I think everybody had the same reaction when Toy Story 4 was announced a few years ago. We all saw the news, calmly processed things for a second before yelling, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Toy Story 3 was the perfect ending and the perfect movie! Why are you doing this!!” I was still even openly questioning Pixar last week on Twitter. But then I saw a screening on Wednesday afternoon….
I am happy to report we were all wrong. Toy Story 4 is a marvelous, sweet, and funny film that fits in perfectly in the Toy Story Cinematic Universe. It has all the elements that have made the franchise so magical and pure. All of our old friends are back and seeing them just warms your soul. They are joined by a host of new characters that all work very well, especially Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom. That guy can do no wrong in 2019.
Now, to answer the two big questions I have gotten from people since seeing it:
Is Toy Story 4 better than Toy Story 3? Well of course not. That was never really possible and judging 4 on a scale on if it is better than 3 is a very unfair. I mean, how many movies ARE better than Toy Story 3? Toy Story 3 is the rare universally loved movie that still makes people weep just thinking about it. That doesn’t make Toy Story 4 unnecessary at all. This is very important piece of the story to these toys we love so much. The fourth installment gives us a wonderful conclusion to a beloved character who Andy once described as someone who will “never give up on you…ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.”
The second question…did it make you cry? Well of course it did. It definitely made me cry. It makes you cry, but not in the heave-cry kinda way the last installment did where we all lost about five pounds of water weight from tears rolling down our faces into our popcorn. It is more a sweet, happy, and content kinda cry, at least for me.
So fear not, Toy Story fans. Go see Toy Story 4. Bring your friends, families, loved ones. See it in a packed theater. Laugh together, cry together. Enjoy the last ride (for now…) with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang you’ve fallen in love with the last 24 years.