Let’s cut to the chase.
I took the kids (ages 10 and 8) to see the new Toy Story 4 movie. They loved it; I was underwhelmed.
Rewind eight years. You’d be at my son’s three year old birthday party – complete with a Buzz Lightyear birthday cake. He was obsessed! Everything was “To infinity and beyond…” We watched the first movies on repeat, the second being his favorite.
After viewing the previews for Toy Story 4, my interest was piqued. I though the introduction of Forky was cute and I wanted to see how my favorite characters had evolved.
Spoiler alert: this movie is all about Woody. We get barely any time at all with Jessie, Potato Head, Ham and the gang. And honestly, Buzz’s appearances are super short-lived as well. I had been excited to reunite with the gang, so if you’re hoping for that too, I’m here to dash your dreams.
All in all, this movie felt like a standalone film. Woody sets off to reunite his new kid, Bonnie, with Forky, Bonnie’s IT toy of the moment that she made to help her survive the first day of kindergarten. They run into some trouble, of course, and the team has to work together to get Forky back. Andy is mentioned a few times but honestly, any child that was new to Toy Story could watch this movie and not be remotely lost or confused.
This movie does introduce you to several new characters, three that I absolutely fell in love with. Ducky and Bunny had me laughing out loud whenever they were on-screen. And Canadian Duke Caboom (voiced by Keanu Reeves) was the absolute BEST!
You also meet Forky (of course) and the movie’s antagonist, Gabby Gabby and her creepy dummies. The dummies are the only thing in the movie that I would caution parents of younger kids (thinking 5 and under) about. Imagine Ventriloquist Dummies silently skulking around corners…seriously creepy. But it’s very minor. Even my eight-year-old covered her eyes and then we moved along.
Bottom line, Toy Story 4 is a cute movie made for the kids. Adults will laugh a few times, maybe even tear up. But for big fans of the originals, I think you’re going to leave a little disappointed.
FAMILY RATINGS (out of 5 stars) –
10 year old boy: 4.5 stars
8 year old girl: 4 stars
Mom, 41: 3 stars
Toy Story 4 is rated G and has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.