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Film review: Toy Story 4

24 June 19 words: Sue and Elinor Barsby

The mother and daughter team of Sue and Elinor Barsby checked out the fourth film of the Toy Story franchise... 

Director: John Cooley

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

Running time: 100 mins

An adventurous female-led story. Woody tries to save Forky, a toy that Bonnie’s made at school, when the family goes on holiday. Forky gets stuck in an antiques shop and Woody finds Bo Peep, his old best friend from Andy’s house. They meet a doll called Gabby Gabby and her creepy looking servants. Most bits of the film made me laugh and it shows how important friendship can be. This is different from the other Toy Story films where I liked some of the characters, this one I LOVE one of the characters. Bo Peep is cool and adventurous, which is kind of like me. Toy Story 4 is great.

Elinor Barsby (aged 7)

Forget Star Wars, Three Colours or The Godfather, everyone knows the most perfect film trilogy is Toy Story 1-3. So I was unsure if Toy Story 4 was really necessary. We open the film with a flashback to two of Woody’s most emotionally wrenching moments – the forced departure of his true love, Bo Peep, from Molly’s bedroom, and his goodbye from Andy, Woody’s first child. Picking up where Toy Story 3 left off, we now see Woody and the gang at Bonnie’s house, making her happy. But Woody is getting left in the cupboard more and more often, and is having trouble dealing with the impending rejection. We can see he’s not really over having lost Andy but his sense of loyalty and toy mission is as strong as ever. So when Bonnie makes a new toy from a spork, and the spork (Forky) makes a run for it, obviously Woody goes after him, for Bonnie’s sake.

So far, so familiar storyline. But there’s a twist. Woody has faced death serving his children, rescuing toys and going on all kinds of adventures to make sure his child is happy and the trilogy always made it clear that his sacrifice was worth it. But here, we’re not so sure. When Bo returns into Woody’s life, she shows him that another life is possible, and that the rejection he is dreading can be avoided.

As with other Toy Story movies, there’s plenty here for adults and children alike, and the delights include a Keanu Reeves cameo in the form of Duke Kaboom, a Canadian motorbike stuntman doll (“whoa”), and Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) a scene stealing plush duo. So is Toy Story 4 necessary? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s done so well, excellently crafted and with such care and love in the characters that you’d have to be hard hearted indeed to dislike it. Don’t forget to stick around for the usual post-credit scenes.

Sue Barsby (age redacted)

Did you know? Boo from Monsters Inc.can be seen behind Bonnie at kindergarten orientation when she creates Forky

Toy Story 4 is in cinemas now

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