Our monthly office film club is one rife with opinion and debate, (it’s literally not), which this month centered around the issue of “I won’t go and see Toy Story 4 because I hate Tom Hanks too much.” A statement that caused me to almost hand my notice in, but caused some of my other colleagues to agree. He’s awful! A terrible actor! They announced, as a I stared at them wide eyed and thought about how much I wish someone as comforting as Tom Hanks had been there to reassure me and stroke my hair during this absolute nonsense.
Luckily, the originally perpetrator of this statement took Monday off this week and therefore wasn’t even attending cinema club, so we did a 180 degree turn away from The Dead Don’t Die, a film that’s getting such bad reviews that it was making me nervous – and took ourselves off to see Toy Story 4 after all. Phew.
Released 9 years after the last instalment in this Pixar franchise, I can barely remember Toy Story 3 besides the fact that I cried a lot and they almost went into an…incinerator? Fun fact: I once dated a guy who went to Disneyland dressed as Woody in a vest that his Grandma knitted. He was 25.
In this film, the rag tag band of toys are now hanging out with Bonnie, who I assume is Andy’s sister but I honestly can’t remember? Well researched, as always. Woody is behaving like a needy brat and is terrified of being not needed by a kid – and the film starts with him being literally left in the cupboard while the other toys get to play. Sad face.
Bonnie heads off to her Kindergarten orientation day, stalked there by Woody who gives her some extra craft materials after some dick child steals all of hers. Out of these, she makes Forky – a spork with googly eyes stuck on who had the ability to make me start laughing just by existing. In true Toy Story fashion, the story that unfolds before us is one of lost toys, kids growing up, and friends going on an adventure. Classic.
This was easily the most relaxed I’d felt going into a film in ages: if there’s a franchise you can feel in safe hands with, it’s Toy Story, right? Right.
And I wasn’t disappointed. From the start I was happily entertained, and the recurring jokes were funny enough to keep me and all my adult colleagues laughing just as much as the few children also in the quiet screening. I fell in love with Forky IMMEDIATELY, and I knew the ‘…trash?’ joke of him repeatedly trying to get back in the bin was so silly but I laughed at it every fucking time. In fact, all the toy-characters in this are brilliant. The old ones you’re familiar enough with to feel like you’ve been on a journey with, and the news one were integrated in easily and I cared about them straight away. Am I super into Toy Story now for some reason? Should I try and dig out the knitted waistcoat guy’s number?
Being Toy Story, the film also hits you in the stomach with the emotional baggage – luckily not in the same way as episode 3, but it still caused me to shed a tear by the time we’d reached the end of the 100 min running time. A lot of the time the emotional punches aren’t exactly subtle, and it does often piss me off to feel like a film is trying to make me cry, but it did feel sort of justified. I know what I signed up for.
The ventriloquist dolls who play the evil entourage role to the villainous Gabby Gabby are literally the most terrifying thing I have ever seen and if I was a child I would be scarred for life by them. I couldn’t sleep very well last night and I’m not saying that’s why, but it definitely didn’t help.
A heartwarming and funny adventure that gives you exactly what you’re expecting, but not much more. Trash?