Toy Story 4 (2019) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Pixar started off so strong with Toy Story (1995) and followed it up with two amazing sequels, making one of the best trilogies in film history. Now that you know where I stand with the TST (Toy Story Trilogy), it’s important to know that I was very unhappy that a fourth film was in the works. I was even more distraught when I saw the first trailer, and Forky (Tony Hale) was introduced. Having seen the film now, I can tell you that it not only makes it one of the best film franchises in history but – somehow – the Pixar brand continues to demonstrate how amazing these “toys” truly are with another powerful entry.

Toy Story 4 continues the franchise’s history of being awesome!!!

Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) creates a new toy named Forky, who comes to life now that he’s a toy. Feeling out of place, Forky keeps trying to return to whence he came: the trash. Woody (Tom Hanks) sees how important Forky is to Bonnie, and is determined to ensure Forky’s safety (even after he jumps out of a moving RV), which forces Woody to follow.

The first thing to note is how absolutely gorgeous the animation in this film is. While I’ve often enjoyed the look of Pixar movies, the evolution of the technology and the subsequent improved images and animation is breathtaking. The opening sequence that is a flashback to nine years earlier looks so amazing. There is rain falling and rushing down the gutter that looks so real, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at an animated movie for a moment. Every detail from spider-webs to facial features is accounted for, and it is just absolutely pleasing to watch.

Toy Story 4 offers everything an animated family film should: adventure, laughs, love, and tears. I’ve historically claimed that Toy Story 3 is the film that made me cry the most (it is also a true fact), and Toy Story 4 managed to hit me hard a few times as well. On the plus side, I also think I laughed more at this film than the other three. All of the new characters and the returning ones are great and add to the humor in big, memorable ways. Bunny (Jordan Peele) and Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) are hilarious, Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) and his pure Canadian goodness is…breathtaking, and Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who is finally getting her spotlight, is fantastic. All the toys get a little moment here and there, but the laughter from my friend group and the rest of the screening room gave the theater an air of pure cinematic euphoria.

Final thoughts…

Sometimes it is very easy to put my feelings for a film into words, but other times I just can’t find them. Simply put – I love Toy Story 4 and all it has to offer. I’m so excited that they were able to take a franchise I adore and build upon it even more with such a beautiful looking film and another touching story told through a zany adventure. Toy Story 4 earns the Must See rating.

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