Toy Story 2 is considered one of the few sequels that equals, if not surpasses, the original. Toy Story 3 is one of the few animated films to be nominated for Best Picture alongside Beauty and the Beast and Up. (I still say Wall-E got robbed.) Toy Story 4 may well join this list. It will definitely run for Best Animated Film where poor How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World probably no longer stands a chance of winning now despite its beautiful graphics.
For a while, Pixar movies had become emotional landmines, not so much tear jerkers as tear rippers. The Brave Dinosaur is a good example with several tissue-worthy scenes. Thankfully, that era seems to be over. Toy Story 4 strikes a nice balance of emotion and humor. The movie picks up where Toy Story 3 left off, with the toys belonging to Bonnie now. When Bonnie makes a new toy named Forky out of items fron the trash, he becomes very special to her. Only he doesn't identify as a toy. He identifies as trash. Woody makes it his mission to watch over Forky and keep him close to Bonnie.
A lot of the movie is about Woody dealing with change. What does it mean for him to no longer be the favorite toy? What is his purpose?
His adventures this time take him to a creepy antique shop and to a carnival. He gets to meet fun new characters like scene stealers Ducky and Bunny (played by Keye and Peele) and the villainous Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and her ventriloquist dummy henchmen. Keanu Reeves as Canadian daredevil Duke Caboom is a highlight. Most importantly, Woody is reunited with his love interest, Bo Peep (Annie Potts).
One complaint is that Woody doesn't get as much screen time with Buzz.
Overall, this is a fun romp that is more poignant than expected. The ending is touching and emotional in a way only Pixar could pull off and it validates making one last sequel.
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