As I was leaving the theater after seeing the latest adventure of Woody and Buzz, I turned to my friend and did what you always do when you have a film series with multiple sequels, you ask how would you rank them? With most of Pixar’s attempts to recreate that now classic magic of so many of their films, they have mostly ended in a puff of smoke, rather than fireworks. Sure there have been the ones that have bucked that trend, like The Incredibles 2, and of course the granddaddy of all their movies, the Toy Story series that seems to hit the target every time. The question is can it be repeated for a fourth time? Well rest assured, this heart is still beating strong.
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and the rest of the gang are fitting right into their new child, Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw). Life though is about to change as Bonnie is about to start Kindergarten, and we all know our first day of school and how that can be. Bonnie doesn’t meet many kids, but she does create one in a spork and names it Forky (Tony Hale). Woody being the loyal toy welcomes Forky to the gang, and does his best to convince he is a toy and not trash, which is where Forky thinks he belongs. During a family road trip Forky makes a run for it with Woody playing the part of the rescuer, as he tires to get them back to Bonnie. However there is a complication as things don’t work out as planned. That starts an adventure where new friends are found and old ones rediscovered and where Woody finds happiness in a place he never thought he would.
Back to my conversation after the movie with my friend, I have to say I never answered the question because I don’t want to rank them, because they are all so good. I mean sure, some of the stories are better, but as a whole each one has always added something unique and special to keep it fresh while still playing the old hits. With Toy Story 4 the freshness that is added comes in the form of Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and the always perfect Keanu Reeves. Combine that with the always reliable Tom Hanks and Tim Allen and you have the perfect mix of fresh and reliable that makes this one fit right in with the previous entries. Toy Story 4 hits the laugh button as well as the one that will make you cry all while making you comfortable like being wrapped in your favorite blanket. As the end credits rolled I got a little sad, not because of what I saw, but realizing that something that has been in my life for twenty-four years was ending. I don’t know if there will ever be another not just animated, but film series like this one. Thank you Pixar for bringing this to life, and I know that with these movies, that I will always have a friend in them.