Not having kids ( no endless DVD repeats) and of a certain age ( detail hard drive almost full), I must admit, though I loved the first 3 Pixar “Toy Story” movies, I don’t remember a thing about them, except that they were better than three quarters of what Hollywood usually feeds us: full of humor and heart, no wonder they made billions worldwide. So I come to “Toy Story 4” with a fresh perspective, and I’m glad to report that Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) et al still have the power to capture imaginations of any age.
Woody is now consigned to Bonnie and on her first day of pre-school, she crafts a new toy, a plastic fork/spoon adorned with weird eyes, and pipe cleaner arms- “Forky” ( a perfect voice from “Veep’s” Tony Hale). In spite of being slightly forgotten by Bonnie, Woody takes it as his duty to protect her devotion to her new handmade toy.
Thus begins the series of adventures combining a road trip with stops at an amazing antique store and a small town traveling Carnival. At the store we meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) a 50’s talking doll with a busted voice box and a cadre of spooky ventriloquist dolls to act as her henchmen ( think Jerry Mahoney (google him) meets The Walking Dead). When Woody and Forky investigate the store in search of AWOL doll friend, Bo Peep ( Annie Potts) ,Gabby Gabby plots to relieve Woody of his voice box so that she can have a shot of being loved by a child too.
The animation this time around is spectacular, with amazing advancements in capturing facial emotions and set designs. The antique Store and the Carnival are so evocative and detailed that even with two viewings so far I’m sure I missed a lot.
Perfect for all ages, although Gabby’s ventriloquist doll friends may startle some, “Toy Story 4” is a great way to kick off the Summer movie season.
My GPA: 4.0+