By Maria Hart
Toy Story 4 is the new Pixar movie that has won the box office for a few weeks now. So what does the new movie offer that separates it from the pack and makes it stand on its own?
After a massively successful trilogy, Toy Story returns for a 4th instalment, which caused a lot of concerns for fans of the franchise. But with pretty universal critical acclaim, as well as a successful box office run which is still going, the sequel has surprised everyone.
So here are 7 things you need to know about Toy Story 4.
(Note: Spoilers for Toy Story 4 from here on.)
Old Favourites Return
Toy Story 4 sees the return of its massive all-star cast, reprising their most famous roles (arguably) and making their way back into our hearts.
The lead pair of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) are, of course, back! But along with them are all the old favourites of Jessie (Joan Cusack), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), and all the other misfit toys.
It’s heartwarming to see, not only the characters returning in the new movie, but also the original voices coming back as well.
New Characters To Continue The Journey
Toy Story 4 also offers audiences some new and amazing characters voiced by popular stars to round out the already stellar cast in the new movie.
The most notable new characters would be Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele), along with Forky (Tony Hale), whose story of accepting his own identity is what the premise of Toy Story 4 largely centers around.
The film also sees many new toys with well-known actors lending their voices such as Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) and Dolly (Bonnie Hunt). The makers also managed to rope in some comedy legends such as Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Betty White, and Carl Reiner.
Within the mix of new and old characters, Toy Story 4’s story relies on some nostalgia by bringing back a very well known, but absentee character, who plays a significant role in the sequel; Bo Peep (Annie Potts).
Majority of the plot of Toy Story 4 revolves around Woody coming to terms with his life as a lost toy, with Bo Peep guiding him, leveraging their old relationship from the previous films. The dynamic is moving and very relatable.
Where We Last Left Them
Toy Story 4 begins with the toys now being a part of Bonnie’s (Madeleine McGraw) life, as Andy had passed them on to her at the end of Toy Story 3.
Bonnie introduces a new, self-made toy to the group in the form of Forky, who is having a major existential crisis about who he is and what he’s meant to be now that he’s been made into a toy from an eating utensil.
As the group embarks on a road trip, Forky jumps ship, causing Woody to chase after him. This mirrors the story of the original Toy Story movie when Woody had to rescue Buzz after attempting to get rid of him. The similarities end there as Woody is now a lost toy, and has to come to terms with it, learning that there is more to life than pleasing your owner.
While the majority of the Toy Story franchise, thus far, dealt with the themes of loyalty and friendship and being there for one another, Toy Story 4 deals with something more.
As the toys have been established as being sentient, their own desires and lives come into play, which the movie addresses through Forky, but also what it means for the rest of them. As Forky learns to define who he is, Woody struggles with determining his own identity independent of being someone’s toy.
It’s these themes and morals that see the toys start new beginnings in their lives, some with, and some without one another, accepting new roles and new dynamics that bring them joy.
The Final Act
While Tory Story 3 was supposedly the end of the story, Toy Story 4 definitely closes out the stories of these specific characters and their journeys.
Tom Hanks has already confirmed that he’s had to say goodbye to Woody during Toy Story 4, marking the last time that we’ll see this original cast of characters. It’s a fitting end to a generation of storytelling with some amazing actors.
But that doesn’t mean that the new stable of characters will not continue to tell their own stories in future iterations of Toy Story content.
The Disney+ streaming service has already confirmed that there will be a new series featuring Forky, entitled Forky Asks A Question. Each episode will see Forky ask a question of his toy friends, in an attempt to understand life and its complexities.
Similarly, many of the other new characters may return in these shows, or be spun off into their own adventures and tales.
About Maria Hart:
Maria Hart is an enthusiast of the comic-book industry, which is why she loves to share her knowledge with all the fans of comics, movies and TV shows out there. Her passion and love towards the industry are what make her articles outstand and gain the interest of many readers.