With the end of Toy Story 3 (2010), Pixar managed to close his first trilogy perfectly. The story of Andy and his toys came to an end in a satisfactory way for critics and fans, the same who had shared the adventures of these endearing characters over 15 years. There was not much else to tell now that the "baby" was leaving for college and Woody, Buzz and company went to the care of Bonnie, an affectionate and imaginative little girl, willing to give them the necessary care and play time. Basically, "all was good."
And that's when we ask ourselves the crucial question: was there a need to refloat the saga with a new installment? The first answer that comes to mind is "no", but who can resist these characters. We are not going to deny that in the industry, the money from the ticket offices always rules, but neither that the study of the lamp took its time to find the right story and conquer us again. "Toy Story 4" (2019) comes almost a decade after that tearful farewell between Andy and Woody, and works as a perfect epilogue that closes and expands this toy universe in equal parts.
Without John Lasseter in sight, nor Lee Unkrich (director of "Toy Story 3" and "Coco") as part of the study, Josh Cooley - responsible for the short film "Riley's First Date?" (2015) - stands behind cameras to debut big time. The pressure is not less, but he feels his enthusiasm and his respect for these icons that earned their deserved place in pop culture. Andrew Stanton (Pixar veteran, Oscar winner for "Finding Nemo" and "Wall-E") and Stephany Folsom crafted a script that focuses on the cowboy and this new stage that he has to go through with a new owner, in a new room, sharing his playtime with new dolls.
Woody's experience prepared him for almost any situation, except to face his incipient empty nest syndrome, or what is to come. The thing is like this: Bonnie is about to start preschool, an experience that terrifies her. The sheriff understands that he needs to be there for the baby and decides to sneak into his backpack to accompany her on the school orientation day. In short, thanks to his small intervention, Bonnie creates a nice pen that he baptizes as Forky, a strange doll created from a fork, pipe and plasticine cleaners that Woody rescued from the garbage can for her.
In this way, Forky (voice of Tony Hale) becomes the most precious property for the little girl, that transitional object that is going to help her through these changes in her day to day. What nobody can anticipate is that the "spoon" comes to life, of course, without understanding anything, much less what it means to be a toy. Woody accepts the task of guiding him in this new stage, teaching his purpose as a playmate to a “utensil” that, in reality, is convinced that his place in the world is among the waste.
The moments between the two are hilarious, but frustrating for the cowboy who takes his mission to heart. So much that he resolves to put himself in danger when Forky escapes during a trip along the route. The different deliveries of "Toy Story" can be a bit repetitive when it comes to the premise "lost toy to be rescued" or similar. But, if we start thinking, within this universe there is nothing worse for these characters than being far from the safety of their home and their owners. "Toy Story 4" comes to propose another question, no longer emphasizing the dolls left aside or abandoned as the Sunnyside inhabitants already passed through it, but with a more independent and adventurous approach that Woody never imagined.
To lessen the anxiety of the baby, Bonnie's parents decide to go out for a few days in a motorhome ride through picturesque villages with their traveling fairs and their risks for any toy that walks alone. Forky has no better idea than to escape during this journey, and Woody goes behind to take him back to his owner's comforting arms. The tour is full of dangers and distractions, like an antique shop where the cowboy thinks he recognizes an old friend.
Expect endless references and winks hidden everywhere, also a great adventure through new scenarios and those tearful moments, which are not intrinsically sad, but melancholic and emotional when it comes to relating to these characters we have known for 24 years.
Genres: Adventure , Animation , Comedy , Family , Fantasy | Duration: 100 min | Year: 2019
Cast: Tom Hanks , Tim Allen , Annie Potts , Joan Cusack , Tony Hale , Keanu Reeves , Keegan-Michael Key , Jordan Peele , Christina Hendricks , Ally Maki , Don Rickles , Blake Clark , Wallace Shawn , John Ratzenberger , Estelle Harris