Coming to theaters from director Josh Cooley, Pixar Animated Studios and Walt Disney Pictures brings back our friends for “Toy Story 4.”
Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang are still living with Bonnie. As time has gone on, Woody has found himself spending more time in the closet and less time with Bonnie. Yet Buzz, Jessie (Joan Cusack), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Rex, (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) and the gang are still supportive of Woody.
But he has other things to worry about when Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) is upset about going off to kindergarten. Taking the initiative, Woody decides to make sure she has a good day! When things don’t seem to be going in that direction, he helps Bonnie create a new friend, Forky (Tony Hale) and she is delighted.
Before the real school year starts, Mom and Dad decide it’s time to go on a little road trip. The toy-gang is thrilled as well and wait to be packed into the RV for a little adventure. When Forky escapes the RV, Woody tells he gang he will meet them at the RV park in the next town while he goes off to settle their new toy friend down a bit.
It gives time for Woody and Forky to bond as the sheriff gets time to explain the situation to him. Getting close to the RV park, Woody sees something in an antique store window. A lamp that his friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts) once called her home with the three sheep Billy, Goat and Gruff. Taking a small detour to find out if she is in the shop, he and Forky meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who only wants one thing from Woody!
When she doesn’t get it, Gabby Gabby takes Forky as hostage at the same time Woody finds Bo Peep. Now she needs to bring her friends to help including Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) because Bonnie and her parents are about to leave the RV park and not everyone is aboard. Buzz jumps into action to help as the gang in the RV make a little plan of their own.
It’s pretty much help your friends, help your new friends and make a decision that will change the lives of everybody all while getting back to Bonnie.
Because that’s what friends do for one another!
Hanks as Woody will now and forever be considered a beloved icon in both movies and animation. He has brought all of us so much love and teachable lessons in the character of Sheriff Woody. From the very first “Toy Story” in 1995, I knew this was going to be a ride from adults to children, little did I know now that it would include grandchildren. Woody can be found in kids rooms still because he is the friend we all wish we could have for a lifetime.
Allen as Buzz is once again the lighthearted friend who tries to keep Woody’s spirits up and when it comes time to bring him home, it is Buzz who go to find him. They are an unbeatable pair and even if he is still a little confused sometimes, he doesn’t let that stop him from hearing his own “inner voice.”
Potts as Bo Peep is sweet, strong and has a little fight in her swagger. She has a story to tell and it is about where she has been and how she now sees the world. McGraw as Bonnie is such a young girl learning to be outside of her bedroom and toy world into something much bigger – but she still needs her toy friends.
Cusack, Hunt, Schaal, Shawn, Ratzenberger, Benson, Clark, Rickles, Harris return as their respective and beloved characters and, of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as there wouldn’t be a “Toy Story” without Woody and Buzz, there equally wouldn’t be a Woody and Buzz without Jessie, Dolly, Rex, Hamm, Barbie and the Potato Heads.
Hendricks as Gabby Gabby can be a little bit off putting and a tad-bit like Lotso from “Toy Story 3” in that she wants to be large and in charge. It is clear that there are deeper issues and Woody needs to get to the bottom of it.
Reeves as Duke Caboom may have only been in the film briefly but man did he make me laugh! This was a fantastic chance for Reeves to show his comedic side in a way that most would see as unexpected and awesome at the same time.
Other cast include Bill Hader as Axel the Carnie, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples, Jay Hernandez as Bonnie’s Dad, Lori Alan as Bonnie’s Mom, Emily Davis as Billy/Goat/Gruff, Carl Weathers as Combat Carls, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Jordan Peele as Bunny Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Jodie Benson as Barbie, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens, and especially Mel Brooks as Melephant Brooks, Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett, Betty White as Bitey White and Carl Reiner as Carl. Reineroceros.
“Toy Story 4” is a chance for the toys themselves to actually have an adventure that is about – well – them! Of course there is the continuing story of Bonnie but it is also about how these toys are still caring of one another.
They have their own attachments and feelings about the years they have spent together and “Toy Story 4” has a chance to tell that side of it all and do so in a way that brings closure we didn’t even know we needed.
In the end – on the road of life there are old friends, new friends and stories that will change you forever!