever done?

For Woody, Buzz and company, it is to make the kid who plays with them the centre of the universe. The noblest thing that they can ever do as toys is to make the child happy. They live by that mantra through and through.

Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts). As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re two worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

When we last met the toys in Toy Story 3 (2010), they bade Andy goodbye in a heartbreaker of a sequence. The scene where Andy introduces the toys that have accompanied him through his childhood to Bonnie is one of the most poignant scenes in cinema. It was the perfect ending to a trilogy that has dazzled and entertained in equal measure. To even do a Toy Story 4 is messing with perfect, but by golly, Pixar has hit the bullseye (I don’t mean the donkey) again and there is still a worthy story to tell about ’em toys.

Has it been 9 years? It sure doesn’t feel like it. Watching this felt like a meeting of old friends who have gone through thick and thin with me. The years is but a number that melts away. Any trepidation that this entry will tarnish the mythology dissolved into smoke by the end of the strong first scene that features Bo Peep.

The Toy Story movies have always been about a stirring meditation on growing up and the rites of passage that leads to adolescence. The beauty of it is that we don’t see it from the human beings’ point of view, but from the toys’. The toys are sentient and personified by human attributes. Their child’s happiness is what drives them, but it has a flipside that always plagues them – one day, Andy and Bonnie will grow older and not need them anymore. But this knowledge of impending goodbye doesn’t stop them from loving the children back with a stunning totality, reminding us once again that love should be all encompassing; holding it back isn’t true love.

Toy Story 4 again features Woody as the moral and responsibility compass for everyone in the room. He is always tightly wound and highly strung; his fervour is contagious and cathartic as all the toys will rally around his latest endeavour: making sure Bonnie’s first day at kindergarten goes smoothly. Bonnie feels out of sorts in a foreign place and she makes a toy from parts from trash called Forky which becomes her surrogate friend.

It revisits the theme of Toy Story 1 where a new toy will make Woody feel unloved, but the storytelling doesn’t do a retread and one can see Woody feeling more assured in his role in the huge scheme of things. Things go awry when Forky decides on a roadtrip that he desires freedom. Woody jumps from the trailer to search for Forky. The conversation that he has with Forky as they take a long walk back to Bonnie is particularly poignant.

In Toy Story 4, the toys once again ask themselves the question of what’s the purpose of their lives. It’s a heady question that has no easy answers, but this entry suggests that the option of being totally free of obligations to a child is worthy of pondering, and it is an option that opens up the Toy Story franchise to infinity and beyond.

Toy Story 4 introduces a new world to us personified by toys at an amusement park and an antique shop. With that comes a bevy of wonderful characters vying for your funny bone and emotional heart. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as plush toys Ducky and Bunny who are stuck at the hand is a hoot. Keanu Reeves as action figure Duke “Canada’s Greatest Stuntman” Caboom steals every scene he is in. Porcelain figurine Bo Peep also has a strong role here. But the villain is a true revelation here – Christina Hendricks’ Gabby is a truly creepy character played out in a manner befitting a psychological horror arc. Her story from a damaged plaything, disillusioned by her damaged voice-box, culminates to a soulfully moving scene that reaffirms her purpose in life.

There is yet again a rescue mission but kudos to the storytellers for never making this climatic sequence feel repetitive. In the midst of all the madcap adventure, it still knows how to underscore the scenes with a poignancy and an emotional high.

If Toy Story 1 – 3 is about Andy’s story, Toy Story 4 is the culmination of Woody’s story. What a fitting ending for a character who lives for his kid. He has come full circle and he truly deserves his walk into the sunset with his love. If Toy Story 1- 3 is about the theme of letting go, then this is about moving on. Sometimes there comes a time you have to think about yourself. Toy Story 4 deeply encapsulates all these human feelings in an authenticity that hits the spot. I am totally tagging this under “2019 best films”.

Finally, I come back to the question: If you are born into his world to do something noble, what is it? Perhaps it is to make someone happy. It’s an idea that isn’t as simplistic as it sounds.


4.5 / 5

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« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 21:31 by westendboy »
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

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Offline westendboy

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Re: Toy Story 4 (2019)
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 09:07 »
Something must be wrong with the view counter. No way do I deserve more than 4000 views in less than 24 hours  ;D
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

My movie and music blog:
http://reelthoughtsfromageek.wordpress.com

All things books:
http://fictionmattersfromageek.wordpress.com

Offline Poppie

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Re: Toy Story 4 (2019)
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 12:02 »
Thanks for the review! +1