Director: Josh Cooley
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts (VOICES)
Release Date: October 8, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
In “Toy Story 4,” Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy Forky (voice of Tony Hale) calls himself “trash,” Woody decides to teach Forky how to embrace being a toy. But a road-trip adventure, including an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts), shows Woody how big the world can be for a toy. In addition, carnival prizes Ducky (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (voice of Jordan Peele) bring a new level of fun to the film.
‘Toy Story 4’ reunites viewers with their favorite group of beloved toys; now living a happy new life with their new kid Bonnie after being passed down from Andy before he left for college. But even amidst their happy new home, Woody can’t help but struggle as he finds himself being left unused far too frequently and feeling somewhat lost as a result. But when Bonnie creates a new friend named Forky and quickly becomes attached, Woody finds a new purpose in life by looking after the finicky Forky. Although, as the group heads out with Bonnie and her family on a road trip which leads to an unexpected reunion with Bo Peep who left their circle years prior, Woody realizes just how big and expansive the world truly is, and just how much he has left to offer.
Disney and Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4’ is another phenomenal installment in the animated series filled with wonder, heart and plenty of laughs. Managing to find new elements and aspects of our favorite characters and taking them in new and carefully plotted directions with new challenges to face as opposed to continually rehashing the same general material and plotlines as many franchises often do by this point; certainly never a series to serve up a new film without something truly noteworthy to offer within. Directed this time around by Josh Cooley (making his feature length directorial debut) ‘Toy Story 4’ once again features a powerhouse voice cast comprised of both returning individuals and perfectly selected newcomers including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves and many more who all do wonders in truly bringing these characters to life, and of course the iconic musical style of Randy Newman once more helps it all fit together magnificently. Fellow fans of the previous three movies (and dedicated Disney and Pixar fans overall) will definitely want to go out of your way to check out ‘Toy Story 4’ at your earliest convenience. It’s another magnificent, touching and funny entry in this continually impressive franchise that you won’t even want to contemplate missing out on. It should also make for a perfect movie selection for the entire family (especially being one of the far too rare G rated films released these days) or even just a solo viewing.
Overall, ‘Toy Story 4’ is nothing short of magnificent. Another beautifully crafted installment in the beloved film series that’s brimming with warmth, humor and another fitting tale that yet again finds new places and levels to take these fan favorite characters without things ever becoming the slightest bit stale. I can’t recommend ‘Toy Story 4’ highly enough to any fans of the previous three films (and of course Disney – Pixar fans in general, although I’d recommend watching the first three before jumping into 4 if you’re new to the series) who should have a tremendous amount of fun with the fourth entry in the animated franchise which hasn’t even come even close to losing its touch. It shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever at least proving well worth the price of a rental and a couple hours for any fans of the films, and those making a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release probably won’t be anything other than thrilled either.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Toy Story 4’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and provides a richly detailed and vibrantly colored presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults or issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up admirably even during the various darkly lit, heavily populated and fast moving sequences throughout, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that looks great in every regard and definitely shouldn’t disappoint the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes a splendid compliment to this outstanding sequel and offers a smooth, crisp and fairly active audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music and characters, plus vehicles, rain pattering and a whole lot more making its way throughout the various speakers quite regularly, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an excellent 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds consistently fantastic and serves up plenty of extra fun throughout.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Toy Story 4’ includes a healthy collection of bonus content, featuring a few extras on the Feature film disc, along with an additional second Blu-ray disc dedicated solely to special features. For the sake of simplicity and easier navigation, I’ve broken down the extras by disc below.
Included on the first disc (or the ‘Feature’ disc) is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Josh Cooley and Producer Mark Nielsen’, in addition to a couple brief Featurettes: ‘Bo Rebooted’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length) and ‘Toy Stories’ (running approximately 5 minutes).
The second disc (or ‘Bonus’ disc) also features a number of additional bonus goodies. Included on the disc is a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie with introductions (running 28 minutes in length total), along with a look at some of the new characters including Gabby, Forky and more in ‘Toy Box’ (13 minutes altogether), plus other various Featurettes, fun videos and more including: ‘Let’s Ride with Ally Maki’ (running approximately 6 minutes), ‘Woody and Buzz’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Anatomy of a Scene: Playground’ (9 minutes) and a look at the toys point of view for two key scenes in ‘Toy Views’ (approximately 90 seconds total). Also included on the release are a ‘Carnival Prizes’ Promo (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘4 Trailers’ for the movie in different languages from around the globe (approximately 7 minutes altogether).