TOY STORY 4 (U)
D: Josh Cooley
Disney/Pixar (Jonas Rivera & Mark Nielsen)
W: Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton
Mus: Randy Newman
voices of: Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Annie Potts (Bo Peep), Tony Hale (Forky), Keegan-Michael Kee (Ducky), Jordan Peele (Bunny), Christina Hendricks (Gabby Gabby)
If the Toy Story trilogy were considered as a gourmet three course meal, then this fourth film of the series would be that additional dollop of ice cream that the kids might want when everyone else is full.
The trilogy ended perfectly in 2010, but Disney will never say no to squeezing every last dollar of profitability out of one of their products, so here's a fourth to the series, which is sometimes a mistake to have too much of a good thing (see Indiana Jones as an example).
Cowboy sheriff Woody and his toy pals have passed from Andy's possession to Bonnie's, a toddler about to start at pre-school. However, she doesn't play with Woody anymore like she did in Toy Story 3 because of toxic masculinity or some such nonsense, so she plays with all the other toys and leaves him in the closet to gather dust. On her first day of school, she makes a new toy out of trash, which she calls Forky, and Woody has to convince this new member that he's a toy (much akin to Buzz Lightyear's dilemma in the first film).
Bonnie and her parents go on holiday and Woody & Forky get separated from them, ending up in an antique store where a vintage doll has nefarious plans for Woody and the pull-string that operates his voice.
Buzz Lightyear, the double act to Woody for the first three films is relegated to a supporting comic relief role as the spotlight is mostly on Bo Peep, in full action mode here because of reasons of gender and identity politics which even kids films aren't safe from nowadays and Disney especially feel the need to indoctrinate the youngsters into this progressive way of thinking, as early as possible.
Bullcrap aside, there are some funny moments in the film and the pacing is quite timely, but it's a completely unnecessary instalment which denigrates the quality of the original trilogy, which really did end so perfectly with the previous film. It's not quite the equivalent of a straight-to-DVD sequel which Disney were notorious for during the 1990's, but it really isn't far off.
I have the trilogy in my collection and will always revisit it with fond, nostalgic memories. I doubt I'll ever watch this one again though.