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Despite reviews I was iffy going into this because I was disappointed with both Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, but I was pleasantly surprised that not only is Toy Story 4 good, it pretty much lives up to the standard set by the first three films. It does have a different feel to Toy Story 1-3 but that's also part of its appeal. It reminded me of something early Pixar would make in the late 90s/early 2000s for some reason. There's nothing that feels as penultimate as the incinerator scene in Toy Story 3, but it's a pretty emotional and extremely funny film. I'll be surprised if I see a comedy that makes me laugh as much as this film did this year. So yeah, this definitely ranks up with some of the classic Pixar films for me even if it is marginally weaker than the first three movies. 

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Posted (edited)

I really do like this movie but what was a major let down is that did really sidelined Slinky. I just wanted one scene with him and Woody together alone. 

Spoiler

When Woody left them at the end he also really needed a special one on one hug that Buzz got. I was almost gutted to see him play such a small part of the movie. His relationship with Woody was also very special to me. Oh and Bullseye also! 

 

Edited by Godzilla
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As a piece of entertainment, Toy Story 4 is exceptionally enjoyable. The animation and characters are fun (even if a few are kinda superfluous), while many of the animated set pieces are highly creative. This is Pixar in its main form.

 

That said...I *really* wish I could have enjoyed this as much as the other films in the saga.

 

8 people are credited with the story/screenplay on this film...and it kinda shows. Honestly, this film is kinda overstuffed in a way that blunts its impact in the emotional and thematic areas. While some of the themes are a bit redundant across the other films (which can be fairly expected), there is still some impressive existential ground on this one.

 

It grapples with fascinating questions a bit more than the other films had, (in a scope that extends even beyond iconic spork of all time Forky) but has to balance it all out with wacky set pieces and silly comic relief. Granted, all those elements work, but it feels like the film tries too hard to be both a madcap adventure comedy and thoughtful character study that it struggles in both fields.

 

I'm not expecting a Spike Jonze style exploration of the emotional psyche, but the film spreads itself too thin to make a big impact in one of its areas.

While the conclusion comes as a moving surprise, I feel like there should have been a bit more of a cohesive buildup to it. Speaking of, there are a lot of emotional moments, but honestly, it feels a bit more like Pixar saying "ARE YOU CRYING YET?!" than true blue organic emotion. But again, that could just be me.

 

It may very well be that this film grows on me. After all, I wouldn't have called INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE my #1 film of 2018 after my first watch. But as a whole, I would honestly admit that it's the weakest of the Toy Story films, albeit one I still enjoy.

 

B

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What the fuck did I just watch?

 

So, I'm going to get a little "too invested" here for a hot sec. Toy Story came out at the perfect age to have a lasting imprint on me as a child, even as an adult.  My Woody was my Samantha American Girl doll.  To this day, decades later, that doll has never been in storage.  Ever.  She currently hangs out on my bedroom bureau wearing a costume Wonder Woman outfit.

 

I remember being like 10 or 11, and she fell in the Lake.  She got her hair totally ratty.  Mom asked if I wanted to send her to "the hospital" (basically it's what the American Girl company calls the program for sending your dolls back to the factory for repairs).  I cried and I wouldn't let her send Samantha.  It meant that she was going to get a new head, and then she wouldn't be Samantha anymore, and that might hurt her -- all because of Toy Story. 

 

So, 11 years year, this also means I was the perfect age of Toy Story 3.  I was Andy's age -- and my young nephews, who always wanted to play with my collectible action figures, were Bonnie.  Toy Story 3 gutted me.  The scene when Andy gave Bonnie his toys felt so honest, and so true.  Still gets me choked up.

 

So, like, I LOOOOVED this trilogy.  I kind of think it's perfect.

 

The POINT of Toy Story 3, really, was that the toys needed to stick together.  It didn't matter what kid they had, but they were a family.  

 

So why the FUCK am I watching a movie that completely negates that sentiment?  Why does it end with Buzz and Woody, who had been apart the whole movie, being like "No, it's cool, we're all cool, you can just run off with Bo who you haven't seen in 9 years because you're suddenly having self-esteem issues?

 

I can't believe they did that.  I'm irrationally upset.  I was crying angry tears.  I thought the entire thing was going to be about the gang being "kidless".  Instead, I get some like half-ass ending that's 100% unearned.

 

I just... Wow.

 

Wow, that really messed with my head.

 

Like I said, I reject its existence.  The Toy Story trilogy ends with them all on that porch. 

 

 

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A beautifully made movie with no focus that I wish didn’t exist.

 

So, C?

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1 hour ago, captainwondyful said:

What the fuck did I just watch?

 

So, I'm going to get a little "too invested" here for a hot sec. Toy Story came out at the perfect age to have a lasting imprint on me as a child, even as an adult.  My Woody was my Samantha American Girl doll.  To this day, decades later, that doll has never been in storage.  Ever.  She currently hangs out on my bedroom bureau wearing a costume Wonder Woman outfit.

 

I remember being like 10 or 11, and she fell in the Lake.  She got her hair totally ratty.  Mom asked if I wanted to send her to "the hospital" (basically it's what the American Girl company calls the program for sending your dolls back to the factory for repairs).  I cried and I wouldn't let her send Samantha.  It meant that she was going to get a new head, and then she wouldn't be Samantha anymore, and that might hurt her -- all because of Toy Story. 

 

So, 11 years year, this also means I was the perfect age of Toy Story 3.  I was Andy's age -- and my young nephews, who always wanted to play with my collectible action figures, were Bonnie.  Toy Story 3 gutted me.  The scene when Andy gave Bonnie his toys felt so honest, and so true.  Still gets me choked up.

 

So, like, I LOOOOVED this trilogy.  I kind of think it's perfect.

 

The POINT of Toy Story 3, really, was that the toys needed to stick together.  It didn't matter what kid they had, but they were a family.  

 

So why the FUCK am I watching a movie that completely negates that sentiment?  Why does it end with Buzz and Woody, who had been apart the whole movie, being like "No, it's cool, we're all cool, you can just run off with Bo who you haven't seen in 9 years because you're suddenly having self-esteem issues?

 

I can't believe they did that.  I'm irrationally upset.  I was crying angry tears.  I thought the entire thing was going to be about the gang being "kidless".  Instead, I get some like half-ass ending that's 100% unearned.

 

I just... Wow.

 

Wow, that really messed with my head.

 

Like I said, I reject its existence.  The Toy Story trilogy ends with them all on that porch. 

 

 

I think for the ending to work on the level of Toy Story 3 they really needed more development with Buzz and the gang (the whole "inner voice" gag with Buzz was done for jokes only). But I didn't see it as Woody running off just cause of self esteem issues but finding a new purpose in his life because he didn't feel satisfied or helpful. It's not about him not being the favourite toy anymore it's that his whole life has been about this one purpose but this is the first time he's actually stopped to think about whether that's the only thing he wants and whether he's actually actively fulfilling that purpose or not. I also think Buzz would rather Woody be happy and content with his life than try to fake being ok with where he is in his life. 

 

Also let's be honest the only way they were gonna even get close to the impact of Andy leaving Woody was separating Woody and Buzz thus closing out the two major threads of the entire series (certainly the first movie at least). 

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Gabby Gabby was also a pretty bad message to send given it’s a kids movie.

 

She kidnaps Woody for a voice box, because she doesn’t think she’s adequate without one, and creepily gets all of his background info from Sporky to guilt Woody.  Then it turns out she only succeeds at being loved by the child because she has he fixed voice box (indicating she would have been inadequate without it).

 

I know she fails the first time with the kid she was obsessed over, but it was still the fixed voice box that won her the other kid.

 

The whole thread seems like a subtly harmful message to send kids to me.

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3 hours ago, A Panda of Ice and Fire said:

Gabby Gabby was also a pretty bad message to send given it’s a kids movie.

 

She kidnaps Woody for a voice box, because she doesn’t think she’s adequate without one, and creepily gets all of his background info from Sporky to guilt Woody.  Then it turns out she only succeeds at being loved by the child because she has he fixed voice box (indicating she would have been inadequate without it).

 

I know she fails the first time with the kid she was obsessed over, but it was still the fixed voice box that won her the other kid.

 

The whole thread seems like a subtly harmful message to send kids to me.

Yet not having a working voice box convinced her that it was the reason she didn’t have a kid.  When in fact it was just finding the right kid. She had shut herself away believing she could only get out there if she was working 100%

The getting the voice box wasn’t the point, it was her spending time with Woody that made her change. 

 

Sure having the voice fixed gave her a better chance, but the character irrefutably changed for the better having spent time with Woody and the toys. 

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Posted (edited)

The E.T references blew my mind. It’s my favourite film as it is, but to not just reference it but actually create moments that were a love letter to it was wonderful. 



 

When Woody told Forky to get Buzz and meet him at the merry go round, word for word dialogue from Eliot in ET. 

Then obviously the goodbye and then final few shots of buzz and woody parting - even the music referenced the last few seconds of John Williams’ score. I was border line in floods.

Edited by wildphantom

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I know that kids will enjoy many elements of this film. but, they will not like it as much as kids liked the first one nor will they like it as much as other kid films coming out. (presumption there) For a child there are too many characters arguing about incomprehensible things like the feeling a toy has when she is away from a kid free to join the sandbox and make oodles of children happy being compared to the feeling of purpose when your child has grown up and you now sit on a shelf having fulfilled your purpose. To a child so much of this film is meh at best. To me, it was drama that was not developed well. 

 

As a writer, I am a time traveler. If my character will chose to stay with an old friend over a new one, I can go back to the beginning of the story and add a scene where the character debates this choice. Now when they decide to stay, it is a resolution to an established problem. This film wanted to surprise the viewer and leave a mess of no-depth heart-warming sentiment that does nothing. Adults will enjoy this one the least too. And it was off to a great start, with Forky wanting to be trash. That was nice, and somehow abandoned to worse storylines. 

 

And the idea of toys adjusting the brakes on a car, and the voice for GPS not kicking in when the toys mimic that voice for a counter direction, the film simply loses credibility. My problem is not seeing this with kids, so I could just get up and leave. It wasn't bad enough to ignore my $10.00 ticket, but it was not good enough either. 

 

Like the Marvel Universe, they leave us wondering how the series will continue. Frankly, I no longer care. 

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13 minutes ago, YourMother the Edgelord said:

Am I the only one kind of mad that Bonnie treated Woody like garbage when since TS3 and the two specials Woody was probably her favorite?

Thematically, that was necessary. Not well executed, but reminiscent of Woody and Buzz' first conflict too. 

 

And a girl liking the cowpatty in not unexpected. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kravetz said:

I know that kids will enjoy many elements of this film. but, they will not like it as much as kids liked the first one nor will they like it as much as other kid films coming out. (presumption there) For a child there are too many characters arguing about incomprehensible things like the feeling a toy has when she is away from a kid free to join the sandbox and make oodles of children happy being compared to the feeling of purpose when your child has grown up and you now sit on a shelf having fulfilled your purpose. To a child so much of this film is meh at best. To me, it was drama that was not developed well. 

 

As a writer, I am a time traveler. If my character will chose to stay with an old friend over a new one, I can go back to the beginning of the story and add a scene where the character debates this choice. Now when they decide to stay, it is a resolution to an established problem. This film wanted to surprise the viewer and leave a mess of no-depth heart-warming sentiment that does nothing. Adults will enjoy this one the least too. And it was off to a great start, with Forky wanting to be trash. That was nice, and somehow abandoned to worse storylines. 

 

And the idea of toys adjusting the brakes on a car, and the voice for GPS not kicking in when the toys mimic that voice for a counter direction, the film simply loses credibility. My problem is not seeing this with kids, so I could just get up and leave. It wasn't bad enough to ignore my $10.00 ticket, but it was not good enough either. 

 

Like the Marvel Universe, they leave us wondering how the series will continue. Frankly, I no longer care. 

Adults will enjoy this one the least? Bit of a generalisation. I thought it was magnificent and as good as any of them.  This time it was actually about the toys themselves and what happens when they’ve fulfilled their purpose. Woody has been loyal his entire existence, and now what?  Clearly a metaphor for parents when their children have flown the nest. He had his eyes opened and choices to make which he had earned. 

 

As for the toys operating the brakes and feigning the GPS.... have you even seen the other three movies?

They’re always causing chaos in an attempt to reach their goal. Aliens driving trucks. Toys driving luggage wagons home.  Come on! Credibility? 

Are we really going to Toy Story movies now and thinking to ourselves “yeah, like that would happen!”

 

Each to to their own but if any paying audience member comes out of this and didn’t think much of it, well I just feel sorry for them. What more could they have possibly wanted?  Some people don’t know how good they’ve got it when Pixar are firing on all cylinders.  There are scenes in this that are just staggering in their subtlety and beauty. Bonnie’s nervy arrival at class, the way her parents and teacher are. The way she sits there at the back of the class, ultimately making Forky. Bounding out of class and showing him off. Absolutely glorious.  The love that goes into these films never ceases to amaze me.  Extraordinary quality. 

 

As for leaving us wondering how it will continue? I thought it had the firmest of endings it possibly could have had. 

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2 hours ago, YourMother the Edgelord said:

Am I the only one kind of mad that Bonnie treated Woody like garbage when since TS3 and the two specials Woody was probably her favorite?

I mean I would’ve understood if she was say 9-10 but it seems like at most a year pasted between TS3 and TS4.

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Like last summer’s Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4 rises to the arduous task of following a beloved classic in highly satisfying fashion, even if it doesn’t quite ascend to the same height. The previous Toy Story provided such a note-perfect ending to its trilogy – and did so against huge odds amid Disney's original Pixar-free plan for it – that I really thought this sequel was going to be an ill-advised cash-grab. And while it is admittedly the least of its sterling quartet, that’s less a knock against this film than an acknowledgement of what a tough act it had to follow. What we get with Toy Story 4 is an ambitious sequel that retains nearly all the visual inventiveness, well-executed humor, steady narrative balance, and thought-provoking introspectiveness of its predecessors; the only area it falls a bit short is the heart-tugging pathos, but it still has some moving moments that earn the emotional reactions they will get from the adults in the audience (even if they’re not quite as nuanced as “When She Loved Me” from the second film or the final ten minutes of the third). This film is decidedly more focused on Woody than its predecessors, and Tom Hanks takes full advantage of having the spotlight by delivering his most impressive work in the series. Hanks has always made Woody feel vivid, and he’s especially moving in this installment as Woody ponders his purpose and usefulness more deeply than before. While much of the film belongs to Hanks as Woody, there’s plenty of other stellar voice work across the wide ensemble; as in the previous films, performers are matched so well to characters in a manner that allows them to play to their strengths – as seen with newcomers Tony Hale and Keanu Reeves as a makeshift toy with an existential crisis and a daring but haunted stunt toy. It’s tempting to say that the antagonist in this film is not as strong as those in the preceding two films, but it feels like the true antagonist in this film is no single character, but rather the concept of obsolescence that numerous toys brush up against at one point or another in the course of the narrative; the film wrestles with how one’s role changes and adapts over time, and it does so in an especially compelling and moving manner. If the third film was about allowing the joys of childhood innocence to pass from one generation to the next, this one is about accepting that one’s role in adulthood does not remain stagnant. I would say that such a theme is deep, but it’s about par for the course for one of these Toy Story films – and the fact that poignant existentialism is just as expected of a norm as anything else in these films is a testament to both the series’ power as a whole and this particular entry’s worthiness among them.

 

A-

 

Stray Thoughts:

- The animation is GORGEOUS! I know it should go without saying that computer animation has come a long way since the first film opened nearly a quarter-century ago (on that note: holy crap, do I feel old), but it's still a little jarring re-watching the first two movies and then seeing the near-photorealistic level of detail in this installment.

 

- Not gonna lie: at some point, I'm probably going to do the drinking game in which you watch a Pixar movie and drink every time you see something from a past Pixar work outside the series at hand (two drinks if it's something that appears in a yet-to-be-released Pixar film). I caught the grape soda pin logo from Up, Tin Toy, a pool floatie with Nemo's color pattern on it, the 1986 establishment date of the antique store, and the titles of numerous short films appearing as board game names in the antique shop, but I missed Boo's cameo that's listed on the IMDB trivia page (and I probably also missed a Pizza Planet truck somewhere).

 

- I'm glad the filmmakers resisted the urge to do the "Buzz thinks he's a space ranger" routine again. I definitely thought it was coming when Bonnie's mom was asking how to turn him off while his "inner voice" was speaking... (The inner voice gag was also pretty funny, even with all the repetition.)

 

- I thought I wasn't going to like Bo Peep as a borderline action girl type, but it actually fits nicely with the film's central themes about self-reinvention and I enjoyed actually getting to see her *do something* after just being Woody's stock love interest in the first two films and a no-show in the third.

 

- I'm kinda surprised that the MPAA gave this one a G. Not that it doesn't deserve it (it's pretty harmless), but between Joan Graves publicly lambasting the decision to rate the third one G after-the-fact, the pseudo-creepy vibe from the dummies, and the fact that backlash against the predecessor's rating was enough to saddle the pretty-much-innocuous Finding Dory with a PG, I was certain that this one would take an unnecessary rating jump.

 

- Speaking as an educator, I really like how Bonnie's teacher handled both Bonnie's initial nervousness and her deviation from directions when she made Forky. The teacher tries to make Bonnie feel comfortable and praises her creativity rather than drawing attention to how she doesn't make more of an effort to connect with her peers. She's working at building a trusting relationship before nudging her toward social progress. Pixar really did their research here. ;)

 

- The ending is kinda ballsy. I'm spoiler-tagging it for anyone who's casually looking at this thread before seeing the movie. 

Spoiler

Woody's motivations for leaving could have been fleshed out further (it felt like a few lines here and there that took a few seconds to recall once it became clear that he was staying behind with Bo Peep), but it's a huge shake-up to the status quo in a series that has largely stuck to the status quo. I'm sure the inevitable fifth installment in 2030 or thereabouts will find a way to reunite Woody with the old gang, but I was expecting loyalty and single-minded commitment to "[his] kid" to win out.

 

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The animation alone was enough for me to give it an A. My only two criticisms are that the film's stakes didn't feel too high, and that Forky wasn't in the movie enough--his screentime being less than what I was led to believe.

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First thing's first: this is the least of all the Toy Story movies and, yes, perhaps not exactly a necessary addition to the series (especially after 3 provided as perfect of a conclusion you could find for any series). That said, this is almost every bit as beautiful, amusing, and poignant as the trilogy, and shows that there is still life left in the franchise even after reaching what already would've been the right ending point. It may be covering ground we've seen before in these movies, but there's still plenty of interesting directions that the series could've gone in as evidenced here. The choice to focus on Woody proves to be the right one after what a tough act 3 was always going to be to follow, and the return of Bo Peep provides extra spark. Also loved the new characters, with Forky ("TRASH!") and Gabby Gabby already joining the best ones in the franchise and Pixar canon overall. And it wouldn't be a Toy Story movie if there weren't some tears shed by the end. A very worthwhile extension of the story that also effectively concludes it (for now). A-

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/The first and only Toy Story I actually enjoyed.  I liked all of it and the themes resonated with me this time around.

 

9/10

 

 

 

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