Toy Story 4

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This article is dedicated to Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 - April 6, 2017), Adam Burke (September 12, 1971 - October 8, 2018), Betty White (January 17, 1922 - December 31, 2021), Estelle Harris (April 22, 1928 – April 2, 2022), and Buzz Lightyear's original Indonesian voice actor, Richard M.R. Toelle (August 14, 1977 - February 6, 2024).
Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 official poster.jpg
"To infinity..." - Buzz Lightyear
"...and beyond." - Woody
Genre: Animated
Adventure
Comedy
Drama
Directed by: Josh Cooley
Produced by: Mark Nielsen
Jonas Rivera
Written by: Andrew Stanton
Stephany Folsom
Starring: Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Annie Potts
Tony Hale
Keegan-Michael Key
Jordan Peele
Madeleine McGraw
Christina Hendricks
Keanu Reeves
Ally Maki
Jay Hernandez
Lori Alan
Joan Cusack
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Blake Clark
Don Rickles
Estelle Harris
Bonnie Hunt
Jeff Garlin
Kristen Schaal
Timothy Dalton
Cinematography: Patrick Lin
Jean-Claude Kalache
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date: June 11, 2019 (El Capitan Theatre)
June 21, 2019 (United States)
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $200 million
Box office: $1.073 billion
Franchise: Toy Story
Prequel: Toy Story 3
Sequel: Lightyear (spin-off movie, by release date)
Toy Story 5


Toy Story 4 is a 2019 American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fourth installment in Pixar's Toy Story series and the sequel to Toy Story 3 (2010). It was directed by Josh Cooley (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom; the three also conceived the story alongside John Lasseter, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Valerie LaPointe, and Martin Hynes as Pixar's 21st feature film. It premiered on June 11, 2019, at El Capitan Theatre and was released on June 21, 2019. A spin-off film, Lightyear was released on June 17, 2022, and Toy Story 5 will be released on June 19, 2026.

Plot

Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody's slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they're worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

Why It Has Got A Friend In Us

  1. Gorgeous animation that is a huge step up from the first three films with very detailed and realistic-looking backgrounds. It's even a step up from previous Pixar films. While it's hard to fault them for their now dated-looking animation due to CGI animation not being fully developed at the time, this film's animation is still certainly a major step up due to it being made in a much later time when CGI had gone through much more development and become a much more popular form of animation. Every single little detail on the characters' designs is now vivid and visible, the color palette isn't so ridiculously bright that it makes the movie look too cartoony, but not so dull that it makes it look dragged and dull, and the lip-syncing for the characters is straight on the point.
  2. Amazing voice acting as always in these Toy Story films, as well as Pixar films in general.
  3. Like the previous films, the characters are still lovable and unforgettable.
  4. The plot, while rehashing elements, is decent as it continues the film franchise well. It picks up from the last film in a very natural way and continues the story in a surprisingly good way, even after how great the ending of Toy Story 3 was. It doesn't ruin the ending of that film either, but rather extends and expands on it even further in a way the previous films didn't.
    • Until Toy Story 5 was announced and released, it brought Toy Story to a conclusion in a very overwhelmingly positive note.
  5. A great score by Randy Newman. The soundtrack consists of memorable songs/music tracks like I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away, The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy, Operation Pull Toy, School Daze, The Road to Antiques, A Spork in the Road, Ducky, Bunny & Tea, Three Sheeps to the Wind, Recruiting Duke Caboom, Operation Harmony, Gabby Gabby's Most Noble Thing, Plush Rush!, and more.
  6. The humor, while rather underwhelming, is still hilarious, especially when Buzz tries to help the toys get out of the antique store.
  7. All the dubs that were made of the movie are amazing and straight to the point.
  8. All new characters that were introduced in this film are entertaining, and fun and often steal the show, especially Duke Caboom. It helps that their voice actors put a lot of charm into their characters.
    • Forky is a very relatable and funny character, and he gets development. He starts as a toy that believes he is only trash, and in the end, is a toy who realizes how much he means to Bonnie. He is also pretty easy to make as he is made out of crafting materials and a spork.
    • Ducky and Bunny are funny comic reliefs, also known for the old Plush Rush like the scene where they think they will attack a lady who runs an antic store, but Buzz doesn't let them.
    • It can be debatable if Gabby Gabby can be classified as a villain since she has a very sympathetic motivation. Woody lets her win in the end, and it still feels rather justified. Most people consider her a technical deuteragonist, instead of a primary antagonist. And while her redemption came off as somewhat rushed, it can also feel deserved. Given her desire to be appreciated by a child, and the fact that that's what she gets in the end after siding with Woody and the others.
  9. Woody and Buzz's relationship is tested here in a much more drastic and impactful way than it ever was. This is truly shown in the end, when Buzz accepts Woody's decision to stay with Bo and become a lost toy, reassuring him that Bonnie will be okay without him so that he can live his life as his being.
  10. It discusses the themes of neglect, abandonment, happiness, and being happy with what you are. As a result, the movie takes multiple of the previous movies' deep messages that were made into part of the story and combines them all into one to make a strong story with amazing adult themes in the overall children's comedy feature.
  11. Bo Peep returns after twenty years and has a major role, and it's great to see her after twenty years. She's also become much more independent and strong here than she was in the first and second films, as she's been demoted to the role of the action girl.
    • The Lamp Life short that was released after this movie also shows that she was passed down to multiple families and other types of owners over the years. And how she eventually decided that she was no longer going to be owned by anyone and only live the life that her kids made up for her. She and her sheep decided to devote their lives to becoming lost toys, a choice that Woody eventually makes in this movie at the end.
  12. Woody gets some good character development of which he spends most of the movie thinking about what if he were to not look after his owner anymore as a toy and wonder what other purpose he would have.
  13. Two characters from Toy Story of Terror, Old Timer and the miniature Combat Carls, make a return with brief cameos appearances.
  14. Duke Caboom replaces Luxo Jr. in the Pixar logo after the closing Disney logo, rides in on his motorcycle bounces the "I" down with it, and squishes it by saying caboom, where he looks around as the text "ANIMATION STUDIOS" formed in underneath the letters "A" and "R" while saying yes. Then, a Combat Carl toy (whom Woody left hanging for a high-five earlier in the film) runs from the left and finally gets a high-five from Duke that didn't get high-fived back at the beginning of the film, as Luxo's "light switch", at which the logo instantly cuts to black (the clap sound substituting for the lamp's light clicking off), where it is not completely dark by leaving just the light from Luxo Jr, which then switches off one second later.
  15. It subverts the theme of the previous films that a toy's only purpose was to make a child happy, and instead, embraces the idea of toys being happy as their beings, rather than what their owners make them. This is the most evident (apart from the overall plot of the movie itself, of course) from the very beginning of the film. Because the first 3 movies all opened with fantasy sequences involving the toys. Because that was what those movies were about; how important toys are as children's playthings. But this film opens with a rescue mission involving the toys trying to save Bo Peep because that's the main theme of this film; how important toys are as they're own people, independent of the lives their kids make up for them.
  16. It explains how we see in the opening scene where how Woody simply bids Bo farewell as he pushes the box outside where her new owner last left it, upon seeing and hearing Andy so distraught.
    • Likewise, Slinky finally succeeds in his rescue attempt of Woody and RC, after he failed in his attempt to save Woody, Buzz, and RC at the climax of the first movie.
  17. At the end of the credits, before the closing logo of Disney and Pixar, the film pays tribute to Don Rickles (the voice of Mr. Potato Head as he could record any dialogue) and Adam Burke, who died in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Bad Qualities

  1. While the movie is still good, some will argue that the franchise felt like it didn't need another sequel as the third film already had a fantastic ending, even though it ends Andy's adventure lifetime on a high note and starts Bonnie's adventure lifetime. Even the animators thought making Toy Story 4 was unnecessary.
  2. None of Andy's old toys (except for Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, and maybe Jessie) have done anything to the plot in this movie. Because of this, they had very little screen time and feel heavily underutilized where it only exists for supporting characters, compared to the previous movies. This is especially egregious considering this was stated to be the last installment of the franchise, until Toy Story 5 was announced in 2023. Their spending most of the movie literally in the back seat is quite an apt visual metaphor.
    • Due to Don Rickles' death by kidney failure in April 2017, Mr. Potato Head doesn't have many dialogues as it only had 7 lines, so the character couldn't play a semi-major role. This is especially noticeable when compared to the time put in for Paul Newman to posthumously reprise his voice role as Doc Hudson for Cars 3.
    • Some of Bonnie's toys (Pea Pod, Chuckles, and Totoro) are also completely absent in the film as well. Though it can be forgiven that Chuckles' absence is due to the death of his voice actor (Bud Luckey) in February 2018, the end credits of Incredibles 2 pays tribute to him nor was Totoro's absence due to potential licensing issues (that said, Totoro didn't even return in the shorts nor other media).
      • However, the Pea Pod does return in a Forky Asks A Question short episode called "What is Reading?".
    • Lotso does not appear, although he appeared in costume when Toy Story 4 was announced.
    • Outside of posters, Sarge and the Green Army Men do not appear. However, it can be forgiven that Sarge's and the Green Army Men's absences in due to the death of their voice actor R. Lee Ermey (April 2018).
  3. Compared to the previous films as well as other Pixar movies, the comedy, while still hilarious, feels rather underwhelming, specifically the running joke with Buzz listening to his "inner voice", which was pretty stupid since Buzz knows he's a toy and that's his voice box talking, not his inner thoughts. It even breaks the character's development from the first film and feels very underused.
  4. Some have criticized that the film rehashed plot elements from the previous films and doesn't give it much to stand on its own with said elements, making the story slightly predictable.
    • Woody is no longer the toy Bonnie plays with the most as a new toy shows up that becomes Bonnie's new favorite toy.
    • Woody and the new toy Forky get separated from the other toys and end up in a place with a bunch of scary-looking toys.
    • They meet a toy who acts friendly and nice but is a villain with a self-serving goal that involves Woody. However, unlike Lotso and Stinky Pete, Gabby Gabby isn't a primary antagonist and she did reform at the end by Woody letting her win, so this is justified.
  5. Plot hole: As previously mentioned before, at the end of Toy Story 3, Andy Davis entrusts Bonnie to take care of Woody when he goes to college when he is 17 years old and no longer plays toys. But in this film, Bonnie doesn't play with Woody anymore and forgets her promise by losing him at a carnival without even realizing it, which results in Woody leaving to be with Bo Peep at the end. This also leads many fans and viewers to hate Bonnie. Granted, Bonnie was the small child and most kids in real life tend to lose interest in certain toys as time goes on in favor of newer ones they like, but still.
  6. The film contains many jumpscares that can be scary to some younger viewers, like when Forky comes to life and screams at Woody or in most scenes where the Bensons turn their heads or suddenly appear out of nowhere.
  7. The movie never explains how Forky and Karen Beverly came to life. Though it was debatable, since Toy Story series did never explain how toys can come to life.
    • It also doesn't explain that as well how Bo Peep's design was completely changed. Click here to see how.
  8. The plot of Buzz going to rescue Woody was the weakest in the film since there were petty moments during the plot.
  9. The infamous scene where Woody argues with the other toys to go back in the Antic Store and save Forky, and calls Bo Peep a lost toy due to not understanding "loyalty".

Reception

Critical response

Upon the release of the first teaser trailer in November 2018, it was met with high skepticism, as Toy Story didn't feel like it needed a fourth film, even if the fact that it continues with Bonnie's adventure lifetime arc and fans still hope it might be better. Since the release of the first official trailer in March 2019, numerous people have noticed that what the trailers have shown of the plot appears to be a retread of Toy Story 2, with Woody separated from the gang only to encounter a prominent female character from his past and undergo an internal struggle regarding whether or not to stay.

When the movie came out in June 2019, Toy Story 4 was universally acclaimed by critics, audiences, and fans of Pixar alike for the story, humor, emotion, score, animation, and voice performances, as well as considering it a worthy addition to the franchise and praised the conclusion given to Woody's story development arc. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 457 reviews, with an average rating of 8.34/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending – and perhaps concluding – a practically perfect animated saga.". Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 84 out of 100 based on 57 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 89% and a 75% "definite recommend."

A common plot point that fans complained about, however, is that Bonnie seemingly forgot her promise to Andy about Woody at the end of Toy Story 3, despite Bonnie being five, thus creating a plot hole and having a smaller attention span.

Box office

Just like other Pixar movies, Toy Story 4 was a huge box office success, grossing $1.073 billion against the production budget of $200 million. It was the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2019.

Awards

At the 92nd Academy Awards, Toy Story 4 was nominated for Best Original Song with "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" by Randy Newman, and won Best Animated Feature, making it the first Pixar animated franchise to win the award twice.

Videos

Trivia

  • This is not the only 2019 film in which Jordan Peele plays an intimidating rabbit: he also voiced the rabbits being eviscerated in a flashback in his horror-thriller Us. In both cases, there is a note of irony in that Peele has professed to have a phobia of rabbits despite their mundanity.
  • It is the first film to use the reanimated Pixar logo, as the rerendered were provided by Presto, Pixar's current software. Starting from this, future releases would later used as well.
  • This film went through production problems, as it was originally going to be released on June 15, 2018, but it was delayed until June 21, 2019, because in the test screenings of the film's script, it received a very negative response from the public who caused their delay, replacing Incredibles 2, who got June 15, 2018.
    • Speaking of the movie's first script, originally the story was going to have an adventure rom-com aspect, focusing only on Woody, Buzz, and Bo Peep, having an adventure at the fair, this story was eventually scrapped because the audience reacted negatively as it had little or no connection to Toy Story 3 (since it was more of an alternate story than a continuation), in turn in that script several characters from the franchise (Jessie, Rex, Hamm, Slinky Dog, Mr. Potato Head, Bonnie, Andy, Dolly, among others) as the new ones that appear in the final version (Forky, Giggle, Bunny, Ducky, Duke Kaboom, and Gabby Gabby) did not appear or mention them, so the script had to be rewritten, although finally due to time part of that first script had to be used.
      • This explains how the former characters of the franchise did not have a noticeable presence in the film.
  • Rumors arose that Toy Story 4 was in production and slated for release in 2015, but Disney dismissed these rumors in February 2013.
  • In May 2019, producer Mark Nielsen confirmed that Pixar will focus on making original films instead of sequels after Toy Story 4. On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Tom Hanks stated that this film would be the final film in the series. He said to Ellen DeGeneres that Tim Allen had "warned him about the emotional final goodbye between their characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 4".
  • It released the same day as the 2019 remake of Child's Play; similarly, several posters alluding to Toy Story 4 were released, featuring Chucky brutally killing characters of the animated franchise, using the Toy Story 4's teaser posters' background.
  • It was the first Pixar film without a theatrical short, followed by Lightyear and the upcoming Elemental. This does not include Cars 2, which was accompanied by Hawaiian Vacation (2011), as well as Coco which was accompanied by Olaf's Frozen Adventure (2017) (although it was later removed in preparation for television broadcasts), and Onward had a short to do with The Simpsons (though it is absent from physical media releases). Soul (even though it was going to have a short film before changing from theatrical release to streaming release), Luca, and Turning Red were released on the Disney+ service instead, and the first two titles had special short films also released there.
    • Thus, this is the first Pixar Animation Studios film not to have a short film on physical media as well.
    • Since John Lasseter's departure, SparkShorts created by the new talents of Pixar have succeeded the traditional line of Pixar shorts as they were scheduled to be sent straight to Disney+ by late 2019.
  • With Pixar moving away from sequels into original projects, this was the last Pixar sequel to date as well as the final Pixar film to be released in the 2010s. However, the former was downplayed, since Inside Out 2 was announced for June 14, 2024 (which is exactly five years after this) after Pete Docter said the studio would have to return to making sequels at some point as they are more "financially secure and help keep the studio running.", according to the interview.
  • The film was released on 20th anniversary of Toy Story 2.
  • Evel Knievel's son Kelly and K&K Promotions sued Disney and Pixar in September 2020 for using his father's likeness without permission to the character Duke Caboom. On September 23, 2021, the judge dismissed the case and stated "Duke Caboom is not a carbon copy of Evel Knievel minus a few details, The Duke Caboom action figure is a representation of Disney’s expression in the film and not an attempt to imitate Evel Knievel."
  • Comedians Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Betty White were added to the cast to voice a set of four toys that Bonnie played with as a toddler but had since outgrown, acting as "veteran" toys to help Woody prepare for when the same happens to him.
  • It is the last Pixar movie to have a G rating by the MPAA to date. All subsequent Pixar films are rated PG instead.
  • Lamp Life, an animated short that takes place between Toy Story 2 and this film, explaining Bo Peep's whereabouts, was released on January 31, 2020, on Disney+.
  • This is also the first Toy Story film not to feature the Green Army Men due to the death of R. Lee Ermey, the voice of Sarge in 2018.
  • Similar to how the bookends with both films by Pete Docter in the 2000s, Monsters, Inc. in 2001 and Up in 2009, it bookends with the third film in 2010 and the fourth film in 2019, for the 2010s with Pixar. The 2020s will booked with Onward and an untitled film.
  • This is the only Toy Story movie not to have the normal opening Disney logo music. Instead, the 30-second version of "Operation Pull Toy" is used.
  • The last Pixar film until Turning Red to have the standard Pixar opening sound effects.
  • This is the final Pixar film with John Lasseter's involvement before his leave from Pixar and Disney Animation at the end of 2018 leaving Pete Docter in charge.
    • This fact would, therefore, make Toy Story 4 the first Pixar film released under Pete Docter's supervision, who succeeded him as CEO after Lasseter's leave.
  • Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro were going to voice Ducky and Bunny originally.
  • Two unused endings were found for this film that did not create the plot hole;
    • One had Woody, Bo, and the new toys joining Bonnie's toys.
    • Another one had Bo finding a new owner and reluctantly parting ways with Woody again as he returned to Bonnie with the others.

External links

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