Director: Josh Cooley
Release Date: June 21, 2019
We’ve been witness to a “back to back”, sometimes a sequel can actually be a good idea. We’ve seen the rare “three peat”, such as the John Wick and Three Flavours Cornetto trilogies. Yet, we’ve never had a successful “four peat” happen until this very moment. I should also clarify, I’m not referring to box office numbers. If that was the case, I’m sure Star Wars or the Fast and Furious saga would be in discussion, but we are talking quality here. Disney is already a powerhouse on a level by themselves. There are very few companies giving them any kind of a headache (especially when it comes to Family-Friendly classics) and they just keep distancing themselves from the competition. I can comfortably say that they’ve done it, we have the first perfect quadrilogy with Toy Story 4.
Manning this unsinkable ship, making his feature length directorial debut is Josh Cooley. Having done storyboard work for previous Disney films (The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2) and even helping write the screenplay for “Inside Out”, Cooley is an expert when it comes to the Disney/Pixar formula. Even with that, knowing the previous three films all were critically acclaimed and box office smashes, Cooley didn’t let the pressure get to him and delivers a solid product.
The cast was phenomenal. Newcomers Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and Keanu Reeves stole the show whenever they had a chance to do so. Their efforts brought a kind of comedy to the franchise that hadn’t been seen in the previous films. The co-captains, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, don’t let up and give you that same heartwarming feeling they’ve continued to give audiences for years. The highlight here though is Tony Hale and the lovable Forky.
Compiled of a plastic Spork, some pipe cleaners, Play-Doh, googly eyes, and some broken Popsicle sticks; we have Forky. He is one of the craft projects that all of us have made in kindergarten or first grade, that we took home and gave to one of our parents or we kept for ourselves. At first glance, he doesn’t seem like much, you aren’t really sure if he’s going to hold together. But, our child Bonnie, voiced by Madeleine McGraw, takes an extreme liking to him and he quickly becomes her favorite toy. This comes with Forky’s confusion as he doesn’t see himself as a toy, rather a disposable utensil made to be thrown away when used. This is where you get an extra element thrown into the equation, and that is “purpose”. Something that our main toys and even the antagonist Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendrix) seem to be looking for throughout the film.
Here you have another heartwarming, tear-jerker with our beloved toys that I personally grew up with and still love to this day. I can honestly say from the moment I heard the classic “You Got a Friend in Me” playing with the title card, the waterworks would not stop coming. I cried throughout this whole film, and I’m honestly afraid to watch it again because I know I’ll start streaming tears. Shoot, I nearly started tearing up writing this review, thinking about this marvelous film. With all of that being said, I pray this is the last one. A grand ending with a well-deserved victory lap.