The Cambridge Geek

Toy Story 4

Okay, I admit, I went into this fully expecting to not enjoy it. The third film had a decent ending, and I had no idea what the plan was with Forky, the new "toy" that appeared in the trailers.

And for the first five minutes of the film, I felt entirely vindicated. Forky is a creature born from rubbish, giving him an immediate existential crisis, more keen to jump back into the bin than to play with Bonnie, his creator. So Woody, beginning to feel left behind as Bonnie grows up without him, seeks desperately to keep Forky alive and involved in her life.

So far, so Buzz.

We've seen this transformation before, in a toy that didn't understand its place, and I feared that I was about to see the same again. We do, somewhat, but pleasingly Forky's "self-improvement" arc is done and gone in all of about twenty minutes, and the film doesn't get bogged down with it. Instead, we're running with another of the common plot threads of this series, a "fetch and retrieve". As you might imagine, Forky, as a new toy, has a tendency to get lost in the world, not helped by the fact that Bonnie and her family are off on a road trip in the new RV.

Much jumping out of windows follows.

But as the cliche goes, it's not the destination, it's the journey. And I should probably have trusted Pixar more to deliver an excellent journey. There's a spectacular villain, with Chucky-like minions who are gleefully menacing. Their marionetted walk has the same terror as a Ring-esque onryƍ, and it makes for some amazing action sequences, especially when you start adding in stunt bikes and tag team stuffed animals.

On top of that, there's an unexpected subplot with a character I was very surprised but also delighted to see, which did a frankly unfair amount of pulling at the heart strings. It was either perfectly emotionally tuned, or watching it on a plane at umpteen thousand feet towards the end of an eleven hour flight put me at a disadvantage.

Having googled since, I very much hope they don't make a Toy Story 5, because it ended so well. (See the first paragraph of this post.)

Anyway if like me you were a kid when the first Toy Story was released, it's very unlikely you're not going to watch this, so you shouldn't need much of a push. Just in case you do, go watch it.

Score 5

Tagged: Film Animated comedy Heroic journey Fiction Inflight