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Toy Story 4 managed to achieve what I thought is impossible in modern day filmmaking: making an acclaimed FOURTH chapter of an already successful franchise. We all know how a fourth movie that happened after a trilogy already concluded tend not to fair well. We even have a trope for it. But Toy Story 4 succeeded where most other fourth films failed because it wasn't intended to tell a new story, but it's simply a wrap-up of things that already concluded in the original trilogy. Think of this movie as an epilogue full-length film of the original trilogy, if I may.
Many viewers might feel that the original cast bar Woody, Buzz, and Jessie are sidelined to make room for new characters, but that's precisely the point. Everyone's stories are already finished with the ending of Toy Story 3...except for Woody. Being Andy's oldest toy who finds himself with a new owner who doesn't give him the same affections as Andy as she did with other toys would trouble Woody and Woody only, no other toy understands what he feels, and the movie is all about him trying to deal with this predicament. Put simply, this is Woody's movie. Sure, Woody might play the main character in previous films as well, but he mostly plays the same character: a strong leader who never gives up on his friends. Toy Story 4 turns the entire concept of Woody as a character on its head: showing how much he suffered from having no choice but to sacrifice his own happiness for others all the time. Characters like Forky, Bo Peep, and Gabby Gabby are added to the film solely to fuel Woody's character development, and Pixar did a great job in providing his ultimate resolution.
With the plot aside, everything else is as fantastic as what you would expect from a great Pixar film: stunning visuals, creative set pieces, memorable and entertaining characters, well-done comedic moments, and a great life lesson to teach your kids.
Pretty much the only complaint I have about this movie is that the character of Forky is a bit underused: what with him being made of trash and accidentally becomes sentient and faces an existential crisis: it could very well make a very interesting plot by itself. Alas, apparently Pixar decided to scrap this story (they even make a joke in a credit scene about it) in favor of resolving Woody's character arc instead (which is still pretty good! But still, They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot).
All in all, if I have to compare, Toy Story 4 is to the Toy Story series what Film/Logan is to Fox's X-Men series: both are movies that put the most focus on its main character dealing with the fallout of their already concluded storylines in previous films, before finally ending with the main characters retiring for good.
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