As a child of a military family, we moved around quite a bit. Leaving old friends behind and making new ones always seemed quite daunting and stressful on the first day of school. Would they like me? Will my old friends stay in touch? How will I fit in? My dolls became my best friends in some instances…my only friends. They made me feel safe and loved.
For Woody (Tom Hanks), Bo Peep (Annie Potts), Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and Forky (Tony Hale) in this new installment of Toy Story 4 we experience the same journey as it relates to toys. How will they find a new kid that will love and not discard them as yesterday’s newest thing to play with?
Pixar has done an exceptional job with animation to the point where when we see the images of a rainstorm threatening to wash one of their friends away, we know right away that toys are a very special group that stick together making sure that no one gets left behind. So, watching Bo Peep transitioning into the world of lost toys and having to say goodbye to her friends (especially Woody) breaks your heart on a Casablanca level. The opening montage with the Oscar winning song ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ sets the mood perfectly.
Bonnie is so daunted by her first day of school that she literally makes her own friend (Forky) and when he becomes misplaced, her little world and comfort zone are turned upside down. At the same time, Woody is experiencing that feeling of not being the popular toy in the box resulting in an unhealthy obsession in looking after Bonnie. Not realizing that in not being popular, he feels like a lost toy with a home.
Bo Peep is nobody’s fool and is giving you an animated GI Jane while dressed with the ultimate femininity. Benson is a little creepy looking on the ‘Chucky’ side, but Gabby Gabby will unexpectedly break your heart
Between Forky and Woody’s road trip, the rescue attempts from the Second Chance Antique Store, the secret toy night club in the jukebox and Gabby Gabby’s quest for a new voice box you are sucked into this world from the first frame. Regardless of age, you will laugh, cry and be on board with the message that real friends stay with you no matter what. There are some special moments happening during the credits that will make you holla even more, so stay in those seats or you will miss it. Jordan Peel and Keegan Michael-Key is all I’m gonna say:)
Kudos to Josh Cooley for taping into that sentimentality regarding friendships in a world we navigate through mostly through cell phones and social media with little to no human contact. Also, Kudos to Pixar/Disney for adding voices like Rashida Jones on the writing side to assist with the reality and dialogue swagger. Loved that!!! We are reminded that contact with one another is the thing that reminds us that someone cares, loves and desires our company. Woody and Gabby Gabby find it and you will discover it too when you screen Pixar/Disney’s Toy Story 4 opening on July 21.