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Wick's Review

Created Jun 28, 2019 05:49PM PST • Edited Jun 28, 2022 06:43PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Ah Toy Story, we’re not worthy. You’ve been with us for over a generation and have somehow gotten better with age, something that didn’t seem possible when Woody & Buzz first dazzled us a quarter-century ago.

    Each sequel – TS2, TS3 and now TS4 – adds new characters and deepens those we already know and love. In TS4, Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear and Tom Hanks’ Sheriff Woody reach new levels of depth, the former hilariously, the latter poignantly, both transcendently. Such sweet sorrow suffuses Josh Cooley’s film from Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton’s screenplay. It’s funny as hell, sweet as sugar and serious as a crutch.

    TS4 had better get a Best Picture nomination or the Oscars will have finally given up all hope of credibility. It’s certainly 2019’s YTD Best Picture. Let’s start with its status as a massive pop culture confection, one central to Disney’s quarterly financial performance. More, it is wonderfully human and even Christian in spirit. To wit, its humans and quasi-humans (aka toys) are deeply traditional yet unbound by limiting abilities. Men work at being men. Women are often superior, Bo Peep and her awesome staff in particular.

    Yet Annie Potts’ elegant überwoman is hardly TS4’s only bewitching turn. This star-studded movie has more superior stars working their cinematic magic than some toy stores have toys for sale on Black Friday.

    • Hanks gives a valedictory performance as Woody that’s amongst his greatest roles. Say no more.
    • Allen and his alter id Buzz expose the male condition better than any actor-character duopoly ever.
    • Joan Cusack’s Jessie the cowgirl is one of my favorite girls ever.
    • Key & Peele slay as Ducky & Bunny, a pair of plush toys tied together as prizes in a carny game.
    • A primo Keanu Reeves introduces one of Toy Story’s greatest characters — Duke Caboom.
    • Annie Potts deserves first and last mention as Bo the Überwoman.
    Bottomline on this Instantly Beloved Classic

    Every line is perfect, every image ideal in Toy Story 4. Plus, it is perfect Pixar by working dazzlingly well for kids and adults alike. As is the Pixar way, it doesn’t condescend to either. And we love it all the more.

  3. Perfect 5.0
    OG Toys
    Tom Hanks as Woody – the always true
    Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear punches a button on his chest to listen to his inner-voice.
    Annie Potts as Bo Peep is totally bitching.
    Tony Hale as Forky is the best new character in years.
    Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom. This is primo Keanu.
    • Joan Cusack as Jessie – treasured
    • Wallace Shawn as Rex
    • John Ratzenberger as Hamm
    • Blake Clark as Slinky Dog
    • Carl Weathers nails it as Combat Carl
    • Don Rickles & Estelle Harris cameo from archival material as Mr. Potato Head and the Mrs.
    • Key & Peele steal every scene they’re in as Ducky & Bunny.
      • Keegan-Michael Key as Ducky
      • Jordan Peele as Bunny
    • Jeff Garlin as Buttercup
    • Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants
    • Christina Hendricks as the scary Gabby Gabby
    • Bonnie Hunt as Dolly
    • Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples – brilliant
    • Kristen Schaal as Trixie
    • Emily Davis as the goats Billy, Goat and Gruff
    • Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens


    • June Squibb as Margaret the Store Owner
    • John Morris and Jack McGraw as young and teenage versions of Andy
    • Laurie Metcalf as Andy’s mom
    • Lila Sage Bromley as Harmony
    • Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie, the girl who adopted Andy’s toys.
    • Lori Alan & Jay Hernandez as Bonnie’s mom & dad
    • Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett
    • Betty White as Bitey White
    • Carl Reiner as Carl Reineroceros
    • Mel Brooks as Melephant Brooks
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Welcome to the top of the Toy Story heap Josh Cooley. Directing from Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton’s screenplay, you have upheld the brand in most grand and glorious style.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    Story credits go to John Lasseter, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Josh Cooley, Valerie LaPointe, Martin Hynes, Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton.

    • Rashida Jones is interesting in that list.
    • The original characters go back to Lasseter’s glory days, before the fall.
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Pixar’s CGI has long since achieved reality quality, other than human faces. Now, even those are near real.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.5
  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Gentle 1.5
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.5
  18. Surreal 2.7

    Toy Story 4 makes it clear that the law about when toys can speak and be heard by humans is ironclad. Humans can’t hear toys, no matter how close the call. Such certainty is parentally comforting.

    More generally, its reality factor scores remain unchanged from Toy Story 3, when I chose to respect them.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Surreal 3.0
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0


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