Toy Story 4

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Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJosh Cooley
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Starring
Music byRandy Newman[3]
Cinematography
  • Patrick Lin
  • Jean-Claude Kalache
Edited byAxel Geddes
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • June 11, 2019 (2019-06-11) (El Capitan Theatre)
  • June 21, 2019 (2019-06-21) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$200 million[5]
Box office$1.058 billion[6][7]

Toy Story 4 is a 2019 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fourth installment in Pixar's Toy Story series, and the sequel to 2010's Toy Story 3. It was directed by Josh Cooley (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom; the three also conceived the story alongside John Lasseter, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Valerie LaPointe, and Martin Hynes.[2] The film stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, and Joan Cusack.

The film directly follows Toy Story 3, as Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their other toy friends have found new appreciation living with Bonnie. They are joined by Forky, a spork that has been made into a toy, and embark on a road trip adventure. The film is dedicated to actor Don Rickles and animator Adam Burke, who died on April 6, 2017 and October 8, 2018, respectively.[8]:12[9]

Toy Story 4 premiered on June 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California and was theatrically released in the United States on June 21, 2019, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX. The film has grossed $1 billion worldwide, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2019 as well as the 32nd highest-grossing film of all time and the sixth highest grossing animated film of all time. Like its predecessors, Toy Story 4 received critical acclaim for its story, humor, emotion, animation, and vocal performances.

Plot[edit]

During Andy's childhood nine years earlier, his sister Molly gives away her toy Bo Peep, a porcelain figure that is a component of an antique lamp. Woody considers going with her, but realizes that Andy still needs him and decides to stay. Years later, when Andy outgrows his toys, he donates them to Bonnie, a younger child. While the toys are grateful to have a new child, Bonnie shows little interest in Woody, often leaving him in the closet while she plays with other toys.

On the day of Bonnie's kindergarten orientation, Woody sneaks into her backpack and goes with her. After a classmate takes away Bonnie's arts and crafts supplies, Woody covertly recovers materials from the trash, including a spork. Bonnie turns the spork into a handmade toy she names Forky. Forky comes to life and begins to experience an existential crisis, considering himself to be trash rather than a toy. As Forky becomes Bonnie's favorite toy, Woody has to continually prevent him from throwing himself away.

When Bonnie's family goes on a road trip, Forky jumps out of the RV window and Woody pursues him. After Woody explains to him how important he is to Bonnie, Forky decides to return to her. Near the RV park where Bonnie's family is staying, Woody spots Bo Peep's lamp in an antique store window and goes inside to investigate. Inside, he and Forky encounter a talking doll, Gabby Gabby, and the ventriloquist's dummies that work as her enforcers. Gabby offers to take them to Bo, but reveals her plan to take Woody's voice box to repair her own, since no child will purchase a doll with a broken voice box. Woody escapes the dummies, but Gabby captures Forky. At a playground, Woody reunites with Bo and her sheep Billy, Goat and Gruff, who now live as "lost" toys. Bo agrees to help Woody save Forky and get back to Bonnie.

Meanwhile, Buzz searches for Woody, seeking guidance from his inner voice: the phrases produced by his own sound module when he pushes a button on his chest. When he becomes a carnival game prize at a fairground, he escapes with plush toys Ducky and Bunny, and they meet up with Woody and Bo. With pocket toy cop Giggle McDimples and stuntman toy Duke Caboom, they unsuccessfully try to rescue Forky. Bo, unwilling to risk the group's lives on another attempt, angrily leaves with the others after Woody indirectly insults her. Woody encounters Gabby Gabby again, who tells him of her desire to belong to the store owner's granddaughter, Harmony. Moved by Gabby's story, they reach an agreement: Woody's voice box in exchange for Forky's freedom. The exchange is made; the dummies remove Woody's voice box and stitch him back up with a sewing machine.

Despite Gabby's repaired voice box, Harmony rejects her anyway. Woody sends Forky back with a message for Buzz to meet them at the carnival's carousel. Woody comforts a heartbroken Gabby, who offers him his voice box back. Woody tells her to keep it and invites her to become one of Bonnie's toys. Bo and her friends return to help, and they head for the carnival. The toys left behind in the RV interfere with the vehicle's controls, preventing the family from leaving. When Gabby sees a crying girl lost in the carnival, she decides to become that child's toy, emboldening the child to approach a security guard and be reunited with her parents.

At the carousel, Woody and Bo share a bittersweet goodbye; Woody is hesitant to leave her again. Buzz tells Woody that Bonnie will be alright without him, so Woody decides to stay with Bo. He embraces his friends with an emotional farewell hug and passes his sheriff badge over to Jessie. The RV departs with Bonnie's toys as Woody and Bo begin a life together of finding new owners for lost toys. Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Hamm, Rex, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Potato Head, Dolly, Buttercup, Trixie and Forky watch Woody and Bo from the RV while Woody also watches Buzz atop the carousel, both declaring to each other "To Infinity and Beyond."

During the credits, it shows Woody on his adventures with Bo, Ducky, Bunny, Giggle, Duke and Billy, Goat and Gruff. It also shows Bonnie on her first day of first grade, she makes another new toy: a female plastic knife, who suffers from the same existential crisis as Forky, to whom Forky introduces himself.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In 2010, filmmaker Lee Unkrich said that Pixar was not planning another film after Toy Story 3, "It was really important to me with this film that we not just create another sequel, that it not just be another appendage coming off of the other two... there may be opportunities for Woody and Buzz in the future, but we don't have any plans for anything right now."[35] Tom Hanks and Tim Allen had tentatively signed on to reprise their roles of Woody and Buzz; Hanks stated the following year that he believed Pixar was working on a sequel.[11][36] Rumors arose that Toy Story 4 was in production and slated for release for 2015, but Disney denied these rumors in February 2013.[37]

Disney announced Toy Story 4 during an investor's call on November 6, 2014.[38] Then-studio head of Pixar John Lasseter, who directed the first two films and executive-produced the third, was scheduled to direct after writing a film treatment with Andrew Stanton, with input from Pete Docter and Unkrich. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack joined as writers, with Galyn Susman returning as a producer from Ratatouille.[39] Lasseter explained that Pixar decided to produce the sequel because of their "pure passion" for the series, and that the film would be a love story.[40] He felt that "Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz's story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, [Pixar] never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it."[41]

In March 2015, Pixar president Jim Morris described the film as a romantic comedy and said it would not be a continuation of the third film.[42][43] The same month, Variety reported that Cooley was named co-director with Lasseter, having previously been head of story on Inside Out.[44] According to Lasseter, the film was kept so secret that even Morris and his boss Edwin Catmull had no knowledge of it until the treatment was finished. He stressed that "we do not do any sequel because we want to print money" but rather to tell a new story.[45]

At D23 Expo in July 2017, Lasseter announced he was stepping down and leaving Cooley as sole director, saying he could no longer commit to directing the film between his positions at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disneytoon Studios.[46][47] Jones and McCormack withdrew in November 2017, citing "philosophical differences."[48]

By January 2018, Disney had confirmed that the screenplay had been written by Stephany Folsom, who rewrote three quarters of Jones and McCormack's original script, according to Potts.[49][50] Folsom had collaborated on the screenplay with Stanton, who co-wrote the first two films.[51] According to Cooley, the center of the film's updated screenplay was around the relationship of Woody and Bo Peep. Bo Peep had been absent in Toy Story 3, explained narratively as Bo Peep having been given away. This had set the stage for the conclusion of the third film, with Woody getting the idea to give Andy's toys to Bonnie. Cooley said that when they thought about bringing Bo Peep back in the fourth film, it was not only to rekindle the romantic interest between Woody and Bo Peep. Bo Peep's becoming a lost toy also reflects a fear Woody has had through the series, and challenges his world view.[52] According to animator Becki Tower, Bo Peep's new attitude and independence was in development long before the Time's Up movement started, and was not done in response.[53]

By September 28, 2018, recording for the film had begun. Allen said that the film's story was "so emotional" that he "couldn't even get through the last scene."[54] Similarly, Tom Hanks said that the film's ending scene was a "moment in history."[55] On January 30, 2019, Hanks and Allen finished recording their characters' voices.[56]

Casting[edit]

Most of the previous voice actors, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, signed on to reprise their roles. Hanks stated in May 2016 that he had recorded his first lines for Woody.[10][57] Annie Potts was confirmed to return as Bo Peep, after being absent from Toy Story 3.[12] Don Rickles intended to reprise his role as Mr. Potato Head, but died in April 2017,[58] before any lines were recorded as the script was still being rewritten.[59] According to Cooley, Rickles' family contacted Pixar and asked if there was any way to include him in the film. Pixar reviewed 25 years of archival material that Rickles had participated in, including unused lines from the first three Toy Story films, video games and other related media for the franchise, and other works, and were able to assemble enough material to use within the film.[26]

Tony Hale was cast as Forky, a homemade toy suffering an existential crisis. Hale has performed roles before with similar panicked characters, including Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep. When asked to voice Forky, Hale said, "A utensil's existential crisis? I'm in!"[60] Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were cast as a pair of carnival prize plush toys named Ducky and Bunny. Cooley said that while they brought them on to provide some improvised comedy to the film, "they were story motivated which elevated Ducky and Bunny and the film to a level I never could have expected."[61] Additionally, Keanu Reeves was announced to be voicing a character in the film[19] named Duke Caboom.[20] Reeves said he was contacted out of the blue by Pixar, seeking him to voice the part and letting him develop his own riffs on the character.[62] On March 22, 2019, Madeline McGraw, who had previously voiced Maddy McGear in Pixar's Cars 3, was revealed to be voicing Bonnie, who was voiced by Emily Hahn in the previous film and other works.[17] Comedians Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Betty White were added to the cast to voice a set of four toys that Bonnie played with as a toddler but had since outgrown, acting as "veteran" toys to help Woody prepare for when the same happens to him.[32]

Music[edit]

Toy Story 4
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 21, 2019
GenreScore
Length72:37
LabelWalt Disney
Pixar chronology
Incredibles 2
(2018)
Toy Story 4
(2019)
Onward
(2020)
Randy Newman chronology
The Meyerowitz Stories
(2017)
Toy Story 4
(2019)
Singles from Toy Story 4
  1. "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy"
    Released: June 5, 2019

Randy Newman, who composed and wrote songs for the previous three films, was confirmed to be returning at D23 Expo 2015.[3][63] Director Josh Cooley said that he hired Newman to return because "[he] can't imagine making a fourth one without Randy Newman."[8] Newman wrote new themes for Bonnie, Gabby Gabby, and Duke Caboom, with the latter's featuring accordions and mandolins to represent the character's memories of rejection.[8] He also wrote a "subordinate theme" for Forky.[8] Newman wrote two new songs for the film, titled "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" and "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away", with Newman also performing the latter.[8] On June 5, 2019, Chris Stapleton's version of "Cowboy" was released as a single.[64] The film's soundtrack, featuring Newman's score, Stapleton's and Newman's versions of the two new songs, and Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me", was released on June 21, 2019, with the film.[8][64]

All tracks written by Randy Newman[3][8].

No.TitleLength
1."You've Got a Friend in Me" (performed by Newman)2:04
2."I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" (performed by Newman)2:05
3."The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" (performed by Chris Stapleton)1:51
4."Operation Pull Toy"5:19
5."Woody's Closet of Neglect"3:55
6."School Daze"4:22
7."Trash Can Chronicles"3:28
8."The Road to Antiques"2:41
9."A Spork in the Road"1:56
10."Rubber Baby Buggy Butlers"1:52
11."Buzz's Flight & A Maiden"4:07
12."Ducky, Bunny, & Tea"2:16
13."Moving at the Speed of Skunk"1:34
14."Bo Peep's Panorama for Two"2:36
15."Three Sheeps to the Wind"2:55
16."Sneaking and Antiquing"1:42
17."Recruiting Duke Caboom"1:16
18."Prepping the Jump"2:20
19."Let's Caboom!"4:07
20."Cowboy Sacrifice"2:06
21."Operation Harmony"4:24
22."Duke's Best Crash Ever"2:43
23."Gabby Gabby's Most Noble Thing"3:02
24."Parting Gifts & New Horizons"5:05
25."The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy (Soundtrack version)" (performed by Newman)1:51
26."Plush Rush!"1:12
Total length:72:37

Release[edit]

The film was originally scheduled for theatrical release on June 16, 2017,[38] but was pushed back to June 15, 2018, while the 2017 release date was given to Cars 3.[65] It was later delayed again until June 21, 2019, while its 2018 date was given to Incredibles 2, which was further along in production.[66] The film was shown in IMAX theaters. It was the third time a Pixar film was theatrically released without a leading short, after the original film and 2017's Coco, though the latter film was initially accompanied by the non-Pixar short Olaf's Frozen Adventure.[67][68]

The film had an early screening at Disney's Hollywood Studios on June 8, 2019.[69] It had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, on June 11, 2019.[70]

Marketing[edit]

The first teaser poster was revealed at D23 Expo 2015 alongside the first posters for Cars 3 and Incredibles 2.[71] Pixar screened early footage of the film at CineEurope 2018.[72] The first teaser trailer, which introduced Forky, as well as his voice actor Tony Hale, along with the official teaser poster, were released on November 12, 2018.[73] The teaser features Judy Collins's recording of "Both Sides Now" (originally written by Joni Mitchell). A "teaser reaction" video, introducing the characters of Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Key and Peele in a parody of their recurring Key & Peele skit "The Valets," was released the following day.[15] On November 28, 2018, a new international teaser poster was released.[74] On February 3, 2019, shortly after the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII, a new sneak peek was released, which re-introduced Bo Peep who had been absent from Toy Story 3.[75] On February 15, 2019, a clip of the movie was shown during Annie Potts' interview on Good Morning America.[76]

The official trailer for the film was released on March 19, 2019.[77] On March 27 an international trailer was released, showing more footage.[78] On April 3, the film's first 17 minutes were shown at CinemaCon, to a positive reception.[79] A series of TV spots, known as "Old Friends & New Faces," was introduced on April 18, 2019, with the first one featuring the re-designed Bo Peep.[80] On May 21, a final trailer was released.[81]

Home media[edit]

Toy Story 4 will be released digitally on October 1, 2019 and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on October 8, 2019.[82] It will be one of the first new films to be released on Disney+, alongside Captain Marvel, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Aladdin, Frozen 2 and The Lion King.[83]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of September 22, 2019, Toy Story 4 has grossed $432.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $625.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.058 billion.[6][7] The film had a worldwide opening of $244.5 million, the 46th highest ever and biggest for an animated film.[84] It crossed the billion dollar mark on August 13, 2019, becoming the 43rd film as well as the fourth Pixar film to ever do so.[85] It was also the fifth film released by Disney in 2019, and sixth overall, to cross the milestone, both records for a single year.[86]

United States and Canada[edit]

Beginning on May 28, 2019, in its first 24 hours of pre-sales, Toy Story 4 set the records on Fandango for most tickets sold by an animated film in that frame (besting Incredibles 2), while Atom Tickets reported it sold nearly 50% more than the previous three highest-selling animated films combined did in their first day (Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation).[87] The film opened alongside Child's Play and Anna, and was projected to gross $140–160 million in its opening weekend, with some predicting it could debut as high as $200 million. It played in 4,575 theaters, the second-most all-time behind Avengers: Endgame.[88][89] Toy Story 4 made $47.4 million on its first day, including $12 million from Thursday night previews, the second-highest amount for an animated film, behind Incredibles 2.[90] The film went on to debut to $120.9 million over the weekend, finishing first at the box office.[91][92][93] Although below projections, executives at Disney were pleased with the debut since it continued Pixar's "remarkable consistency" at the box office and showed "proof of audiences' long-time love for the Toy Story franchise."[94][95] Additionally, it was the best opening of the series, the biggest for a G-rated film and the fourth-highest of all-time for an animated film.[84][93][96][97] In its second weekend, Toy Story 4 made $59.7 million and retained the top spot at the box office.[98][99][100] It grossed $33.9 million in its third weekend but was dethroned by newcomer Spider-Man: Far From Home.[101][102][103] In August 2019, the film surpassed The Lion King (1994, $422 million including re-releases), which held the title for the last 25 years (1994-2003 and 2011-2019) to become the highest-grossing G-rated film of all-time domestically.[104]

Other territories[edit]

The film opened day-in-date with the U.S. in 37 countries (64% of its total market), and was projected to gross around $100 million abroad for a global debut of $260 million.[88] In China, where the film opened alongside a re-release of Spirited Away (2001), it was expected to debut to $15–20 million.[5] Through September 2, 2019, the film's largest markets were Japan ($90.1 million), the United Kingdom ($79.9 million, third highest all-time for an animated film), Mexico ($72 million), Brazil ($32.5 million), France ($29.2 million), China ($29.1 million), Argentina ($28.9 million), Australia ($28.9 million), and South Korea ($24.7 million).[86][105]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 394 reviews, with an average rating of 8.39/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending – and perhaps concluding – a practically perfect animated saga."[106] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 84 out of 100 based on 57 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[107] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 89% and a 75% "definite recommend."[84]

The film received a four-star rating from Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com, who wrote, "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."[108] The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday also gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and praised its, "visually dazzling concoction of wily schemes and daring adventures", as well as achieving, "a near-perfect balance between familiarity and novelty, action and emotion, and joyful hellos and more bittersweet goodbyes."[109] Peter DeBruge of Variety wrote, "Toy Story ushered in the era of computer-animated cartoon features, and the fourth movie wraps up the saga beautifully. At least, for now."[33] The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin wrote, "Toy Story 4 reaffirms that Pixar, at their best, are like no other animation studio around."[110]

Writing for IndieWire, David Ehrlich gave the film a grade of B+ and wrote, "Clever, breathless, and never manic just for the sake of keeping your kids' eyes busy, the action in Toy Story 4 is character-driven and paced to perfection."[111] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, who gave the film four-and-a-half stars out of five stars, praised its, "visual pow, pinwheeling fun and soulful feeling" and lauded the voice performance of Tony Hale as Forky.[112] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal said, "the new film isn't flawless, but it's hugely enjoyable and speaks, with bewitching buoyancy, to nothing less than the purpose of living and the mystery of life."[113] While Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the film did not put him, "through the emotional wringer the way its predecessor did," he still gave it a grade of A- and said, "it's consistently inventive, funny, witty, and heartfelt. In other words, it's a lot better than it has any right to be. It's more than good enough to justify its existence."[114]

The praise, however, was not universal. Nick Olszyk of Catholic World Report gave the film two out of five reels and called it a "a sad end to a beautiful franchise," claiming the film violated "the philosophical credo of the franchise." He goes on to complain that the film does away with the "theistic allegories" of the series; in his interpretation, toys find their meaning in children the way Christians find their meaning in "God". He also criticizes the film for showing a same-sex couple, and implies that this makes it inappropriate for children. [115]

Future[edit]

Potential sequel[edit]

In May 2019, producer Mark Nielsen confirmed that Pixar will focus on making original films instead of sequels after Toy Story 4.[2] On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Tom Hanks stated that the film would be the final film in the series. He said to Ellen DeGeneres that Tim Allen had "warned him about the emotional final goodbye between their characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 4."[116] However, Nielsen did not rule out a possibility of a fifth film, stating, "Every film we make, we treat it like it's the first and the last film we're ever going to make, so you force yourself to make it hold up. You don't get in over your skis. Whether there's another one? I don't know. If there is, it's tomorrow's problem."[117]

Spin-offs[edit]

A 10-episode short-form series, Forky Asks a Question, will debut exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service upon its launch on November 12, 2019. A short film titled Lamp Life, which will reveal Bo Peep's whereabouts between leaving and reuniting with Woody, will be released on Disney+ later in its first year.[118]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rickles, who died in early 2017, appears through the use of previously-recorded material.[26]

References[edit]

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