Toy Story 4 (Blu-Ray)
Pixar’s latest (and supposedly final) Toy Story sequel arrives on blu-ray this week, bringing the touching story into the comfort of your home. Is the home release worth picking up? Check out our full review to see what we thought!
Over the Summer, Woody, Buzz, and the gang returned for another Toy Story film. Sadly, like many movie over the last couple years, I was unable to check it out in theaters and had to wait until the blu-ray release to finally see this one. Thankfully, the wait was more than worth it, and Toy Story 4 delivers yet another exciting adventure for some of Pixar’s most beloved characters.
The film kicks off on a somber note, returning us to a period of time soon after Toy Story 2. Here we get to see exactly what happens to Bo Peep, whose disappearance in the third film was alluded to without being explained. From there, we jump back to the present day, as the toys enjoy their time with their new kid, Bonnie...Mostly.
Woody finds himself suddenly neglected, played with less and less. Moreso, without being the “head toy” in the room calling the shots he feels listless and without purpose. It’s not a position Woody is used to dealing with, but as Bonnie embarks to Kindergarten for the first time and creates an all new “toy” named Forky, he sees a chance for relevance once more.
Forky is, well, he’s trash. He doesn’t understand the idea that he’s now a toy and beloved by this child. As such, he spends his time endeavoring to throw himself away and fulfill his purpose of being garbage. Woody acts as a babysitter, keeping Forky from throwing himself out as it’s Bonnie’s primary source of comfort at the moment.
When the family embarks on a road trip and Forky tosses himself from the RV, Woody must follow to bring him back. Thus begins a bigger adventure as the crew try to give Woody and Buzz the time needed to return with the wandering Forky.
On the surface, the story sounds awfully similar to the first film. A toy who doesn’t believe he’s a toy must be returned to the owner before they’re lost forever. Don’t let that fool you, however, as Toy Story 4 flips the script pretty drastically and offers up a decidedly unique adventure.
As Woody and Forky are returning to Bonnie and her family, they stumble upon an Antique Store, where they meet up with Gabby Gabby, who’s desperately wants Woody’s voice box in order to make herself...complete. Woody manages to escape, leaving Forky in her clutches, but he gets unexpected rescue aid when Bo Peep suddenly reappears.
Bo has embraced her life as a “lost toy” and the freedom that comes with it. It’s a choice Woody struggles to comprehend, but with her help, they’re able to concoct a plan to rescue Forky and return to Bonnie. I won’t go into the story much further to avoid spoilers for others who didn’t see it in theaters, but suffice it to say, it’s not a retread of previous plots.
Toy Story 4 feels deeply personal and on top of the humor, delivers on yet another emotional journey. It has a lot to say about loyalty and commitment, while also ensuring you take care of yourself as well. It’s a heady theme, but plays off incredibly well in the film without beating you over the head with it.
In short, I loved it, and I love how this franchise has been able to continually present important themes throughout their films while still making it fun and accessible for viewers of all ages. While that’s not easy to do for a fourth outing, Pixar has made it look easy with Toy Story 4. Couple that with some hilarious new characters and there’s no reason to skip out on this movie.
Sight and Sound
Toy Story 4 is absolutely GORGEOUS. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough. Within the first few minutes I found myself staring wide-eyed at the impressive animation on display. Throughout the entire film, it’s one visual spectacle after another and it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come with the series.
The blu-ray transfer absolutely highlights all of this and presents a stunning, crisp, image on your screen. The color palette used in the film is varied and vibrant, while packed to the gills with details. From the film’s carnival sequences, to the dusty shelves in the antique store, there’s a lot to look at. All of it stands out nicely in the blu-ray, with deep blacks and no image bleed. It’s a stunner on the screen and definitely something that will take advantage of your TV’s settings.
The sound transfer is equally impressive, highlighting all the minute sounds that go into making the film feel like a “real” world. The surround sound sucks you into it all immediately and makes you feel a part of the story as it unfolds. From a technical standpoint, the Toy Story 4 blu-ray does a phenomenal job of highlighting this stunning film.
The Bonus Features
Toy Story 4 on blu-ray includes a DVD copy of the film, a digital code insert, and a third disc that includes all of the special features:
Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
Bo Knows Hippos
She’s The One
Audio Commentary, Trailers...and more
Disney always does a great job stacking their blu-ray’s with a load of bonus features, and Toy Story 4 is no different. From behind the scenes looks, interviews with the cast, and deleted scenes, there’s a bunch of extras included in the set. While they’re all pretty standard featurettes the sheer amount of them certainly adds a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to purchasing.
Visually, it’s dazzling and the blu-ray transfer makes it shine brightly. The wealth of bonus features are a nice addition as well, but even if this blu-ray release only contained the film itself, I’d still tell you to go out and buy it immediately.