"Toy Story 4”
Directed by Josh Cooley
Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves and Joan Cusack
3 ½ Stars
I thought that we were finished with the “Toy Story” movies.
The fact that Pixar would go to the well for a fourth installment in the “Toy Story” universe left me shaking my head in dismay. Surely, I surmised, this is just a cynical cash grab rather than a genuine attempt to make a quality movie.
Boy was I wrong.
“Toy Story 4” is a wonderful movie that once again provides a nice assortment of laughs, thrills and heartwarming moments. It’s great to catch up with Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and all the other toys, but it’s also a hoot meeting some newcomers to the franchise. Keanu Reeves is a lot of fun playing a poseable motorcycle stuntman toy, and Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key score major laughs playing a pair of plush dolls, but my favorite new character is Forky (Tony Hale).
Forky is simply a plastic fork with some googly eyes and popsicle stick feet. He isn’t the world’s flashiest toy, but since he is Bonnie’s school craft project, Woody feels the need protect him. These toys are loyal to the children who play with them, and if the little girl is having fun with a plastic fork, then Woody and his friends will do anything to protect that bond.
The problem is that Forky thinks that he is simply garbage and would be content to end up in the bin. His actions force Woody to go out into the world on an outlandish rescue mission that is both exciting and sweet. Halfway through this movie I found myself laughing at the fact that I was so anxious about the fate of a plastic fork.
I wasn’t alone. Once again, I marveled at the sea of children in the theater around me who were completely enthralled by “Toy Story 4.” They laughed and cheered throughout the adventure, and I’m pretty sure that their parents might have teared up from time to time as well.
I know that I did.
I suppose that it would be foolish to expect anything less from Pixar. Once again, the animation is state-of-the-art, and the voice acting is energetic and pitch perfect. Throw in the great story/screenplay and you have a film that is destined to become yet another beloved classic.
I hope this is the last of the “Toy Story” movies as it would be a fabulous way to wrap up the franchise. I don’t think that there’s anything more to be said with these movies, but that’s what I thought after watching “Toy Story 3.”
I was obviously wrong about that. As long as these filmmakers keep giving us great animated fare, I’ll be first in line for “Toy Story 5.”
And “Toy Story 6.”
And “Toy Story 7.”
Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.