“Toy Story 4” – G


By David S. Adams - Guest columnist



The Story

“I am not a toy,” says Forky (Tony Hale), “I’m Bonnie’s trash!” Five-year-old Bonnie made Forky from a discarded plastic spork, some pipe cleaners and a popsicle stick. “But Bonnie needs you — you’re her favorite toy,” says Woody (Tom Hanks), “just like Andy needed me — that’s your job!” “Then what’s your job?” asks Forky. “Making sure you do your job,” Woody answers. That’s the setup for “Toy Story 4,” 2019’s best movie yet, I think.

Can Forky overcome his identity crisis and learn he’s a toy, not trash? When Woody and Bo Peep meet again, do they bond? Will you give this movie two-thumbs-up? I did.

The Actors Tom Hanks returns as the voice of Sheriff Woody, one of Andy’s toys, given to Bonnie in “Toy Story 3” (2010). Madeleine McGraw is the voice of Bonnie. Tony Hale is her handmade favorite toy, Forky. Returning with Hanks are Tim Allen and Joan Cusack as astronaut Buzz Lightyear and cowgirl Jesse. And, thanks to archival sound recordings, the late Don Rickles returns as the voice of Mr. Potato Head. Annie Potts, as Woody’s old flame, Bo Peep in “Toy Story 2” (1999), returns as well.

Among the new toys we meet on Bonnie’s family road trip are Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, motorcycle stuntman from Canada, and Christina Hendricks as Gabby-Gabby, 1950s talking doll who’s lost her voice box, and languishes in a second-rate antique shop. Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele are plush toys, Ducky and Bunny, wise-cracking prizes in an arcade ball-toss stall. John Ratzenberger is Hamm. Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner and Betty White have voice-cameos.

Other Comments

“Toy Story 4” was written by Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom, with help from John Lasseter and the rest of the Pixar gang. It was directed by Josh Cooley. Everything you expect from an animated Pixar flick — if you’re a fan like me — is here, just as critic Richard Roeper says of TS4: “[It’s] a kids’ movie for adults; a grown-up movie for kids.” Lots of laughs and action, colorful, funny and cute characters, and more than a few moments of heart. At the film’s emotional center is a simple, but compelling sentiment: the most noble thing a toy can do is be there for the kid who loves it. As Woody says to Gabby, “Bonnie is waiting for you right now — only she doesn’t know it yet.”

Rated G, “Toy Story 4” runs 100 minutes. You won’t want it to be over. I didn’t.

Final Words

Pixar flicks

Are not just for kicks;

“Toy Story 4”

Is a whole lot more.

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By David S. Adams

Guest columnist

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