Toy Story 4: Movie review and everything you need to know before heading to the cinemas

Thinking about whether to catch Toy Story 4 at the cinemas? You absolutely should! Toy Story 4 was just released in cinemas on Friday 21st June 2019, and my partner and I made plans to catch it on a Saturday night screening the following day. We thoroughly enjoyed it!

We chose a late screening for 10pm at our local cinema as it was easier to get tickets. For a late screening of a family oriented film, I thought we might even have the theatre to ourselves! I really enjoy movie trailers, so we took our seats early as usual. By the time the movie actually got going at half past, the theatre was half full – pretty decent for our local cinema mind you – and impressively most of the audience were groups or couples of young adults with no children.

Such is the power of the Toy Story franchise that first gripped myself and many others over two decades ago. Such is the power of Disney Pixar’s reputation where family friendly films are not just for the children!

Check out our favourite toys from the movie here or see all our Toy Story 4 toys. These toys are perfect for getting kids fired up for a day at the cinema, or to stir their imagination and recreate the scenes once they come home.

What do I need to know before going to see Toy Story 4?

Not much to be honest. The original Toy Story was released in 1995, and the previous instalment Toy Story 3 released in 2010. Franchises that span multiple decades always risk alienating new audiences or not paying enough homage to the fans.

In Toy Story 4, Disney Pixar managed to balance this really well. Familiar faces return with the core posse of toys in their supporting minor roles (Hamm and Rex were two of my favourites and I always crack up at their lines). It is worth remembering that in Toy Story 3, Woody and the entire group of toys have been unloved by Andy. As Andy moves for college, he gives his toys to a little young girl, Bonnie, to play with.

We’re introduced to new characters including:

  • Forky – a spork that comes to life when he is created to be a toy using strings for arms, sticks for feet, and googly eyes (voiced by Tony Hale)
  • Gabby Gabby – a doll our group encounters on their adventures (voiced by Christina Hendricks)
  • Ducky and Bunny – inseparable plush toys that bring family friendly dark comedy (voiced by comedic duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele)
  • Duke Caboom – a motorbike stuntman action figure (voiced by reddit’s favourite person right now, Keanu Reeves)

Lastly, Bo Peep plays a central role in this film after not appearing at all in Toy Story 3. Bo Peep belonged to Andy’s sister, and previously it was mentioned that she was given away to other children to play with.

What should I expect for Toy Story 4?

I had high expectations going in. Toy Story 4 is scoring an astounding 98% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 95% audience score. For it’s first weekend, the film grossed over $238 million world wide – and somehow this was still short of analyst’s expectations.

There’s always a risk going into a cinema with such high expectations. I couldn’t put it better than the critic consensus from Rotten Tomatoes so I’ll just leave it here:

“Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending – and perhaps concluding – a practically perfect animated saga.” — Rotten Tomatoes, Toy Story 4

What did I think of the movie? My review of Toy Story 4

I loved it. It has everything you want – humour, strong characters, teary moments, and even the occasional suspense and thrill (that caused my partner to startle once or twice).

Toy Story 4 extends the core premise of the franchise as well as explore new and modern themes. Much like Inside Out (one of my all time Pixar favourites), the themes explored in this movie appeal at different depths to all ages. For children, the complexity of Toy Story 4’s character arcs will also teach about emotions and empathy.

Bo Beep is a stand-out character for me and it is great to see her take a leading role in the film. Likewise with newcomer Gabby Gabby whose arc develops and concludes majestically in the film. It’s fantastic to see two leading female figures in this Toy Story film, as the franchise that can otherwise be dominated by leading males Woody and Buzz.

Forky provides a light-hearted, more silly and slightly slapstick character younger children will adore. Yet his existential crisis about being ‘trash’, not a ‘toy’, and how he develops from the infancy of his sentience to his persona at the end, is complex and mature.

Toy Story 4 is a wonderful film. It’s overarching plot is a relatively simple frame against which many different character arcs blossom and conclude. The movie is well paced and entertaining. It’s hard to find any fault with it!

Are there post credits scenes?

I’m a big fan of Marvel films and always stay back for the post credit scenes. With Toy Story 4, there are a few mid-credits scenes and a final post credit scenes. None of them reveal any important plot points or hint at what future movies (if any) might look like.

The mid-credits scenes are pretty hilarious and certainly worth the few minute wait. Besides, I much prefer to hang about and not rush out in a human stampede. The end credits scene gives a light chuckle, but I wouldn’t wait unless you’re a huge Pixar fan.

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Nigel

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