July 12, 2019 – Every time it looks like the latest Toy Story movie is going to be the end of the line, it turns out not to be. The toys that never get old, never wear out, and never get buried in a landfill just keep coming back again and again. Pixar has not only brought the saga of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the toys back again, they've renewed the saga with style and heart, while keeping it from going stale.
Fans of this series will note that the quality of the storytelling has remained consistent, while the quality of the animation has gotten better with advances in computer technology. Comparing the first and last films in this series is to witness a quantum leap in animation quality.
We left off the saga in Toy Story 3 with Woody arranging for himself, and the rest of the toys, to be sent to the home of a nice little girl, Bonnie, when their previous owner, Andy, heads off to college. Woody feels sorry for Bonnie, who is apprehensive about her first day at kindergarten, so he sneaks into her backpack to help her out. With Woody's help, Bonnie creates a new toy out of an old spork, and calls it “forky.” It becomes her new favorite toy and it magically comes to life.
Forky, however, still thinks he is trash, because Woody dug him out of a trash can. So Woody and the other toys have to supervise him all the time to keep Forky from throwing himself into trash cans. This leads to a series of adventures on a road trip in a motor home. During one adventure when Woody rescues Forky from the trash, he runs across old friends, Bo Peep and her sheep. Bo Peep and other toys have found safe hiding spaces in town.
Bo peep has become a kind of action hero, forging a satisfying life for herself without the need for a child to take care of her. Woody is attracted to Bo Peep and her lifestyle, but can't bring himself to leave Bonnie. More adventures ensue as another toy in the antique shop, Gabby Gabby, and her gang of toys try to kidnap Woody and remove his voice box in order to use it to repair her own damaged voice box.
As Woody tries to escape the clutches of Gabby Gabby, Bonnie's family prepares to leave town without him, forcing the other toys to come up with increasingly desperate and inventive ways of keeping Bonnie's family in town until Woody and Forky return. The ending of the story is perfect, with Woody making a grown up decision. The story is very inventive, action filled, and emotionally satisfying. This is another win for Pixar. Look for this film to be in the running for another Academy Award to be added to Pixar's already crowded award shelves. This film rates a B+.
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