Today marks the official release of Toy Story 4 on digital platforms, and to commemorate the home release I’m going to talk about this wonderful film. As a forewarning some […]
Today marks the official release of Toy Story 4 on digital platforms, and to commemorate the home release I’m going to talk about this wonderful film.
As a forewarning some light spoilers regarding characters and scenarios will be included in this article. No major plot points or character arcs are revealed.
Toy Story 4 comes out swinging with a stunning display of ridiculously impressive visuals as we watch the old gang save a familiar toy from a torrential downpour outside of Andy’s house in a flashback sequence.
From those opening moments to the closing credits Pixar proves that they are pushing themselves to the limit to stay on top of the animation game. In several scenes the small details such as the individual hairs covering an animal’s body or the perfect reflection of light bouncing off of porcelain are a testament to the capabilities of this company and everything they work to accomplish.
Simply put, Toy Story 4 is a stunning visual masterpiece and that alone makes it a movie worth watching.
However, Pixar didn’t opt to just throw on some pretty graphics and wrap everything up with a bow. Instead they took their time and made sure to ship an entire package complete with a mature story beginning with a character who is literally made of trash that ends up focusing heavily on important themes including finding your purpose, the difficulty of staying relevant and being both selfless and ensuring you make decisions that are right for you in order to live a happier life.
Yes, we’re still talking about Toy Story.
Toy Story 3 was considered by most to be the perfect send-off to our old pals, and they’re right. But Toy Story 4 manages to pull off the elusive feat of expanding upon and improving an already near flawless animated universe by spotting some loose-ends, that the majority never even noticed, and tying them up neatly.
It is important to note that Toy Story 3 does not lose it’s weight here. In fact, most characters from that film are reduced to minor roles in this feature excluding Woody and Buzz, because of the happy ending they received in Toy Story 3.
Toy Story 4 chooses to primarily focus on Woody while introducing a fresh cast of characters, old and new alike, who are simply delightful (and creepy) as they spring to life on the screen.
For the old fans, characters like Rex still have their lines and make themselves known. In fact, Rex has one of the funniest off-hand lines in the film when he first meets Forky, but the newest additions are spectacular and make sure to keep things fresh and exciting.
There is a scene involving Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s characters Ducky and Bunny that, despite you knowing exactly how it’s going to end, is so ridiculously long and slow burning that it’s payoff ends up being ten times funnier than it ever needed to be.
These characters aren’t just filler. They each have their own personality and stories that are told smoothly and serve to fill the space of this animated universe with even more love, laughter and depth.
Forky, Ducky, Bunny, Duke Caboom, Gabby Gabby and even the terrifying oddballs that serve as antagonists in the film are all splendid. While all the other toys have already gotten their time in the spotlight, they’re still there and they still provide some humor and drama that ultimately helps round out the film entirely.
The voice acting remains strong, the characters are lovable, the story is somehow both mature and light-hearted with it’s humor, the animation and lighting are second to none and this film also happens to have the bravest conclusion I can imagine.
This is where things become tricky to discuss without major spoilers but I genuinely believe that only a small percentage of viewers watching will be able to determine the outcome before seeing it as it’s not particularly close to predictable.
In fact this ending, though bittersweet, is something that I never knew I wanted in the Toy Story universe and I’m incredibly grateful to the folks over at Pixar for being brave enough to give it to us.
Toy Story 4 impresses on all fronts. Some folks will prefer Toy Story 3 as the conclusive end while others will find more closure with Toy Story 4. While both films can serve as a definitive end to the universe we’ve grown to love over the past 25 years, we still can’t be sure this is the absolute end. Producer Mark Nielsen was quoted as saying he was unsure of another sequel and that “that’s tomorrow’s problem” – an answer that I really like.
Apart from that we’ve already got two new Disney+ originals set in the Toy Story universe to look forward to with the animated shorts “Forky Asks a Question” and the short-film “Lamp Life” explaining what happened with Bo-Peep between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 4.
Whatever the future may hold it’s comforting to know that Toy Story 4 is an amazing movie. If you ever have the chance to see it, don’t miss it.
Check out the digital retailers below to grab your copy of Toy Story 4 on digital platforms today!