Toy Story 4

Was it only 2010 when we watched, with big lumps in our throats, as Woody bid farewell to Andy and moved on to a new home and a new kid? Woody is just as earnest as ever, taking his job seriously as he cares for the well-being of little Bonnie, who is fearful about starting school. She makes her own toy, a spork that has eyes and a mouth, with pipe-cleaner arms and tongue compressor feet.

Director Josh Cooley, not new to the Pixar world but directing his first Toy Story, has been given a script written by a massive collection of writers. The result is, like "Toy Story 3," fairly adult even though it is a Disney movie. By that I mean the issues resonate more for adults than children, although I suspect, at a gut level, even children recognize the importance of loyalty and friendship.

Brand name actors who provide voices include:
  • Tom Hanks - Woody, always loyal to his fellow toys, is determined to make sure their kid has the toy of her choice (even though it may not be Woody), and masterminds the mind-boggling challenges that confront a toy-sized cowboy, trying to save a confused spork.
  • Tim Allen - Buzz Lightyear wants to help, so he tries to manage our familiar toys as they set out to rescue Woody.
  • Tony Hale - Forky insists that he is trash. Woody keeps rescuing him from garbage cans, trash baskets and dumpsters, all the while trying to convince him how important he is to Bonnie.
  • Annie Potts - Bo Peep has been spotted in an antique store, but this is no longer the sweet little shepherdess Woody remembers. Now Bo is liberated, strong and assertive, while her sheep seem to be inclined to bite (?).
  • Joan Cusack - Jessie may be the next sheriff. This cowgirl really knows how to rally the troops.
  • Keanu Reeves - Duke Caboom is a new toy from Canada, a motorcycle riding stuntman: The Canuck with all the Luck.
  • Christine Hendricks - Gabby Gabby needs a voice box if she can hope for a little girl of her own. Hers was a manufacturers flaw and she wants to have a kid like Woody had Andy.
All of our friends are there, this is a reunion with a few new faces thrown in. The settings are spectacular, the carnival, the antique store, the school, a roadside at night, and the artwork is breathtaking. Watch Bonnie's face as she has to go to school the first time.

The action sequences are exhausting, as sinister ventriloquists dummies provide the villainy, along with that cat! I saw this at Cinerama, just a block from my home, and it was an early matinee, so I had just a handful of people to watch as we exited the theater. All in all, people seemed satisfied. I know I was.
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Take a look:
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