The story about Andy’s toys and their endless adventures has turned into one of the most successful film franchises. Toy Story first premiered in 1995, wowing audiences with the animation and the tale of friendship between Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and their kid, Andy (John Morris).

The latest installment, Toy Story 4, is said to possibly be the last film in the franchise. Though fans didn’t think the films could get more heartbreaking than the ending of Toy Story 3, the fourth installment certainly proves them wrong. 

After Toy Story 3 ends with Andy giving Woody, Buzz and the whole gang to Bonnie (Emily Hahn, Madeleine McGraw), Andy goes off to college and Bonnie is happy playing with the toys. Toy Story 4 revolves around Bonnie starting kindergarten, and at her first day she makes a new friend named Forky (Tony Hale), who, to all the other toys’ confusion, comes alive like the rest of them, even though he’s a spork. When Bonnie and her family go on a road trip, Forky tries to escape and Woody makes it his personal responsibility to bring him back to Bonnie. 

Throughout the Toy Story film franchise, audiences have met a number of new additions to the group, villainous characters and smaller characters that help progress the plot. Toy Story 4 introduces a lot of new characters and expands the voice cast, including Keegan-Michael Key as Ducky, Jordan Peele as Bunny, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby and Keanu Reeves as Duke Kaboom. 

The new additions to the cast are wonderful, especially Key and Peele, who provide their normal banter as the dynamic duo they’re famous for being. Hale also does a phenomenal job providing a relatable, comedic character in Forky that everyone can get behind. 

Though the audience meets a lot of fun and new characters, there’s one familiar face who takes the lead in the film. Bo Peep (Annie Potts) is back, with an updated look and a strong sense of empowerment. Audiences were sad when Bo wasn’t in Toy Story 3, and there wasn’t much explanation as to what happened. However, Toy Story 4 not only gives Bo the spotlight, but provides backstory as to what happened to Bo in the first place. Since the two leads of the film have always been Woody and Buzz, it’s a nice change of pace to see Bo as an empowered female taking the lead.

The plot for Toy Story 4 is nothing short of genius. Even though the film is the fourth sequel to the original story, the writers manage to find unique and original plots for each film in the franchise. There aren’t many film franchises that can say each movie gets progressively better than the last, but Toy Story is by far the biggest exception. 

Other than the plot, a huge reason why the Toy Story films get progressively better as time goes on is Pixar’s animation. The animation studio is always coming up with ways to enhance its animation technology, and it shows through the projects. The animation in Toy Story 4 is by far the best Pixar project yet. 

Toy Story is notorious for tear-jerking plot points, especially in the third installment. However, the plot points in Toy Story 4 are some of the most heartbreaking audiences will see from the franchise. It’s a wonderfully sad reminder of our attachment to the characters and the story, and how whether or not the film truly is the end of the franchise, it was still a great experience to watch them.

The film has a cute and clever plot, a strong female lead, great additions to the cast and an ending that can even make adults cry. Toy Story 4 is not only a must-see for children, but a must-see for the grown ups who have been following the franchise with their children, or have grown up watching the films themselves. The supposed final film in the Toy Story franchise is yet another perfect example of why audiences love the films to infinity, and beyond. 

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