Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I stopped watching cartoons. And that period more or less coincides with the release of the first two Toy Story movies. Fortunately, after the high school I came back to my senses, but it took years before I decided to watch for the first time the adventures of Woody and his friends. After a third chapter that sounded a lot like a goodbye, Toy Story 4 arrives now in movie theatres to bring us once again into the secret world of toys. And this time I didn’t waste any time before seeing the new Disney-Pixar movie: will it live up to the previous ones?
Woody’s fourth adventure begins with a flashback: Andy is still a kid and his toys have just successfully completed one of the usual daring missions. Their joy, however, does not last long because Andy’s family decides to get rid of the shepherdess Bo Peep, much to Woody’s sadness. Nowadays, Andy’s toys have adapted to their life with new owner Bonnie, who has just (literally) made herself a new best friend: Forky, a spork with serious identity crises. When Forky gets lost on a family trip, Woody goes to the rescue just to find an antique shop inhabited by creepy dolls and his old flame Bo Peep.
The Toy Story film saga is one of those rare cases in which sequels are good as much as the original (or even better). The credit goes to the authors’ ability to write tailor-made stories for their viewers, children at the time of the first film (Toy Story was released in 1995) and now adults who may have even started a family. Despite being officially a children’s movie, Toy Story also speak to the older ones, especially to those who grew up with the characters and still remember vividly the moment when they said goodbye to their childhood.
And now it’s time for Woody to come to terms with the passing of time. Our favorite cowboy, in fact, is not so happy in his new home, as Bonnie prefers to play with other toys. So he has to decide what to do with his life: stay connected to a past that will never return or grow up and look to the future? It is a dilemma that we all experienced on our skin, one way or another, including Andy in Toy Story 3 when, in that tear-jerking scene we all remember, he decided to say goodbye to his favorite toy.
Obviously, before arriving at the “teardrop moment” (which is now a trademark for every Pixar film worthy of respect) there are so many hilarious moments that have as protagonists new characters that will not make you feel the lack of Buzz, Jessie and company, relegated to a more marginal role. We will get to know, among others, Gabby Gabby, a doll ready to do anything to finally feel loved, the Canadian stuntman with low self-esteem Duke Caboom and of course of Forky, the toy fork with existential crises that had already conquered us during trailers. It’s really hard to choose our favorite new entry because they are all great!
If you are among those who have not yet seen Toy Story 4, we remind you to bring a packet of handkerchiefs with you: you will need it on more than one occasion! Although many of us had already said goodbye to Woody, Buzz and friends in Toy Story 3, it is a joy to find them for this new (last?) adventure that once again reminds us that growing up is difficult, but it makes us fly to infinity and beyond.