I have never seen a Toy Story movie in my life.
Look, maybe the idea of my toys coming alive when I’m not around was never exactly appealing to me as a kid. I thought it was all over after “Toy Story 3,” when Andy gives his toys to the little girl Bonnie, but then “Toy Story 4” came out and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Honestly, it was way better than I expected.
First of all, this movie is gorgeous. Pixar really blew CGI out of the water with this movie, and I found myself at times wondering if I’m looking at something real or CGI because the animations were so seamless and beautiful. Humans and animals looked strangely realistic at times, and the textures on the toys were gorgeously rendered to look shiny, rough or bumpy. Try watching a clip of any of the previous movies and then this one; the difference is insane.
In this new movie, Woody finds that he’s not being chosen to play with as often as the other toys are, but he still tries to be a big part of his new owner, Bonnie’s, life and is the reason the character “Forky” is created. When she’s lonely and scared at her kindergarten orientation, Bonnie makes Forky out of a used spork, a pipe cleaner, googly eyes and a popsicle stick, and he becomes her favorite toy. I’d seen all the memes about this character before watching the movie, and he definitely lives up to the hype. He’s the funniest character out of all the ones I’ve seen, with his iconic line “I’m trash” and him frantically trying to escape into any nearby trash can because it’s what he’s made of. It’s a line that millennials and gen-z kids can relate to and it was hilarious every time he said it.
The whole movie is this cat and mouse chase after Forky because he keeps trying to go back to the garbage where he came from. Woody’s fixation on the grubby little spork irritated me at first, but it’s because Forky was the source of comfort for Bonnie on her first day of kindergarten, I understood why Woody was so desperate to find him. It didn’t matter what Forky was made of or where he came from, but that he was there for her when times were tough. This is a theme that is repeatedly demonstrated by multiple characters throughout the movie and it makes you think about the roles toys actually play in a child’s life. This becomes especially apparent in a scene involving a character who was initially framed as a psychotic villain, but turns out to be a surprisingly deep, tragic character who was cursed with a defective voice box and just wants to be loved by a child.
The ending surprised me a bit. Pixar made plot decisions that I thought were interesting and most likely angered a lot of viewers. I didn’t get the chance to be super attached to certain characters like other Toy Story veterans may have, but the ending was still surprisingly emotional and I’ll admit I shed a few tears.
Coming from someone who hasn’t seen any of the movies and only knows a handful of facts about them, Toy Story 4 is a satisfying and endearing movie with unbelievably beautiful CGI, relatable characters and hilarious jokes. It’s hard to say what happens to the toys because of the way the story ends, and I was left wondering if Pixar will make yet another movie involving these new characters. What about Forky? Do Bonnie’s parents know their daughter is playing all day with literal trash? Will there be a Toy Story 5 involving Bonnie as a mom giving her child her ratty, gross Forky that she saved for years? Only time will tell.