Toy Story 4, while hardly the best in the franchise, is still a great bookend, maybe not so much for the group as a whole, but instead for the beloved Woody character and in turn, the life Tom Hanks gave him.
Toy Story 4
Genre(s): Animation, Family, Comedy
Disney/Pixar | G – 100 min. – $24.99 | October 8, 2019
Date Published: 10/18/2019 | Author: The Movieman
Disney provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 4.0/5
Plot Synopsis: Woody (TOM HANKS), Buzz Lightyear (TIM ALLEN) and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky (TONY HALE). The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep (ANNIE POTTS). As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.
Review: When Toy Story 3 was released in 2010, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful series, one that is still the crowning achievement for Pixar, which does say something given the quality of output since, including Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles and Wall-E amongst others (with the occasional misstep: Cars 2 and Monsters University come to mind). So when a fourth movie was announced, there was some tribulation to the announcement and the simple teaser trailer didn’t instill confidence one way or the other. Well, my personal concerns have been put at ease: Toy Story 4 is one really good and really poetic conclusion (I think for real) to the franchise. Now is it the best of them? No, and yet still being the fourth best out of four and still being a very good movie does say a lot about what Disney/Pixar has done.
Much like the first Toy Story, this isn’t an overly complicated premise. Woody gets separated from the group trying to go after and protect Forky, along the way reunites with Bo and come up against the, at least at first, nefarious Gabby Gabby (CHRISTINE HENDRICKS), intent on taking Woody’s voice box to replace her faulty box, so she may find and be cherished by an owner. But even if the plot is relatively simple, makes sense for a younger audience, this is still quite fun to watch, even if in one aspect does feel a little forced, and that’s throwing Buzz in probably because they’re paying Tim Allen several millions for what’s a very supporting role (third in fact behind Woody, Bo and Forky, arguably fourth if you included Gabby). As much as I like Buzz, maybe sidelining him would’ve helped the pacing (and turning him into a dolt once more, this time on the idea of the inner voice, seemed a little odd).
The voice work once again, which can be said for almost all Pixar films, is fantastic. We all know how much Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack (who has been relegated to a bit part) embody their roles and adding to the ensemble are Tony Hale who is hilarious anyway, really giving a spork a genuine personality, Christina Hendricks giving Gabby some depth beyond being the “villain” and Keanu Reeves voicing Duke Caboom was absolutely… excellent (sorry, had to).
Toy Story 4 was directed by Josh Cooley, in his feature film debut, taking the reins following John Lasseter on the first two, and Lee Unkrich on the third. Having watched all of the Toy Story movies recently, the tone has been pretty consistent, perhaps with the exception of the quite serious content in TS3 and it would be rather fun to binge watch all four films.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Bo Rebooted (6:21) — This featurette looks at revamping the character both in terms of story but also the modeling. Includes sound bites with Annie Potts.
Toy Stories (5:38) looks at the importance of toys with thoughts from the cast (including Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks) and more.
Woody & Buzz (3:35) chronicles the friendship between the pair with interviews by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen amongst others.
Anatomy of a Scene: Playground (9:31) breaks down how a scene was constructed.
Not entirely sure what the point of these were, guess kind of a look at raw POV shots from the movie.
Toy Box (13:00) are mini-featurettes on some of the new characters including Gabby Gabby & Her Gang, Forky, Duke Caboom, Ducky & Bunny and Giggle McDimples and has interviews with the filmmakers and the respective voice actors.
Deleted Scenes (28:00) — There are six scenes that got removed and are included here in storyboard form. Also has an introduction by Josh Cooley.
Trailers & Promo:
VIDEO – 4.75/5
|Disney releases Toy Story 4 onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a great looking 1080p high-definition transfer. No real surprise that a CGI animated movie would look in HD but this one is brilliant, colors are brilliant, vibrantly bright throughout and although I did see some minor banding, this is an otherwise fantastic transfer from the studio.|
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|The disc has a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which I found to be serviceable but not exactly incredible. Dialogue of course comes through with good clarity, depth does seem on the limited side though some is detectable during the circus scenes where idle chatter and ambient noises do come across the front and, especially, rear channels.|
OVERALL – 4.25/5
Toy Story 4, while hardly the best in the franchise, is still a great bookend, maybe not so much for the group as a whole, but instead for the beloved Woody character and in turn, the life Tom Hanks gave him. It’s truly a wonderful achievement for Pixar bringing closure to a fantastic franchise.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.