Last night, nine years after the release of the heartbreaking yet endearing Toy Story 3, my boyfriend and I took the risk to go see Toy Story 4.
A horrible mistake, really.
But don’t get me wrong, I was a fan that craved another addition to my once favorite animated film series. The first Toy Story came out the year after I was born, so I grew up loving this series. I watched Toy Story 2 every single day after I got the VHS and can still quote great portions of the movie to this day. Toy Story 3‘s ending set the gears turning in my mind for the idea for an absolute masterpiece plot that could make Toy Story 4 the best of the series… but no. Pixar had to destroy my respect for them. Here’s why.
I’m going to try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, despite wanting to go off in a full-blown rant.
As you might have seen in a trailer or somewhere else on the internet, there’s a snippet of a young boy playing with his toys that resembles Andy. When I first saw this, I had two thoughts:
1) If that kid is Andy, this movie is gonna suck.
2) If that kid isn’t Andy, this totally supports my Dream Plot for Toy Story 4.
And, unfortunately, Pixar had to make me livid within the first five minutes of the movie, because my friends, that cheap imposter they show us is in fact our beloved Andy. That pretty much set the course on a downhill spiral. The reanimation of Andy is totally unnecessary, and, to be frank, a stupid move on Pixar’s part.
Reintroduction of Bo Peep
Back whenever it was first rumored that Toy Story 4 was going to include the toys going on a mission to find Bo Peep, I was stoked, to be honest. Bo Peep, being Woody’s love interest since the first film, had been one of my favorite characters.
However, in my opinion, this is where Toy Story 4 goes horribly wrong.
You see, at the beginning of the movie, a flashback reveals how Bo ended up getting separated from Andy’s toys. The flashback alone made me dislike Bo. From there on out, I found her motives to be entirely selfish. She was not true to her former characterization; in fact, she was modernized, vastly different, and her role seemed to be there just to pander to new film trends involving women. I don’t mind kick-butt heroines in films, but this was too drastic of a change for me to take in for Bo. I could see a toy like Jessie fulfilling the role Bo played in this film because it’s true to her characterization in the previous films. For Bo, it came off as forced and was not endearing at all.
The Jumbled, Uninteresting Plot
*Sighs* Plotwise, this is one of the worst films I have ever seen. It absolutely kills me to state that of a Toy Story film, but I have to be 100% honest. Don’t get me wrong, from what I read online, a lot of people seemed to enjoy this movie. My boyfriend said that it was a decent movie, but not a decent Toy Story movie. Because, if you’re a long-time Toy Story fan like us that keeps coming back for the nostalgic factor of toys being there for their kids, this movie fails to deliver. In fact, I almost cried after watching it, realizing this movie took a complete 180 and threw nostalgia out the window.
Plotwise, this movie is a major disappointment for those kids who grew up loving their toys, seeing them as friends rather than inanimate objects, like Andy.
As I feared, Bonnie serves as a neglectful caretaker for Woody. She literally decides to play with a spork instead of him. As a tweet I found stated, if Andy would have known she would have done that to his beloved Woody, he never would of gave his toys away.
Which, is what my boy Andy should have done, because Bonnie’s neglectful nature sets the course for the most terribly executed plot produced by Pixar.
Like Buzz in Toy Story, Forky gets lost. Woody, being the loyal-to-a-fault guy that he is, sets off on a mission to retrieve Forky for Bonnie so she won’t be without her now favorite toy. On the way back to Bonnie, Woody catches sight of an antique store that houses Bo’s lamp in the window. Here, we’re introduced to the toys in the antique store.
The antique store subplot was entirely unnecessary. Literally all it did was introduce a horror-theme that I’m sure will leave young viewers with nightmares. The conclusion of this subplot left me wanting to flip a table. Hopefully I can say this without spoiling anything: these toys bully Woody and his friends throughout the entire movie and then once they get Woody backed into a corner, he relents and gives them what they want, which permanently alters his future.
What kind of message does that teach kids?! Let the bullies take advantage of you and give them what they want, even if it’s unfair to you? *Facepalm*
My blood was boiling, y’all.
You think it can’t get any worse, but then on a search to find Woody and Forky, Buzz goes to the carnival. Here we are introduced to our comedic relief characters, stuffed animals named Ducky and Bunny (They seriously put a lot of thought into these new character names, am I right?). And that’s pretty much the only purpose they serve throughout the film. They add nothing to the plot. Their actions don’t influence our main characters. They’re just there for laughs, and to be honest, they’re not even that funny.
So, Woody, Bo, Buzz, and the carnival toys go back to the antique store to retrieve Forky for Bonnie. They meet another annoying character, Duke Kaboom, who also adds little to the plot other than a
sorry excuse for comedic relief character.
Then there’s the ending, which completely throws the nostalgic message the first three movies promoted out the window in favor of something I never thought Woody would do. It’s not true to his character, and it breaks my heart. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Lack of Screentime for Andy’s Toys
To be honest, Bonnie’s set of toys that were introduced in Toy Story 3 annoyed me, but I was able to get past it because the plot was one that hit a high emotional note for me.
In Toy Story 4, Andy’s toys like Slinky, Rex, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, Jessie, Bullseye, etc. get about ten minutes of screen time, if that. Even Buzz isn’t prominently featured; he’s more of like a side character in this installment. This is the second most disappointing factor about this movie for me, because as a lifelong fan of the series, when I come to a Toy Story film, I expect to see all of my favorite characters included.
Instead, we are bombarded with this menagerie of uninteresting new characters that actually made Bonnie’s toys grow on me because I hated the newly introduced ones so much.
If I could go back and unsee Toy Story 4, I would do it in a heartbeat. Now that I know Woody’s fate, it will taint the first three movies that I’ve held near and dear to my heart for the past twenty-four years. I waited nine, nine years for this, and it now ranks as the biggest disappointment of my life.
Rating: 0 out of five stars. Don’t put yourself through this torture.
How the Toy Story series SHOULD have ended…
My Dream Plot for Toy Story 4 is as follows:
Taking place nine years after Toy Story 3, Bonnie would be in her early teenage years, similar to Molly in Toy Story 3. At this point, Bonnie would most likely be ready to get rid of her toys.
Bonnie’s family is acquainted with Andy’s through the daycare. We could assume that Bonnie’s mom, who works at the daycare, would donate the toys there. Or, if she didn’t, the toys could go on an adventure to escape to the daycare.
Following this timeline, Andy would be about 27 years old. By this time, Andy could have kids of his own that could attend the daycare. The film could have centered around the toys trying to ease their way back into Andy’s life through bonding with his kids. And, at the end, both Bonnie’s mom and Andy would realize that Andy’s kids should take custody of the toys, thus bringing the series full circle instead of going off the rails like Pixar chose to do.
This brilliant idea was brought to you by Allyson Kennedy. Pixar, don’t you dare think about ripping me off. You made your choices. XD
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope my
rant review didn’t scare you too much!