"Toy Story 4" Review

Pixar has built up a name for developing high-quality animation as well as layered stories that can work well for both children and adult audiences. In presenting the next chapter of the Toy Story universe, the animators have elevated the imagery to another level. This is understandable given the technological advances that have been made over the last two decades since the film series first began. The story itself is one that addresses existentialism in an entirely new way.

Woody is experiencing a mid-life crisis, having lost much of his purpose in having a child that loves him and needs his help. Andy is long gone, having gifted him to a new child since he himself is an adult who no longer requires the comforts of childhood toys. Whether it's Woody exploring what he should do next in his life, a newly sentient spork naked Forky becoming panicked over his being a toy instead of trash after a single use, many of the main characters explore their larger purpose in life.

Anyone with a high anxiety related to existentialism may be stressed by the viewing experience but for the most part, Toy Story is a largely life-affirming story. The greatest strength lies in the writing for the layers and depths it reaches, particularly considering that the film is mostly advertised as a child-friendly product.

If anyone that grew up on the film series is hoping for more of the usual banter from the variety of characters that the original trilogy made famous, they may be disappointed. The core group of characters involved in the story are mostly new apart from Woody, Buzz, and Bo Peep, who admittedly has better character material than she has in the past films. The other familiar faces amount to little more than window dressing.

"Toy Story 4" is playing in cinemas worldwide.

Watch our special behind-the-scenes "Toy Story 4" featurette here:


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