Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Toy Story 4

The toys are back in town

Summary: Andy may be gone, but now the old gang of toys have Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) as their new kid and she has loads of fun playing with them. Well, not all of them — Woody (Tom Hanks) is being passed over more and more often and is starting to feel like he’s losing his purpose. On her first day of Kindergarten, he stows away in Bonnie’s backpack to help her out and winds up being partially responsible for her quite literally creating a new friend, Forky (Tony Hale), out of an old spork, pipe cleaner, and some googly eyes. Forky, despite Bonnie’s immense love for him, has no concept of being a toy and keeps trying to throw himself back into the trash. Despite Woody’s best efforts, he throws himself out the window during a family road trip. Woody jumps after him and his old pal Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) plans to go after him at their next stop. In pursuit of Forky, he comes across a defective doll named Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who needs a part from Woody’s voice box (you know, the one that makes him say “Reach for the sky!”) to help her work properly and find a kid… and she’s not above using force to get it. But Woody also runs into his old flame and missing character from Toy Story 3, Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who is living in the wild as a lost toy and couldn’t be happier. It falls to Woody to get Forky back to Bonnie before she leaves the area and figure out where his own path takes him…

Review: Toy Story 4 was pretty good for a movie that didn’t need to exist. The franchise had a near perfect ending in Toy Story 3 that left just about everybody in tears, so anything extra seemed like unnecessary milking. Still, I’m happy with what we got, even if it doesn’t give us the usual Pixar waterworks. It ends up being more like a sweet epilogue than a final chapter, but I don’t think that’s necessarily bad in this case.

First let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first, of which I have only two points. First, the previous side characters barely get any screen time or story presence in favor of the new faces, which is a shame because many of them captured our hearts in movies past. My second problem is Forky… mainly that ninety percent of the story’s conflict is caused by his foolishness or ineptitude. This type of character is what some people call a “load,” as in they are a load that weighs the main characters down as they try to move forward. Thankfully, he gets better as the movie goes on, but he got captured enough times that he started to grate on my nerves.

So that’s what bothered me, now let’s get into what I liked. Despite the complaint about the old characters getting sidelined for new ones, I rather enjoyed the new characters. Comedy duo Key and Peele reunite to voice Ducky and Bunny and they are hilarious. Gabby Gabby is a little subdued, but also just unsettling enough to feel like a threat while also providing a twist on the standard twist villain formula. The same can be said for her dummy minions, who will certainly help a new generation develop a fear of ventriloquist dolls. And of course, there’s Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), the over the top literal poser who tries to come off as Snake Pliskin and winds up as Jake Peralta. He was a treat, even if he didn’t blow me away as much as I thought he would.

For another thing I enjoyed, it’s time to dive into spoiler territory. Man, it’s rare that I get to do this with a good movie…


Woody’s story has a theme of sacrifice running through it, bringing with it plenty of character development. Woody spends most of the movie fighting the fact that Bonnie is less and less interested in him because he needs a child to feel fulfilled. Come the end of the story, however, Woody has overcome this need by not only leaving Bonnie to stay with Bo Peep and the other misfits, but giving up a key part of his voice box to Gabby Gabby and ensuring that no kid will ever play with his again. It’s a long journey from his initial concept, where he was such a bully that Pixar had to heavily rewrite Toy Story to make him more likable. It really hammers home that sometimes, the glory days are just over and you just have to move on.


While I didn’t fall in love with Toy Story 4, I enjoyed it plenty. It does feel like it exists because Toy Story is such a bankable franchise, but with that said, it’s still got all the heart and soul that made us fall in love with the franchise. And while Forky’s creation opens up so many questions about the nature of toys and how their freaking souls are made, overall it’s still a fun romp that will satisfy you if you’re a fan. So yeah, check it out. I mean, you probably have already.

Fun Tidbit: Turns out this isn’t the first we’ve seen of Duke Caboom. This Evel Knievel parody was first seen in Jack-Jack’s crib in The Incredibles 2.

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