Top critical review
Doesn't Live Up to the Standard
September 17, 2019
Spoilers for the movie are included:
After Toy Story 3 came and seemingly ended the series beautifully, a lot of people were not on board for another Toy Story movie. I myself was cautiously optimistic. Toy Story 4 disappointed me. It had too many negative aspects to it that outweighed any positives it had. I thought it was cool that Bo Peep was in the movie. Though, it's a little weird because part of the reason she was written out of Toy Story 3 was that since she is porcelain, they feared she would be too fragile to really take part in what happened. In Toy Story 4 she does all sorts of aerobatics, flips and things leaving Woody and others struggling to keep up.
The whole aspect of Bonnie creating Forky and him being a toy is weird as well. The previous Toy Story movies don’t really delve into the subject. In the first three movies, I just took what they called toys as granted and they didn’t really approach the subject of what counts as a toy. Looking back, Hamm is a piggy bank but is included as a toy in a movie when most people wouldn’t really consider a piggy bank a toy. Then Bonnie makes Forky and he counts as a toy. It raises the question “What counts as a toy?” without really answering it. Woody gives a small explanation that it’s because Bonnie wrote her name on the bottom of Forky’s feet. So, does that mean anything she every played with and put her name on is a toy now? If she plays with anything with her name on it – it’s now a toy that comes to life? It just seems like a mess and a line that the writers shouldn’t have approached. Forky denying he is a toy and is trash seemed like a re-hash of Buzz’s initial experience but without any charm. It also seemed like it was trying too hard to be funny but didn’t quite seem right.
The characters seem off throughout as well. Bonnie is in it a lot more than Andy ever was and doesn’t seem as good of a character. They make a point that she plays with all the toys Andy gave her regularly, except for Woody. Not really any reason for it except as a plot device. Bo Peep seems a bit different, but I didn’t find that too odd with her having been gone for the last 9 years. Buzz Lightyear is destroyed as a character for the movie. He’s having a heart to heart conversation with Woody one moment and suddenly is enamored with the idea of having a conscience. He then goes around the rest of the movie just pushing his voice buttons and doing whatever it says. He basically becomes a mindless drone. The whole concept with how his voice commands go with what is happening is dumb, especially when he hits it 10 times in a row and it says basically the same thing in a different way. Also, Buzz doesn’t really do anything the whole movie. Goes after Woody, stands around and then when Woody needs him most, his voice command tells him to leave so he just abandons Woody.
If you were looking forward to seeing all the other toys that have been in the last few movies- you are not in luck because they sit around and don’t do anything and practically don’t say anything either. Very little screen time, which was sad. They made a point to say even though Don Rickles died- Mr. Potato Head would still be in the movie as they had lots of archival voicings they could use. Then he only had two or three small lines the whole movie. I really didn’t find a connection with any of the new toys added into the movie. The Bunny and Duck weren’t really that funny to me and the other toys are just kind of there.
The “evil” character is kind of a joke as well. It’s menacing and she is evil as she tries to catch Woody and forcibly remove his voice box. She even kidnaps Forky and holds him hostage to get Woody’s voice box. Then the moment after she gets the voice box- the evil creepy doll and everyone else are all suddenly friends. The ending of the movie seemed too rushed and didn’t have nearly the emotional impact it could have. It wasn’t nearly as great or impactful as the ending of Toy Story 3. The overall tone of the movie just seemed off and wasn’t that great. I don’t plan on ever watching this movie again.