The Western Journal Reviews: Toy Story 4


While many believed the “Toy Story” franchise would end after Andy went to college and passed on his beloved toys to a little girl named Bonnie, director Josh Cooley brings them back for another incredibly heartwarming story that is already proving to be a summer favorite.

“Toy Story 3” seemed like the end because it was the end — of the toys’ journey with Andy. As the toys have adjusted to life with a new kid their individual roles have also changed.

“Just like in life, every ending is a new beginning,” Cooley told E! News in November. “The questions of what that would be like became the beginning of an entertaining story worth exploring.”

Woody, used to being the favorite toy, is met with the biggest question he needed to answer during the newest addition to the franchise: “What’s next?”

As he wrestles with that question, he watches Bonnie craft her new favorite “toy,” Forky, from odds and ends at her kindergarten orientation.

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Woody takes it upon himself to show the unusually charming toy the blessings of being loved by a child.

Our favorite sheriff’s relationship with Forky matched with his growing sense of not being loved shows that while reflecting on “the good ol’ days” can be fun, it can also cause one to get stuck as seasons begin to change.

When Woody unexpectedly runs into Bo Peep, whom we haven’t seen since “Toy Story 2,” he is presented with a different philosophy.

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Bo Peep has been away from Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang for a significant amount of time and has matured into a spontaneous, adventure-seeking wanderer. She shows Woody that a toy can live a fulfilling life outside of a kid’s bedroom, which only continues to feed his burning question.

The film introduces a new antagonist, Gabby Gabby, whose desire for a child’s love drives her to work against Woody in the beginning — with the help of an army of ventriloquist dolls.

Her development throughout the film, however, shows a softer side to her than first perceived.

Other characters such as Ducky, Bunny and Duke Kaboom add much welcomed humor and continue to add color to the seemingly infinite world of toys.

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Even though a fourth installment in the beloved franchise may not have been necessary because of the conclusive ending of “Toy Story 3,” that doesn’t mean this latest hit from Pixar isn’t a welcome addition.

Final Rating: 8/10

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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