Toy Story 4
Length: 100 minutes / 1.67 hours
After the Toy Story “trilogy” ended in 2010, I was honestly a little confused and irritated that Disney/Pixar would open up this franchise again for a fourth entry. That being said, I now see the entire “story” was not complete at that point. There was still some amount of finality that the franchise had not reached. Of course, now I’ll be mad if they decide to make a Toy Story 5 since Toy Story 4 (2019) wrapped everything up so nicely and conclusively. Then again, maybe the next entry in the series will finally explain the odd rules about toy sentience.
By far, the most striking thing about Toy Story 4 is its visuals. I was ten years old when Toy Story (1995) came out. Even in the four years between it and Toy Story 2 (1999), I could see massive improvements in what computers could create in terms of CGI imagery. With Toy Story 3 (2010) having just over a decade to improve its visuals, the technical progress and prowess shown on the screen were breathtaking. Add almost another decade to the last movie, and I was blown away with how realistic this film appeared. In particular, the plastic texture of Woody’s (Tom Hanks) skin seemed much more “toy-like” than usual.
As for the plot, there was plenty to cover in a limited 100-minute run-time. However, it felt like that was all the time needed to explore the final pieces of this world of toys. After all, Toy Story dealt with the concept of the popularity of toys, Toy Story 2 handled toy stores and toy collectors, and Toy Story 3 took a darker turn into the world of “shared” toys at daycare. Toy Story 4 is the logical conclusion of toys that are lost or left behind, along with the toys relegated to the dusty shelves of an antique store. There’s not much more to explore in the world of toys after that. At least this one went out with plenty of humor (Key and Peele’s stuffed animal characters were a solid highlight) and heart that inevitably left me in tears by the end.
The true—and ultimately fitting—end to the Toy Story saga, I give Toy Story 4 5.0 stars out of 5.