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Toy Story 4 Review

22 Jun

It’s a good movie, though the justification for its existence and its connection to the larger Toy Story universe is tenuous at best. It struggles a bit with the Woody-Bo Peep romance, as well as with characters like Buzz, when it comes to building off of what we’ve seen in the series predecessors. On the new character side of things, it introduces interesting themes with Forky while simultaneously dropping them in favor of strange digressions and half-formed ideas. It’s oftentimes strange and repetitive, and it’s symptomatic of a series that is straining for ideas. There’s just too much going on and not enough weight behind most.

All that to say – the series still has a great handle on Woody himself and the emotional complexity and richness behind the kid-toy relationship. Woody’s character arc is rewarding in its subtle sadness and personal growth, and the finale still delivers a classic Toy Story emotional whopper. It would be even more powerful if not for the aforementioned story and character issues, but there’s still a lot to like here. When it comes to the wistful nostalgia of childhood, the importance of growing up and letting go, and the simple desire to be wanted and loved, Toy Story understands like few others.

GRADE: B

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