In what has been a questionable summer with respect to film sequences, ‘Toy Story 4’ stands apart and is pleasant to the eyes.
Finally, the duo of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) are back to save the day (not to mention the summer)! ‘Toy Story 3’ was the perfect ending to the trilogy that launched the Pixar production house into the powerhouse it is today. ‘Toy Story 4’ personifies it. This is more of a new beginning that an epilogue.
Andy (John Morris and Jack McGraw) has passed on the baton (the famous toys) to Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw). Bonnie goes to an orientation for kindergarten and, as a rule, is not allowed to carry her toys. That does not stop Woody (Tom Hanks) from sneaking into her bag to ensure that she is not overwhelmed at school.
Taking a spork and some other disposed things from a nearby trash can, he covertly puts them on Bonnie’s table during arts and crafts before retreating back to her backpack. She eventually turns the spork and other pieces into a handmade toy-spork that she names Forky (Tony Hale).
After Bonnie places Forky in her backpack, he comes to life, much to Woody’s shock. And when Woody introduces Forky to the rest of Bonnie’s toys, Forky begins going through an existential crisis, believing that he was made to be trash since he’s made out of trash material and keeps trying to throw himself away, but Woody and his friends keep prying him away from the trash. Soon, Bonnie, her parents, and all of the toys go on a road trip since Bonnie doesn’t start school for one more week.
During the road trip, Forky jumps out of the window since he still believes he’s trash, forcing Woody to go out and get him while the other toys try to cover for him. Woody finds Forky and convinces him the joys of being a toy. The joy that a toy brings. For starters, Buzz and Woody are no longer the top two characters. Not much emphasis is given to the other toys – Jessie (Joan Cusack), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and co. You have Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) making his debut in the series too.
‘Toy Story 4’ achieves that something has eluded most sequels this summer: a near-perfect balance between familiarity and novelty, action and emotion.
Director Josh Cooley ensures that the film is not a nostalgia filled memory-down-the-lane segment but a new outing with new characters so that everyone can enjoy it, albeit afresh. The USP of the film is how Woody is shown a different perspective by the lost toys that are lonely. He is shown a completely new meaning to virtues of loyalty and self-sacrifice.
To take a sentence out of the iPhone launches – this is by far the most visually rich ‘Toy Story’ film yet. This is a story of self-discovery. The story of finding purpose to life, albeit a toy’s life. A heads up – things do get a little dark in this outing. If you are intrigued with the metaphysics of being a toy ticket yourself to ‘Toy Story 4’ and realise the joy of being a toy.