Andy and Bonnie’s toys are back for another adventure! Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 picks up where it left off in Toy Story 3. Bonnie is now the new kid that plays with all of the toys everyday while Andy has grown up and gone off to college. Meanwhile, Bonnie is about to start kindergarten and is extremely nervous about it. On her first day of orientation, she gets in touch with her creative side and literally makes a new friend: Forky! Woody and the rest of the gang have to teach Forky about what it means to be a toy, except he keeps running off because he simply cannot accept that he’s a child’s play thing. It’s up to the toys to rescue Forky and teach him the ropes with the help of some old and new friends! (MAJOR Spoilers ahead)
If you know me, then you know I absolutely LOVED all of the Toy Story films growing up! However, when I heard there was going to be a fourth addition to the series, I was a bit skeptical. I thought Toy Story 3 ended on such a great, tear-jerking note. So, what else could Pixar have to tell about Andy’s toys? I didn’t have high expectations for this movie because I thought Disney was going to wearing itself too thin with this one, but BOY WAS I WRONG. Never again will I doubt the great work of Disney-Pixar!
So in the first ten minutes, I’m already emotional because the movie does a quick flashback to nine years ago when all the toys were still with Andy. We finally discovered how and when Bo Peep got separated from the rest of Andy’s toys. It turns out, she was never Andy’s toy but instead she was his sister’s, Molly. Sadly, Molly had outgrown Bo and thought it was time to give her away. As always, Woody went to the rescue and tried to sneak Bo back into the house, but she accepted it was time to move on and they sadly said their goodbyes.
Fast forward back to the present, all of the toys are happy with their new home at Bonnie’s. All, except Woody. He was so used to being the favorite toy and running things back at Andy’s, so he felt lost with his new kid. Nonetheless, he was still loyal to her. He snuck off to be there for Bonnie on her orientation day, he took the most responsibility in watching over Forky, and he never turned his back on any toy ever. He is the most selfless, most loyal toy a kid could ever have.
If I could change one thing about Toy Story 4, it would be to include the older characters more. I feel like they didn’t get as much screen time as they usually do in the other movies from the Toy Story series, especially Toy Story 3 which I think just might be my favorite of them all. This movie was centered around Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep and much of the newer toys they met on the way like Bunny, Ducky, and Gabby Gabby. It took several attempts to rescue Forky and get him back to Bonnie, but of course the toys cleverly (and hilariously) worked together to reunite the two.
When the toys first encountered Gabby Gabby and her Benson minions, I thought for sure she was the bad guy who wasn’t going to get a happy ending like Lots-o-Huggin’ Bear (Toy Story 3) or Stinky Pete (Toy Story 2). But as the movie goes on, I felt bad for her, and the toys did too. Her situation was understandable, and being the noble toys we all know and love, they helped her get the long overdue happy ending she deserved.
Along with the twist of Gabby Gabby actually being not-so-bad, the ending was also unexpected. I assumed like every other movie, all the toys would be reunited again with their kid along with the new friends that they made from their adventure. So naturally, I thought Woody would bring along Bo Peep, her sheep, Giggle McDimples, Ducky, Bunny, Duke KaBoom and Gabby Gabby to come join the fun in Bonnie’s room. Gabby Gabby had her own plans, and the others wanted to stay “lost toys,” they didn’t want an owner. Being loyal as always, Woody reluctantly said his goodbyes and was headed back to Bonnie’s. It wasn’t until Buzz interjected and told him that Bonnie would be just fine without him. For the first time ever, Woody chose himself. He decided stay with Bo Peep and be a lost toy.
I never thought I’d see the day where Woody would choose NOT to be with his kid. I was so close to tears. He and the rest of Andy’s toys, and even Bonnie’s toys, had come such a long way together. They were a family and now it was time for them to part ways. Honestly, I’m glad things ended like this. If it ended the way we all expected, then I think this movie wouldn’t have hit the same way. It has a happy ending, just not the one we all thought it was going to be.
After the way things ended with Toy Story 3, I thought it would be impossible to top an already perfect ending. Boy, was I wrong. I’ve grown up with these toys and with each story, they warm my heart just a little more. I love the messages of these movies, especially this one: sometimes change can be good. 9/10, please go see this movie now.