Toy Story 4 was nominated as Best Animation in the Golden Globes, Oscars and BAFTAs and won the Oscar. It is the last in series of films that have been feted as amongst the best animations of all time, with universal appeal across the age range. In this one, Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has children who are his priority, Andy and Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.
At the film’s heartwrenching conclusion, Woody parts ways from the rest of the toys in the group to stay with Bo Peep and join her on her adventures. It’s a bold conclusion that could have felt like a violation of the franchise’s ethos (a bunch of silly toys have adventures led by the supposedly inseparable Woody and Buzz), but it works because Bo Peep’s autonomous worldview has been presented so convincingly. Not only does it tie up Woody’s character arc from the previous three movies in a satisfying way, but it works as an object lesson in how to deal with the existential crises identified in all four movies.
A U film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over, although it is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall