Toy Story 4
There are few movie franchises that evoke such imagination and splashes of joy quite like Toy Story. Brimming with a colourful cast of characters and a star-studded line up of voices, it’s easy to see why Toy Story broke global box office records for an animated movie on its first weekend in theatres. Not only do these films entertain and delight us with their love and humour, it’s the heart-warming tales of kindness, compassion, and friendship that really bring on the feels.
Celebrated for almost 25 years, the release of Toy Story 4 is still as widely celebrated as the first film which premiered back in 1996. From Brighton to Birmingham (and every town in between), eager fans rushed into cinemas to watch the stories of some of our favourite cartoon characters come to life. For many of us, we grew up with Woody and Buzz Lightyear and they feel as closely connected to our childhood as The Spice Girls, Game Boys, Scrunchies, and Friends.
Like our own childhood toys, we all have a favourite Toy Story character. If you say that you love them all and can’t decide, we all know there’s one guy, gal, or animal you secretly root for more than others. We have the classics, such as Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, and Bo Peep. Also, how could we forget about Slinky Dog, RC, Rocky Gibraltar, and Sarge and the Bucket O Soldiers? These original toy renegades went against all odds to protect their own and showed us what true friendship really means. With all the love among Andy’s toys (albeit some pangs of jealousy in the beginning) there was no way mean ‘ol Sid stood a chance.
In the action-packed sequel, Toy Story 2, the posse is joined by a fresh addition of characters. They’re bright, shiny, and brimming with super cool gadgets. The novel additions, such as Tour Guide Barbie, Utility Belt Buzz Lightyear, and Evil Emperor Zurg certainly made for a big splash on the screen. There was just one problem… the arrival of a zealous and greedy shopkeeper named Al McWiggin, who made it his mission to make Woody part of his much-treasured collection at Al’s Toy Barn. While the devious Al stole the classic cowboy when Andy was at summer camp, there was no way Buzz Lightyear wouldn’t rescue Woody and get him back to the comforts of home. When Woody suddenly disappears, Buzz and the gang hop, spring, and crawl into action… and there’s nothing stopping them. Like any good set of friends, they showed up in ways unimaginable and went up against new anti-gravity belts, the shake-inducing Zurg (sworn enemy of Buzz Lightyear), and an airplane racing up into the sky. In the end, they came, they saw, and they conquered. Woody and the newest members of the gang, Jessie & Bullseye were welcomed back into the arms of his fellow comrades and of course, the always adoring Andy.
How could we possibly sum up what Toy Story 3 meant to us? We cried so much we could probably create an ocean of tears… all the tears. There are few scenes more heartbreaking than Andy saying goodbye to his beloved toys and bestowing them onto Bonnie, the daughter of a family friend. And, while Bonnie is a delightful ball of cuteness, there’s always going to be a special place in Woody’s heart for the affable Andy. He’s all grown up and heading off into the big bad world (also known as university) without any of his special companions. We hate goodbyes and this ending definitely made us feel something extraordinary, We thought of friends, family, or loved ones that are no longer close to us. We couldn’t help but think that this was going to be the last time we’d see Woody, Buzz Lightyear (our favourite Space Ranger), Lenny the Binoculars, Rex, Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, and the rest of cohorts on the big screens. Then, the most delightful surprise was announced, TOY STORY 4 was headed to cinemas in the summer of 2019 with a whole new journey in the works.
Not only is the gang back to their old tricks, but they also have a new friend named Forky that is making the internet go wild (there are even DIY posts on how-to make your own Forky at home). A wonderful watch that will warm anyone’s heart, Toy Story 4 is all about celebrating friendship, embracing change, and taking on new adventures. The gang venture out on a road trip with Bonnie and the new toy named Forky and are reunited with the furiously fabulous Bo Peep.
There’s so much to love about Forky. For one, he’s hilarious and given he’s a spork (a combination of a spoon and fork, it’s a real thing... we promise) by nature, he believes that he belongs in the trash bin. “I am not a toy, I was made for soups, salads, maybe chilli, and then the trash. Freedom!” But, knowing that little Bonnie loves Forky so dearly, the kind-hearted Woody babysits Forky to make sure he doesn’t disappear in the middle of the night, or worst get lost. While Forky never felt like a toy, he became part of the family with the help of some love and a dash of inspiration. The little plastic essential became part of the family and now we all have a new character to cherish. With the tear-jerking ending of Toy Story 4, let’s hope this isn’t the end of the series and that a fifth film comes to the big screen to delight a whole new generation of fans.