“Toy Story 4” offers a cinematographic Grand Slam, a sequel to nine years later, which is fully up to the high expectations raised by the excellent trio that follows. Teasing, extremely funny, adventurous and yes, even deep, Pixar’s characteristic property touches them once again.
This is a great feat, which should not be taken for granted, since the original director of “Toy Story” and Pixar’s creative brain, John Lasseter, were forced to be absent in 2017 and finally to leave society. Josh Cooley was director, but with the credited scenario of Pixar veterans Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom, and the story of several others, it was clearly a group effort, gathered with tenderness and affection.
Perhaps no animated property has shown so much ambition by tracking the whims of childhood, but through the eyes of toys, whose lives are completely defined by the service it provides to children . This has included, sometimes in a heartbreaking way, to be vanquished, forgotten and rejected by the little mercurials whose love encourages them.
“Toy Story 4” brings this central concept to an extreme and logical logic when the new owner of the toys, Bonnie, begins with tears in kindergarten. With the help of her faithful Woody (as always expressed by Tom Hanks), she slaps Forky (Tony Hale), a spork that comes alive when Bonnie writes her name.
“She literally made a new friend,” Woody told the gang.
Having joined the toy industry via this unorthodox channel, Forky is a bit confused about his role. However, because Bonnie feels attached to him, Woody, who has lost favor, has a mission to keep Forky close, a task that becomes very problematic when he escapes while the family goes on a trip.
The premise allows the introduction of several new memorable toys, including Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), a doll from an antique store; Duke Caboom (the ubiquitous Keanu Reeves), a Canadian daredevil who can not help but pose; and Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), a pair of luxury awards for carnival whose delusions of grandeur are endemic.
Woody, on the other hand, is again at the heart of an existential crisis in the literal sense of the fundamental objective of a toy. This tension is complicated by the old friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts), while Woody refers to the small voice in his head, ie his conscience, produces a joke involving Buzz (Tim Allen), who otherwise he plays a more mute role than usual.
It’s almost a cliché to talk about Disney / Pixar movies that work in parallel, delighting children with their bright images and their wide slapstick and moving adults with the depth and emotion they bring to these characters.
However, the way “Toy Story 4” spreads on both sides of the chain is smart enough to be taken for granted, and the story takes unexpected risks that speak of the true creative art at work here, and not only motor to boost consumer products (but rest assured, there will be many too).
For those who dried their tears when the toys came together in the third movie, “Toy Story 4” will also cause bumps in the throat before the end. But the deeper message could be what the film says about the power of imagination and the simple idea that what drives a toy is not batteries but love.
“Toy Story” has been around for a quarter of a century and Pixar does not produce it. even so, when (not so) the fifth installment finally arrives, with friends like those who touch the strings, the franchise is in very good hands.
“Toy Story 4” opens June 21 in the United States. It is classified as G.