Now that he belongs to Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw), Woody (Tom Hanks) feels he must take care of her the way he used to take care of Andy. On her first day of kindergarten, Bonnie creates a new toy named Forky (Tony Hale). Forky is Bonnie’s new best friend. If Forky isn’t with her, Bonnie becomes inconsolable.
When Bonnie and her family rent an RV for a vacation road trip, all the toys are brought along, including Forky. When they get to their destination, Forky and Woody find themselves trapped in an antique store and trouble ensues.
Woody is reunited with an old friend, who is living free as a “lost toy.” They hatch a plan to rescue Forky with the help of some new friends. At the same time, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) sets out to rescue the Woody and Forky. They have to rescue Forky and get back to the RV before Bonnie and her family leave to head home.
Nine years after their last adventure, the toys are off on another one. You may think that getting to 4 movies about the same group of toys would get old, but you would be wrong.
All of your favorite characters are back in the latest story, and we get a few more. Keanu Reeves is a Canadian motorcycle stunt rider who has been left behind after he fails to live up to the hype of his commercials. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are a pair of stuffed animals sewn together with grand ideas on how plans should be carried out. Tony Hale is trash-turned-toy Forky. All of the toys have their moments, and most of them are spectacularly funny. Not enough can be said about this all-star cast and how well they serve their characters and the story.
Since it has been so long since the last outing, it may be easy to forget where we left off. Not to worry, we get a brief recap of what has happened to the toys since we last saw them. This includes Bo Peep and her sheep getting donating and leaving the group. Now, the format of the story is almost exactly the same as every other Toy Story movie. A toy gets separated from the group and Woody and Buzz must rescue them. Four stories deep, this could get tired quickly. However, with a writing crew that includes John Lasseter, Josh Cooley, and Rashida Jones, they know what they are doing. While packing in more jokes and gags than should be allowed in one movie, they give the story some heart. It helps that these are characters we’ve come to know and love. But every aspect of the story has been well thought out and expertly executed.
The original Toy Story was a masterpiece in animated filmmaking. The second and third movies were fine in their own right. However, Toy Story 4 takes what made the first film so wonderful and builds on that. Every moment of the film will have you feeling joy on some level, whether it’s laughing at Forky’s attempts at returning to his origins or Duke Caboom’s exploits, on the verge of tears at the films more touching moments, or just general enjoyment of seeing the gang all together again. It is definitely one you won’t want to miss in the theaters with your whole family.