Director: Josh Cooley
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts
Moviie Couple here! We went to see Toy Story 4 this weekend! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!
Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear along with their old friends now living in Bonnie’s Room. All our old favorites are back, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the bosom buddy toys are joined by Jessie, Rex, Ham, Slinky Dog, Potato Head as well as Dolly, Trixie, and Mr Picklepants from part three.
Bonnie is growing up and getting ready for Kindergarten. She is fearful and as a way of coping creates an arts and crafts toy named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). Remember, we do not spoil films here, but suffice to say Forky is very important to Bonnie and Woody and Buzz are there to help him learn the importance of his new position.
Along the way (You’ve seen this in trailers) there is a road trip to a carnivale, the return of Bo Peep (Annie Potts)! New toys (both friends and enemies met along the way) including Ducky and Bunny (Key and Peele of comedy and film fame), Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and Duke Caboom (voiced by the one and only John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves!).
The film is directed by Josh Cooley. Cooley’s only directing work until this point was two Pixar shorts. Toy Story is a grand road trip adventure with a lot to say about growing up, finding one’s place in the world and how it’s never too late to make a change. Pretty deep stuff for a kids movie seen through the eyes of animated children’s toys! Does it work? Will the kids love it? How about the older generation that grew up on Woody and Buzz? Is this one Toy Story too many? Queue up the Randy Newman music, grab your favorite old stuffed animal or blanky and lets hurry to find out! Let’s get to the reviews!
So here we go!
Mr. Moviie Couple: Truth be told, I was expecting this to be just a huge cash grab for Disney Studios. It’s common knowledge that the theme parks just recently opened an entire area of rides dedicated to the Toy Story characters. So the timing couldn’t be any better for the Mouse House. And didn’t we really get a great conclusion to the Toy Story “Trilogy” already? Is there any reason other than money for this film to exist? I mean really? (Said in my best Tom Hanks voice). Well Actually…There is!
Can the writers come up with one last story worth filming? In the soon to be immortal catch phrase of Duke Caboom “Yes, They Can..ada!” You’ll get that after you’ve seen the movie. This film grows Woody and gives our favorite toy sheriff an actual character arc to complete! By the films end (Which we will absolutely not be spoiling) Woody grows and learns more about who he is than he did in all three of the other films.
As with all Toy Story films, we get emotions out of our shared nostalgic experience of having beloved toys of our own growing up, and this is no different. But beyond just enjoying seeing Woody, Buzz and the gang again, we meet new toys with all new personalities and the return of a missing original. Make no mistake, Bo Peep is a star in this film! She is the new hero of this world and its not in a forced, shoehorned way that the Marvel films have been using to show that their world isn’t just for boys. Bo Peep is heroic without taking anything away from Woody or the others we have grown to love. She just is amazing with nothing to prove. She is a favorite and Annie Potts shines as her voice!
I have to talk about the new toys besides the returning Bo. They are all a welcome addition to the team. The comedy and friend team of Key and Peele lend their voices and I’m sure comic talents to the film as Duck and Bunny. These two plush carnival toys provide some of the funniest sequences and had me laughing out loud. Gabby Gabby, voiced by Christina Hendricks, is the antagonist in the film (no spoiling you can tell by posters and trailers), but like the best antagonists we totally understand her motivations! She is like a Toy Thanos, in her reasoning, not her power level. Let’s not get carried away. We even get a new action toy ala Buzz in Duke Caboom, Canada’s Daredevil Stunt Rider (Think a Canadian version of the old Evel Knievel toy from back in the day) voiced perfectly by Keanu Reeves.
While maybe not as complex, as Inside Out or Toy Story 3, I found this to be an emotional conclusion to the Toy Story Saga (It’s a Saga after 3 films right?) I must admit I got something in my eye at the end. It caused me to tear up and Mrs. Moviie Couple could have sworn I was crying. I will not confirm or deny. Just a great film to end the series on. After four great pulls from this well, I do believe the well is dry, but I’ll never say never. I give Toy Story 4 5 Bills!
Mrs. Moviie Couple: Adored this movie! She was happy to once again see a girl in a position of action and power to inspire the young ones out there! She found Bo Peep to be a great heroic role model for the young girls in the audience! She wanted to warn some parents that Gabby Gabby’s “henchmen” toy dummies could be frightening for younger viewers. She found them unsettling and she’s an adult. Just a precaution to parents. She loved the themes. She found the movie to be all about Parenting (Woody having to parent a young Forky), friendship (as always in these movies), seasons of life and a little bit of romance thrown in. A very well rounded film!. These themes promote children to keep trying, think in unconventional ways and to see change as a good thing rather than with anxiety or fear.
She liked how Woody and Buzz learned to adapt and enjoyed Forky as an out of the box creation! She knows how many young children can create toys with imagination and it has just as much meaning as a store bought toy and felt that was a great concept to bring into the Toy Story world. It was all done with great humor as well!
She feels the best age group for this movie is ages 5 and up! There were kids younger in the theatre and they were bored and running about! She really loved this film, but also felt the closure found at the conclusion of this one should herald the end. It was an emotional finish! Nothing more needs to be said! She also gives Toy Story 5 Bills!
On the way home, We talked all about the journey of Woody and Buzz, the new characters, the perfect ending (one that seems perfect for those older kids that grew up with the toy buddies) that may or may not have brought me to a few tears. We agreed it was far Beyond (Infinity?) our expectations! While not racing to see it in theatres again, we will be adding it to our video catalogue and highly recommend this movie. Well worth the money spent and a great night out at the movies! I give it 5 Bills, just a great conclusion to a great franchise. The Mrs. gives it 5 Bills! She loved the messages and the growth of the beloved characters! So we have a solid 5 Bills! Highly recommended!
Till next time, Check for snakes in your boots pardner, and always set your sights to Infinity and Beyond! Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review! Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!