New toy story 4

Toy Story 4 finds the beauty and joy in saying goodbye

Heading into the fourth movie of a 24-year-old franchise, even one helmed by Disney and Pixar, it’s hard not be cynical. What could Toy Story 4 do that Toy Story, Toy Story 2, or Toy Story 3 couldn’t? And what would it take to make yet another story about Toy Story, which has constantly outdone itself in movie after movie, feel new?

New toys, like a pair of neon carnival plushies with murderous desires, help. So does the return of old favorite characters who may have skipped the previous entry, like Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who’s now more Indiana Jones than a meek-and-mild keeper of sheep. A road trip and a truly frightening villain help too.

But the simple answer in the gorgeous, absolutely charming Toy Story 4 is to go back to where it all began: telling a story centered on the pull-string cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks), and about fictional toys’ very real feelings about life, love, and the meaning of it all.

And in telling that story, Pixar once again takes us to an emotional place — one where many of us never may have expected or dared to visit, especially by way of an animated kids’ film.

Toy Story 4 introduces new wrinkles into a story we thought we already knew

This installment picks up from the end of Toy Story 3, when Woody, Buzz (Tim Allen), and the rest of Andy’s toys found a new owner in Bonnie, a kid at Sunnyside Daycare. We begin now in Bonnie’s room, greeted by all our beloved toys — minus Toy Story 3 standout Barbie, who stayed behind at said day care to transition it into a better, fairer place for all toys.

But for some of Bonnie’s toys back home, life isn’t quite as good as they’d hoped.

There’s no guarantee that when you hand over your favorite toys, as Andy does to Bonnie, their new owner is going to love them all as equally as you did. Each kid has their own preferences, and when it comes to Bonnie, Woody — the mainstay of Andy’s toys and this four-film franchise — is the odd toy out.

Woody waits in the closet while other toys have become Bonnie’s new favorites. It kills him to watch the toys play games like “hat shop” with Bonnie through the closet slats. But instead of taking out his frustrations on longtime friends like Jessie, who has replaced him as the playroom sheriff, he turns that envy into effort, trying even harder to make Bonnie like him by sneaking into her backpack and going to kindergarten with her.

It’s at school that we get to the meat of this story. During arts and crafts time, Bonnie breathes life into a spork, a pair of leftover googly eyes, popsicle sticks, and a red pipe cleaner to create a new best friend named Forky (Tony Hale). Forky is a hilarious visual gag: Since he was put together with clumsy kindergarten hands, his limbs are always slipping down, his eyes pop off, his smile slopes off his face, and he waddles with a click-clack sound in each step.

To Woody and the other toys, Forky checks off the all-important “loved by the kid” box; he’s definitely a toy. But to Forky himself, born of throwaway materials, he’s nothing more trash. He has no desire to do all the expected toy things, like comfort his kid or bring joy to their lives. He just wants to be with the other pieces of trash, with which he knows he belongs.

The love from Bonnie that comes effortlessly to, and is rejected by, Forky is what Woody lives for. And therein lies the tragic, existential rub of this story: Woody wants what Forky has but has never been able to attain himself. He wants Bonnie’s affection as badly as Forky doesn’t want it.

Toy Story 4 is a celebration of love more than anything — the magic in it to transform us and the terminal pain that arises when that love goes unreturned. If love sustains us, as Woody explains to Forky in so many ways, then we do everything we can to return and preserve it. It’s what pulls us through the rough patches, and it’s the one thing that keeps us going. And for toys, love has mortal implications: To love, and to be loved, is their life’s entire purpose.

If Woody’s reason to exist relies on love, Toy Story 4 asks bleakly, what happens if that love is taken away?

In Woody’s search for love, Toy Story 4 reminds us how hard it is to let go


Woody’s existential dread is wrapped around an adventure, a road trip that Bonnie takes with her parents, Forky, and the rest of the toys. Bonnie and her gang visit several new locales, like an RV they travel in, the Second Chance Antiques shop, and a carnival.

In making each of these locations feel like unique, mini-adventures of their own, the animation team delivers.

Toy Story 4 is easily the series’ best-looking entry yet, playing with new, radioactive color palettes in characters like Bunny (Jordan Peele) and Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key), a pair of maniacal stuffed animals at the carnival. With the Canadian action figure Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Pixar makes life in plastic look fantastic and almost tangible. The antiques store setting allows for its own lived-in beauty on the other end of the spectrum, including one particularly gorgeous scene — sunlight glistening off the glass from vintage Tiffany-like chandeliers — that you’ll be thinking of later.

But an antiques store, no matter how beautiful it is to humans, is essentially purgatory for toys. It’s the place where the dusty toys of grandmas and grandpas are left, passed over and over. Nothing is new and shiny, as the icily creepy doll tenant Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) proves.

Gabby Gabby herself. Disney/Pixar

Pigtailed and freckled, Gabby Gabby is that vintage doll, the one you’d find in a glass case in a musty room in someone else’s house. Made with a defective voice box, Gabby Gabby has seemingly spent her whole life in the antiques store, waiting patiently for a child to love her. That pesky voice box of hers, she believes, is the only thing that’s keeping her from experiencing love.

Finding a kid to settle in with is everything that she wants. So much so that it consumes her.

Gabby Gabby’s obsession with affection isn’t that different from Woody’s. But unlike Woody, Gabby Gabby’s never experienced it, and that makes her more desperate. Her desperation makes her not only the most extreme villain but also the most relatable and heartbreaking one in the Toy Story series thus far.

The antique store isn’t just a graveyard of unloved toy souls, though. It’s where the toys reunite with Bo Peep, who was given away to the same antiques store as Gabby Gabby nearly a decade ago. Bo Peep has experienced the highs and lows of love and loss: Whiling away in plaything purgatory isn’t the life she wanted or expected.

Bo and Woody’s reunion is sweet, but then it turns bitter. While he’s happy to see her, there’s part of him that looks down on the life she lives, making the most of her new circumstances. He can’t see himself living as a self-sufficient toy like her, even though we all see the dead-end situation he’s in.

This rings loud and clear for us, the viewers: The need to let go and say goodbye can be so obvious to everyone except the person who has to do it.

The lesson sits heavily with us, the viewers, because it mirrors the life of the Toy Story franchise. Kids who watched the first movie in 1995 are now adults, possibly with their own children. Parents who took their kids could now be grandparents, perhaps still buying Woody and Buzz dolls for their grandkids. This collection of stories about a pull-string cowboy, a space commander, and their secret lives in the toy box has shaped our own lives has made us reflect on the journeys we’ve taken alongside them. Letting go of Toy Story isn’t something any of us wants to do, and we haven’t yet had to.

But leave it to Toy Story to teach us one final lesson, if this is in fact the end (boy, does it sure feel like it). Toy Story 4’s message to us is that we don’t have to stop loving someone just because they’re not in our lives anymore. There’s going to be a time when we won’t be there for someone we love, and there will be a time when they won’t be there for us. What matters is the time we did share, and the feelings we did, and do, have for each other.

Feelings may fade, but they don’t have to disappear. I mean, after all, we’re still talking about these toys, right?

Toy Story 4 is out in theaters on June 20, 2019.

Who is the greatest Toy Story toy of them all? (Picture: Disney/Pixar)

On November 19, 1995, movies changed forever. That was the date of the premiere of Toy Story.

Like so many great films, Toy Story had a turbulent production history, and the tone of the finished feature was very different to the snarky, wisecracking path that was mistakenly chosen in early script drafts and footage.

If the process of making the first movie (and the first Pixar movie) was like climbing a mountain, then Toy Story 2 was like climbing a mountain, going back down it and then climbing it again.

Pixar effectively made Toy Story 2 twice when the first version, which had originally been slated to go direct to DVD, wasn’t up to the high standards it had already set with the original instalment and A Bug’s Life.

MORE: Disney Pixar reveal first Toy Story 4 details – and it’s a love story for Woody

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Eleven years (about 1,000 in toy years) passed between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, released in 2010. Again, the production wasn’t smooth – because of protracted negotiations over rights, Disney initially tried to produce the Toy Story threequel with another studio that wasn’t Pixar, which seems well nigh unthinkable.

If Toy Story 4, scheduled for release in 2018, is to match is predecessors, perhaps it will need some chaos behind the scenes.

What goes on the screen in the Toy Story movies, however, while sometimes chaotic, is always glorious. A lot of that is because of the wonderful animation, but it wouldn’t matter how bright the films looked if they didn’t have brilliant characters. And the Toy Story trilogy is chock full of them.

On the 20th anniversary of Toy Story’s release, here are the 20 best characters from all three films.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Mr Shark
Story: Stuck in the toy box for much of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Mr Shark still makes two mammoth contributions: he finds poor Wheezy (see below) a new squeaker and he takes the mickey out of Woody with a great hat gag. Sadly, he was packed away in the attic or hocked in a yard sale between Toy Stories 2 and 3. Bring him back for Toy Story 4: Mr Shark’s Tale!

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Sarge
Story: Always ready to lead his Bucket O’ Soldiers into another intelligence gathering mission, Sarge is the action man’s toy du choix. Never leaves a man behind.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Barbie
Story: We get the full blown Barbie in Toy Story 3, but we’ll always have a thing for Tour Guide Barbie in the second film, who doesn’t like passengers talking while she’s driving.

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Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Chuckles
Story: A sad one. It’s Chuckles who reveals his past – and that of two other prominent characters – to Woody in Toy Story 3. Chuckles is proof to coulrophobics everywhere that, yes, clowns can look scary, but they can also be cuddly.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Mr Potato Head
Story: Most of the toys in Andy’s room are wide-eyed innocents, always ready to see the good in other playthings, but Mr Potato Head is a little more sceptical, and was quick to ostracise Woody from the gang. He did think the sheriff had tried to murder a spaceman, to be fair. He’s definitely mellowed since Mrs Potato Head arrived on the scene.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Stinky Pete the Prospector
Story: We don’t get all the hate for Stinky Pete; all he wanted was to take a trip to Japan. If you were trapped in a box all your life, you’d have social interaction issues too.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Evil Emperor Zurg
Story: Sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance, but also a great dad, Zurg was only mentioned by Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story, but was rightly elevated to sort-of-villain status in the sequel. Look at him; you just want to give him a hug, don’t you?

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Cymbal-banging Monkey
Story: Horror beyond imagination. Be afraid, be very afraid. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the daycare centre. All taglines that fail to do justice to just how frightening the percussion-playing monkey is in Toy Story 3. This guy would bash Hannibal Lecter’s brains in for breakfast.

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Toy: Slinky Dog
Story: The Toy Story anthem, You’ve Got A Friend In Me, could have been written specifically for Slink, such is his loyalty to his good pal, Sheriff Woody. If only all of us had a buddy like him.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Wheezy
Story: This squeaking penguin is the cutest character in Toy Story canon, which, considering the competition, is some going. Fantastic singing voice too.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Rex
Story: Andy’s room’s resident gaming expert and jittery naive innocent, Rex might not be as fearsome as he would like, but we like him just the way he is.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Big Baby
Story: This was a tough call, as the Toy Story trilogy contains two babies who might appear scary at first but are simply misunderstood, and Big Baby from TS3 just edges out the spider-like Babyface from TS1. Big Baby has had a hard life, and is used as muscle for the sadistic toy regime at Sunnyside Daycare, but thankfully he breaks free of his shackles.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Hamm
Story: Money slot by day, the Evil Dr Porkchop by night, Hamm is the wittiest character in the Toy Storyverse. We’d pay good money to watch a sitcom starring him, Mr Potato Head and Rex as college roommates.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Jessie
Story: The most enthusiastic toy in the box, cowgirl Jessie makes the Duracell Bunny look like Winnie the Pooh. But there is a quieter side to Jessie and she sometimes uses her bundles of energy to hide her sad past; being abandoned by her owner Emily. We’re going to go away and cry for a bit now.

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Toy: Ken
Story: Luigi… Robin… Andrew Ridgeley. All members of double acts who have been overshadowed by their more illustrious partners. But in 2010, one man struck a blow for the overlooked other halves of duos everywhere. That man was Ken. In Toy Story 3, he finally stepped into the limelight to prove he could shine there as brightly as Barbie. Great hair too.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Squeeze Toy Aliens
Story: Two words: THE. CLAAAWWWW.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Mr Pricklepants
Story: He’s the hedghog in lederhosen who takes his acting very seriously. Also known as Baron Von Shush. We worship at the paws of Pricklepants.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Buzz Lightyear
Story: To infinity… and beyond! Star Command’s most famous member can fall with style and speak Spanish. The shiniest, noisiest, most expensive toy in the box. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Lots-O’-Huggin Bear
Story: ‘He’s Lots-O’-Huggin Bear… and for you he’ll always care!’ Hmmm… not quite. Strawberry-scented Lotso may be the villain of Toy Story 3, but he is also the victim: along with Big Baby and Chuckles, he was left behind by his owner Daisy, then replaced with a Lotso-lookalike.

The fluffy pink bear took it all rather badly, leading him to run the cruel toycracy in Sunnyside Daycare and to, um, attempted murder. He’s not a very nice guy.

And yet that is what is so great about his character. He has been treated as badly as some of the other toys who have been abandoned, but unlike those who forgive their human keepers and move on, Lotso embraces his anger and puts it to nasty use.

It’s really rather sad: he’s a monstrous figure, yet we also feel sorry for him.

Picture: Disney/Pixar

Toy: Woody
Story: He’s a sad, strange little man… and we love him. Having a list of the most memorable toys in Toy Story and not putting Woody at the top would be like making a rundown of the best characters from The Simpsons and not sticking Homer at number one. There really is only one sheriff in town.

Woody is such a brilliant character because of his flaws. He has severe envy issues when Buzz crash lands on Andy’s bed in Toy Story, then suffers delusions of grandeur when he learns he’s a collector’s item in Toy Story 2. But he always learns the error of his ways, and always admits when he’s wrong. He is the most human of the toys, going through the full gamut of emotions.

And in the end, he is that true friend; someone who will stick his neck out for his mates no matter what.

Howdy, partner!

MORE: Some super-fans built an exact replica of Andy’s room from Toy Story 3

MORE: Disney Pixar reveal first Toy Story 4 details – and it’s a love story for Woody

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29 Examples Of The Incredible Level Of Detail In Toy Story 4

It’s been twenty-four years since the first Toy Story movie came out and almost nine since the last part came out back in 2010. Finally, the latest installment in the series is here and, like all the other parts, it was an instant hit. People were not only praising the story but also the incredible level of detail of the characters. It looks like the talented animators at Pixar Studios really thought about everything – from the fuzz on Woody’s shirt to the tiny scratches on all of the toys.

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

A lot of everyone’s favorite characters from the past films are back in Toy Story 4, like Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear, along with some new ones like Duke Caboom voiced by Keanu Reeves and Forky voiced by Tony Hale.

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

It seems like every new installment of Toy Story is almost like a showcase of how much the animation technology advanced throughout the years with every new part being even more detailed than the last.

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

“If we try to use Toy Story 2 Woody, it’s like putting a CD-ROM into a Blu-ray player,” said director Josh Cooley in an interview with Cnet. “It just wouldn’t work.”

“We’ve created this world,” production designer Bob Pauley added. “We don’t want to mess with it.”

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Production designer Bob Pauley says something like the storm scene from the latest movie wouldn’t have been possible in the earlier films due to limitations of technology.

Check out the incredible level of detail of the latest Toy Story movie in the gallery below!

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

Image credits: Pixar

33 easter eggs and details you might have missed in ‘Toy Story 4’

  • Disney and Pixar are known for putting references and easter eggs in their films. “Toy Story 4” is the latest offering from the studios.
  • Fans have tried to track down the reference to A113 in the new “Toy Story 4” movie. It’s a number that’s cropped up in every Pixar film except “Monsters, Inc.”
  • Warning: this video contains spoilers.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Any self-respecting Pixar fan could tell you that the animation company’s movies are filled with references and Easter Eggs of their back catalogue. But producer Mark Nielsen recently explained that there are nods to every single Pixar movie in Toy Story 4. Here are the ones we spotted.

1. The movie opens with a flashback to nine years ago, explaining the absence of Bo Peep from Toy Story 3. She was last spotted singing with Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Wheezy in “Toy Story 2”, but fans complained that it wasn’t clear if she’d been broken or was donated.

2. Outside the licence plate on the car is RMR F97. Licence plates have been used in “Cars” and “Toy Story 2” to mean a whole range of things. This one refers to when “Toy Story 2” was accidentally deleted from the render farm. RMR F97 was the command on the computer that deleted the film, which had to be restored using a backup file. Fitting then, that the car that takes bo away is also the one that nearly killed the whole movie.

3. Bo Peep assists Woody in rescuing RC from a storm drain. A card is passed through the group to use as a launch pad. On this card is a crude drawing of Rainbow Unicorn from “Inside Out”.

4. Take a closer look at the students’ boxes at the back of the classroom when Bonnie creates Forky. One of them belongs to Anton, a possible reference to food critic Anton Ego in “Ratatouille”.

5. Inside Bonnie’s room has some similarities to the wallpaper in Andy’s room in “Toy Story”, as well as later in the film we see a bedspread full of Pizza Planet-style rockets and Pixar stars that’s the same as in the original movie.

6. The van that the family go on vacation in a tri-county RV. This links to references to Tri-county International airport in “Toy Story 2” and Tri-County Landfill in “Toy Story 2”.

7. One of the vacation spots is to a home that looks very similar to the original design for “The Incredibles”‘ house.

8. Woody and Forky come across Second Chance Antiques. The store sign tells us that it was established in 1986, the same year as Pixar.

9. Also, the building address is 1200. Pixar is based at 1200 Park Avenue, Emeryville, California.

10. Outside the antique store is a Ship It removals van. This same company van crops up in “Toy Story of Terror”.

11. Inside the store is where we get lots of Pixar movie references packed in. There’s a vintage record player that plays a record from Chalupa Records (from “Coco”).

12. There are a green diver’s mask and Tiki Heads from the fish tank in “Finding Nemo”.

13. Bo Peep slides past an ornate plate that has a Celtic-looking symbol from “Brave” on it. This plate crops up in several shots.

14. A yellow plane hanging near the window resembles Sun Wing from “Planes”.

15. There’s also awards cases from Gusteau’s office from “Ratatouille” and furniture from “The Incredibles”.

16. Take a closer look at the key the antique store staff member is carrying. It’s a replica of Sora’s Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. Fans have speculated that this is a nod to the upcoming Square Enix title Kingdom Hearts 3.

17. Here’s where ‘The Shining’ comes in. From carpets to garbage truck licence plates, Stanley Kurich’s film has made an appearance in manyToy Story movies. A record is put on playing ‘Midnight, the stars and you’ as performed by Ray Noble and his Orchestra. This is the same song as played at the end of The Shining, as the camera pans out from a photograph showing Jack smiling at the Overlook Hotel ball. Fans have also suggested that the old lady’s home address when attacked by Ducky and Bunny is 237. So keep an eye out for that.

18. The antagonists of the antique store are a group of vintage toys. The ventriloquist dummy Vincent bears resemblance to Slappy the dummy from Goosebumps. And Gabby Gabby has the same yellow bows and dress as 1950s Chatty Cathy.

19. Combat Carl is back. We first see a Combat Carl doll being blown up by Sid in “Toy Story”. This version though is the Carl Weathers lookalike from “Toy Story of Terror”. Rumor has it that John Lasseter wanted to use a GI Joe in the original “Toy Story” movie, but Hasbro was upset that the doll would be blown up, so they made up a brand instead.

The carnival is in town, with a few blinks and you’ll miss it details.

20. Buzz flies into a purple and yellow spider-like ride that has the same color palette as Zurg, his enemy in the original “Toy Story”.

21. There’s a spinning ride next to the Ferris wheel, with a purple and yellow umbrella structure. This looks exactly like the sundrop flower from “Tangled”.

22. A stall is called Jet Stream, echoing the character alias Strut Jetstream from “Planes”: “you’re strutting jetstream?”

23. It’s in this fairground that Bo Peep loses her arm.

This could be a possible Star Wars reference. Throughout Disney-owned franchises, characters lose an arm in a nod to Luke Skywalkers amputation scene at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”.

24. Bo’s sheep bring her a bottle cap and safety pin while out foraging. The cap they give her is from the same grape soda bottle as Russell gets awarded in “Up”.

25. Later in the film, Buzz gets trapped in a ring-toss style game. Other prizes include the guitars from “Coco”, blue hats with the Pizza Planet logo on, rockets featuring the Luxo ball, and a red and yellow stuffed toy flame resembling Anger in “Inside Out”. We see this flame again later when Duke Caboom attempts his first stunt.

26. Think Duke Caboom looks familiar? He actually cropped up in “Incredibles 2”, in the corner of shot where we see Jack-Jack’s crib.

27. Bo and Woody approach the secret entrance for a club in the antique store. Above this, we see a decoration for ‘Catmull’s’ Cream Soda’, named after Ed Catmull, a longstanding studio exec stepping down after “Toy Story 4”.

28. Bo presses a 25 cents button on the slot machine to enter the club. The number 25 pops up a few times in the film. This could be a nod to “Toy Story 3” maker Lee Unkrich, who parted ways with Pixar after 25 years in 2019.

29. Inside the club, we meet Tinny, from the 1988 Pixar movie “Tin Toy”, and Franklin, the eagle from “Toy Story Toons”.

30. Think Mr Potato Head sounds familiar? Don Rickles’ voice is in the movie, even though the actor died in 2017. He had signed on to the movie before passing away, and his vocal likeness is compiled through various shorts, games and theme park voiceovers.

31. We found A113. It’s masquerading as a vintage ’70s pattern.

32. The RV stops at Dinoco Gas, which is the same chain of gas stations that Woody and Buzz get stranded at in the original “Toy Story”.

33. Lastly, look closely at the poster for the movie and you’ll see a reference to “Up”. A painting on the wall behind the gang is of dogs playing poker, the same dogs as Russell sailed past holding a bunch of balloons.

Produced by Ju Shardlow, Filmed by David Ibekwe

You can always count on Pixar to work their movie magic like no one else. Pixar films are always chock full of easter eggs, subtle details, and plenty of little moments that add up to a rich cinematic experience. Toy Story 4 trailers have been out for a while but the film just hit theaters late last month and people are still reeling from the latest installment of the beloved Pixar franchise.

One thing that has people particularly gobsmacked is the outrageous level of detail Pixar achieved in their computer animation.

Pixar has released images that show just how granular they got to make the characters of Toy Story come to life, from adding realistic cotton fluff to Woody’s shirt to tiny scuff marks on Buzz’s space suit.

It’s an incredible artistic feat, as the photos prove.

Just look at the threads and stitching on Woody’s shirt.

Or consider how you can almost feel these fluffy guys due to the shocking realism of Toy Story 4.

The detail in the new Toy Story 4 trailer will totally blow your mind.

— peachy nadal (@heydwighthoe) June 20, 2019

I love this attention to detail that Pixar did for the third and fourth Toy Story films. If you look very carefully, you can see the stitching on Woody’s arm which was torn in the second film and fixed by Andy at the end of the movie. It’s an excellent use of attention to detail.

— Animated Antic (@Animated_Antic) June 28, 2019

Toy Story 4

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” sings Randy Newman, Pixar’s bard, in a montage from “Toy Story 4.” The song’s title is aimed at Woody (Tom Hanks), a friend to his original owner, Andy, and later to Bonnie, a five-year old who inherited Andy’s toys at the end of “Toy Story 3” and is shown refining her own playtime rituals that don’t always include Woody. Secondarily, the song is officially aimed at a new character, Forky (Tony Hale), a plastic spork with popsicle-stick feet and pipe cleaner arms, created by Bonnie with material supplied by Woody during orientation day at kindergarten. Typical of “Toy Story,” a series where inanimate objects don’t merely have personalities but existential crises, Forky keeps breaking away from Bonnie and Woody and trying to hurl himself into the nearest trash receptacle. This is not a comment on his own feelings of worthiness. but an expression of the fact that Forky is, after all, a utensil, and feels most comfortable in the trash, secure in the knowledge that he fulfilled his purpose.

But “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” also expresses the audience’s feelings for this beloved series, which has continued over nearly a quarter century, producing four installments that run the gamut from excellent to perfect. We don’t want the story of “Toy Story” to end, but we also don’t want it to become a plaything taken down from the shelf out of obligation rather than excitement. If the makers of “Toy Story 4” shared these anxieties, they’ve merged them into plot of this movie. Among other things, it’s about a devoted playmate’s fear that he’s become obsolete, boring, not special anymore, and otherwise incapable of holding the attention of a child.

But, as old toy commercials used to promise: that’s not all! Although the first part of the movie concentrates on the relationship between Woody and Forky (who have a long, uncut walk-and-talk that strangely evokes both “Of Mice and Men” and “Midnight Cowboy”), the rest of “Toy Story 4” distributes its attention democratically among playthings that we know from before, including Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear and Joan Cusack’s Cowgirl Jesse, and new toys that we meet during the family’s week-long Winnebago road trip. The latter include Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny, wisecracking plush collectibles that Buzz meets at a fairground ball-toss; Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, a Evel Knievel-styled motorcycle rider who describes himself as the greatest stuntman in Canada; and Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, a 1950s-era talking doll whose voice box is broken, and spends her days ruling a desolate kingdom of unclaimed toys in an antique shop. (It wouldn’t be a “Toy Story” film without a touch of the sinister, and Gabby provides it with help from her minions, a set of identical ventriloquist’s dummies whose big heads tilt when they run.)

As the story unfolds, we’re treated to all of the elements that we’ve come to expect, including a mission to rescue a missing or kidnapped toy, a climactic action sequence reuniting separated characters, and a moment where a toy hilariously breaks the rule against letting humans know they’re alive. But on the whole, “Toy Story 4″—which was written by Stephanie Folsom and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”) and directed by Josh Cooley (“Inside Out”)—breaks somewhat with tradition, in that it’s less of a straightforward, linear comedy-adventure than a patchwork of scenes, moments, and groups of characters, unified more by shared themes and ideas than by any particular thing that happens. It’s a stretch to call this a Robert Altman movie with little plastic toys, but darned if it doesn’t get close to that sometimes.

Also in “Toy Story” tradition—perhaps more so than ever—this entry is flexible in its metaphors, in the way that dreams are flexible: i.e., a character or storyline can mean more than one thing at the same time. This allows the viewers to imprint their fears and dreams onto the material, and subtly change how they read a moment without contradicting themselves (or worrying that movie is contradicting itself).

Kids won’t understand much of this, but they won’t need to, because the film’s surface level is designed to be legible to any child old enough to understand a tale told in images. (Listen during the opening Pixar logo for the sound of a small child laughing when the desk lamp turns to look at the audience; it’s been happening since 1986.) Ultimately, anything these toys desire is driven mainly by the fact that they’re toys, and the series has always been clear about what motivates them. They inhabit a world with rules and a code as clearly laid out as the ones in the John Wick and body snatchers and Batman franchises. The toys are all defined by their relationship to a child, whether it’s a relationship that still is, once was, or hasn’t happened (yet).

Once you get beyond that, things get curiouser and curiouser. The toys in the “Toy Story” films simultaneously stand in for children and adults (more the latter than the former—as “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2,” one of the saddest songs in film history, testifies). But Woody’s specific mix of anxiety and depression here seems more like that of a grandparent than a parent. Woody’s polite but frantic takeovers of Bonnie’s playtime evoke a newly-employed senior citizen starting at a new workplace that’s staffed mainly by younger folk who have their own way of doing things; and also a grandparent whose own kids grew up and left the house, and is now manufacturing a fresh sense of purpose by turning into a busybody who micromanages his granddaughter’s life, and second-guesses her parents. Really, Woody didn’t have to go to to kindergarten with Bonnie, and it’s possible that his artistic midwifing of Forky caused new complications for him and his pals. It’s like an older parent having (or adopting) a new baby, years after the first round has left the nest.

Even more so than in the first “Toy Story,” where Woody feared his old-school charm would be overshadowed by a flashy new spaceman, or the second and third movies, which centered on toys’ fears that children will mature and abandon them, the cowboy is fretting over the likelihood of forced retirement, followed by erasure. Fear of death, whether in body, spirit, or reputation, lingers over the movie, though never so heavily that you forget to laugh at the toys being silly.

This cowboy has a snake in his boot, and subtext in his text. Every time Woody prevents Forky from breaking away and leaping into a garbage can, or sneaking off Bonnie’s pillow at night and sliding into the trash bucket near her bed, he’s symbolically postponing his own extinction, which he avoided in physical fact at the end of “Toy Story 3” (that terrifying sequence in the furnace) but could still experience by being locked away in a glass case (by somebody like The Collector from “Toy Story 2”) or placed on a dusty shelf in a small-town antique shop (which happens to many old toys here) or simply tossed in the back of Bonnie’s closet and forgotten. An elder quartet of Bonnie toys—voiced by Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Betty White—assure Woody that these things happen to all toys eventually.

The relationship of toys to kids, and kids to parents/grandparents, is widened out even more by a screenplay that considers the relationship of parents and children to society, and how that same society assigns worth to adults based on whether they’ve paired themselves off with a child. The secret, unheralded costar of “Toy Story 4,” and the focus of its most emotionally complex scenes, is Bo Peep (Annie Potts), Woody’s sweetheart, who went AWOL in “Toy Story 3” but gets her missing chapter filled in here. When Woody meets Bo Peep again, she’s essentially a hard-edged but self-sufficient single lady, driving around in a motorized skunk toy, and treating her three-headed sheep as “kids” (kids are what you call baby goats, which is why they’re named Billy, Goat, and Gruff—this series has linguistic as well as visual layers).

Bo Peep is an instinctive shepherd to lost lambs of all sorts, but she uses her crooked staff as a climbing tool and defensive weapon as well as a means of corralling unruly “children.” And it seems a stretch to call her a born mom, because who’s to say she wasn’t actually “born” to be the person she is at this moment? “Who needs a kid’s room when you can have all of this?” she asks Woody, sweeping her crook across the panorama of the fairgrounds. (We also learn her secret nickname for Woody, which is less heroic than he might like: “the rag doll.”)

Without putting too fine a point on it, “Toy Story 4” lets Woody and Bo Peep have a running dialogue about whether you’re more or less of a toy, or a happier or sadder example of a toy, if you have a child’s name scrawled on the bottom of your foot. Their relationship encloses preoccupations of other characters, all of whom are grappling with nature vs. nurture, and whether a sense of purpose is something you find on your own or accept after society hands it to you—whether it’s Bo Peep rejecting traditional “motherhood” (she’s content to be a mom to her sheep) or Forky rejecting Woody’s assertion that he’s a toy rather than a utensil, or Ducky and Bunny and Gabby pining for children of their own because they’ve been conditioned to feel incomplete without them.

Gabby’s longing is associated with her lack of a voice, which is about as on-the-nose as the film gets. She covets the intact voice box of Woody, who’s had happy bonds with two children, and believes that if she can claim his voice for herself, she’ll acquire his child-pairing mojo as well. “When my voice box is fixed, I’ll finally get my chance,” she tells herself. But it’s to the film’s credit that it never presents either Bo Peep or Gabby’s world view as the only legitimate one. Both are allowed to experience their own, tailored kinds of contentment. And how sweet it is that, for the first time since the original “Toy Story,” there are no outright villains here, even coded ones—just strong-willed antagonists whose psychology sometimes pushes them to do bad things.

Several characters are also in dialogue with some sort of inner voice, whether it’s Woody speaking to himself in his own dialogue box, Buzz randomly punching every speaking button on his torso hoping to experience a self-communion as rich as Woody’s, or Bo Peep communing with a tiny “best girlfriend” toy named Giggle McDimples (Ally Maki), who sits on her shoulder a la Tinkerbell or Timothy the Mouse, dispensing relationship guidance and negotiating advice. So what we have here is a movie that speaks simultaneously to us, to itself, to all of its predecessors, and to the culture that shaped it, and that it has helped shape.

Few blockbuster movie series are so likable and accessible to people of all ages and cultures, yet at the same time so rich in metaphor, philosophy, and dream language. And aside from Ripley in the first four “Alien” movies, it’s hard to think of a protagonist of a sequential quartet of movies as loaded with myth and metaphor as Woody, a character who never changes size, color, shape, or voice, yet always manages to stand in for many things at once. This franchise has demonstrated an impressive ability to beat the odds and reinvent itself, over a span of time long enough for two generations to grow up in. It’s a toy store of ideas, with new wonders in every aisle.

‘Toy Story 4’: Does anyone die? And what are some clues to ‘Toy Story 5’?

Warning: Spoilers for “Toy Story 4” below.

SALT LAKE CITY — No one died in “Toy Story 4.” Well, no one important or that we know of or met during the “Toy Story” series. But it would appear that Woody (Tom Hanks) is out of it. Hanks said he was pretty confident that he read Woody’s lines for that last time, according to Refinery29.

  • “When it came to pass, I felt as though I was on the other side of a river waving to everybody that I had left back in the old country … You get in your car (and you leave) and you get back through and you think, I have recorded the last moment of the current ‘Toy Story,’” he said.
  • But, according to Refinery29, Hanks and Tim Allen were given talking points for the “Toy Story 4” press tour. So Hanks brought out the talking points and walked the crowd through them.
  • “‘Toy Story 4’ is about Woody’s journey into the world outside the comfort of Bonnie’s playroom. And all the possibility that holds for a toy. So just take that and extrapolate it as far as you want to and we’ll see what goes on. And thank you Disney Vertical Integration department, so I’m aware of what I’m supposed to say here.”

But Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear, said something different: “It’s good that we wrote Tom (Hanks) out. He’s out. It’s a big surprise. But thank god Woody is finally out of the movie, huh everybody? We said sayonara to the cowboy.”

More: “Toy Story 4” has a number of post-credits scenes that are dedicated to Woody’s new life, according to Vox. The post-credits scenes show Woody working with Bo Peep and their gang to help lost toys find families. In another post-credits scene, Forky finds a friend when Bonnie builds a female version of Forky. And, lastly, the end-credits scene includes Combat Carl, a call back to a running joke early in the film, according to Vox.

Disney+ has hundreds of movies available from across the whole history of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, but there are some notable exceptions. Though some films released in cinemas in 2019 like Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame are on Disney+, others are missing, including the live-action versions of The Lion King and Aladdin as well as Toy Story 4.

Toy Story 4 is among the movies that Disney+ has confirmed will be on the streaming service within the first year of the streaming service’s release, meaning that the latest it will be on the website and app is November 2020.

However, on January 14, Disney confirmed the sequel would be released to the streaming service on February 5. Fans who search for the movie on the service until that point will see a screen where you can add it to your watchlist, so it is ready to view as soon as it drops.

In general, films are set to appear on the service four months after their DVD and BluRay release. Toy Story 4 was released on home entertainment formats on October 8, 2019, hence why it will come to Disney+ in early February 2020.

However, there are a number of Toy Story 4-related TV series to tide fans over on the streaming service until then. The first three Toy Story films are streaming there now. Currently streaming on Disney+ is Forky Asks a Question, an animated series featuring the inquisitive spork (voiced by Tony Hale) who came to life in the movie.

“Toy Story 4” is expected on Disney+ in early February 2020 Pixar

Also coming soon to Disney+ is Lamp Life, a short film that fills in the gap between when we saw Bo Peep (Annie Potts) in Toy Story 2 and when she returned in Toy Story 4, though the release date for that has not been confirmed.

However, Toy Story 4 is not the only missing piece of Toy Story content. At time of writing, none of the Toy Story shorts (that is, the three Toy Story Toons shorts, plus Toy Story of Terror, Toy Story That Time Forgot and the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command TV series) have been released on the service, and Disney+ has given no indication as to if or when these will be on the platform.

Toy Story 4 is coming on February 5 to Disney+

UPDATE: This article was updated on January 14 after Disney+ announced the Toy Story 4 Disney+ release date.

Chris Stapleton’s ‘The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy’ Off the ‘Toy Story 4’ Soundtrack Is Here: Listen

Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy chest are back for another adventure in the beloved Disney and Pixar animated film, Toy Story 4. On Wednesday (June 5), the franchise unveiled a new song off the film’s soundtrack, “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy,” performed by country superstar Chris Stapleton.

Written from Woody’s perspective, the tune details the sadness our favorite cowboy felt until his friends and someone special changed his life. “I was a lonesome cowboy/I didn’t have a friend/Now I got friends comin’ out of my ears/I’ll never be lonesome again,” Stapleton sings in the catchy melody.

“To me what has made the Toy Story films hold up over time has been the strength of the stories and the songs and the writing and the characters,” the country singer said of the tune. “There’s something for people of all ages to enjoy in the world that is Toy Story. It’s a tremendous honor to get to sing a Randy Newman song in what is without question one of the most iconic animated franchises in history.”

The soundtrack album, which reunites the Toy Story franchise with iconic composer and songwriter Randy Newman, features another new song, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” in addition to “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy.” Both the film and the soundtrack will be available everywhere on June 21.

Listen to “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” via a charming lyric video below.