Entertainment Weekly
Toy Story 4 Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly
Toy Story 4 Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Toy Story 4

CURSE THIS FEARFUL LIFE OF INFINITE SORROW! Plastic cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) spent a whole movie trilogy worrying about losing his beloved child until 2010s Toy Story 3 ended with college-bound Andy giving his toys to a preschooler. In the haphazardly entertaining Toy Story 4, Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) is starting kindergarten—and she’s already left Woody behind, leaving him in the closet collecting dust.

Kerensa Cadenas

This unnecessary franchise extension isn’t as emotionally soaring as the previous films. And yet, to its credit, Toy Story 4 is self-critical: Even Woody doesn’t know what he’s still doing here. Bonnie has new interests. She removes Woody’s sheriff badge and gives it to Jessie (Joan Cusack), a promotion that disappointingly backgrounds the Toy Story 2 heroine into seventh-banana status. And Bonnie glues googly eyes to a white spork, naming the resulting trash monster Forky. Soon, Forky is stumble-walking on Popsicle legs and tremble-talking with Tony Hale’s freaky poignant voice.

Forky’s a delightful new addition. He gets lost, though, in the shuffle of a very manic adventure. Woody and Forky find themselves in an antique store dominated by Gabby Gabby, a smiling terror cherub voiced with anxious good cheer by Christina Hendricks. Gabby feels like a whole movie unto herself, but the crammed story has the X-Men movie problem, mish-mashing too-fast check-ins with longtime characters and hastily sketched new additions. Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, and Keegan-Michael Key also join the crowded ensemble. The primary setting is a carnival, a cheap shortcut to visual gags from a franchise that used to twist regular locations (a suitcase conveyor, a daycare facility) into roller coasters.

And then there’s Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who returns as an actionized staff-swinging warrior. Her story gets folded into Woody’s emotional

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