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  1. Published on: 11/08/2019 06:23 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: When a new toy arrives and Bonnie takes the toys on a roadtrip, Woody must help the new toy realise their importance whilst meeting up with an old friend.

    The Toy Story franchise is special for so many people, including me.

    The 1995 original was the first film I ever saw at a cinema. Even at the age of 7, I could tell this was something totally new and it ended up being a landmark film, not just within the animation genre.

    Since then, its sequels have surprised me and moved me in many ways. Toy Story 3 especially. The 9 year gap between their second and third installments had me and so many others fearing that a third chapter could tarnish the franchise. It ended up being one of the best films of all-time and a wonderful closing chapter for a particular era of our main characters.

    A further nine years, and now we have a part 4 and those feelings I had in 2010 are now starting to return. Despite me knowing that Pixar are a reliable source for strong films, it's only natural to feel worried.

    It starts off pretty well with some nice moments of nostalgia to cleanse the pallet before we set off for some new adventures. Already in the first act, I was seeing hints of where this story could be taking us. With the addition of a few new characters, the story and my enjoyment never detracted. Their introduction felt very smooth, and their addition felt valuable and never unnecessary.
    As we were heading towards the final act, I had already experienced a few tense moments with also some surprisingly scary scenes which caught me off guard.
    For the finale, I don't think I could have predicted what I saw and what I felt. It took some brave twists, that paid off so much that I was in floods of tears, an emotion which I have not expressed at the cinema or for any film for a long time.

    I honestly did not think they had more stories to tell in this franchise. But what Pixar conjured up was probably one that actually did the most in portraying life as a toy. It covers the many possible lives a toy could have and even goes fairly deep into the reasoning for a toy and why they are so important to people. So in a word, this is the most Toy Story a Toy Story film has ever been.

    Outside of the story, everything you would expect to excel in a Toy Story film, never failed. The animation continues to be as gloriously created as ever. The cinematography was pretty adventurous at times whenever it got tense or exciting. There is one clever use of camerawork in the opening credits sequence which was very cool to see.
    The music by Randy Newman had a great mix of new pieces and incorporated previous ones from older films.

    The voice work by all maintained the quality of the other Toy Story films. All the usual's such as Tom Hanks, Woody Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack all did great as expected. The new characters voiced Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves and Ally Maki all did great. Particularly Reeves, who I never would have expected to succeed in a Toy Story film.
    There was also a nice touch of how they used Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head. Despite sadly passing away, using archive footage of his voicework made it a nice homage of hearing him during this film.

    The only part of the film I felt could have been improved, was maybe the human part of the story towards the end involving a couple of characters.

    But I feel the strength of the story and my emotions felt during it certainly over-powered that one quibble I had with what is one of the best films I have seen for some time.
    So much so in fact, that this is a candidate for my top 100 films of all-time, which I have not had anew entry since 2013.
    Once again, Pixar shows everyone how important Toy Story is to them and they realise how precious it is to so many people. They obviously found the right story and it came through in such a way that it has made this franchise one of the best that has ever been made.

    It explored themes that I never thought the studio would be brave enough to cover and make it entertaining for a mass audience at the same time. But they actually did it in ways that I could never have imagined. It is very funny, whilst also being tense, scary, exciting, heart-warming and so sad. To do all of that in 100 minutes to such a quality makes a near-perfect film.

    I am nervous to say that I wouldn't say no to a fifth. But we'll wait and see if another 9-year gap is what is required for fifth chapter.

    I must also mention that in the first half of the credits, there are some additional scenes that are pretty cool to watch.

    Rating: 9/10

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