‘Toy Story 4’ Is Something Very Special

Everyone deserves to be loved, even a toy.

Agents of Change

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Photo credit: Shutterstock, modified

By Jon Ochiai

In Pixar’s beloved narrative mythology of the “Toy Story” movies, the toys come to life and speak, only when no one including children is present. Screen writers Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom, and story writers John Lassiter, Andrew, and Director Josh Cooley bring Disney’s animated “Toy Story 4” to life once more.

Tom Hanks voices stalwart Cowboy doll Woody, who ‘raised’ grown up Andy. Tim Allen voices bold spaceman toy Buzz Lightyear, the reluctant best friend to Woody. Woody now belongs to kindergartner Bonnie, voiced by innocent Madeline McGraw. Apparently, Woody has been replaced by self-constructed Forky, voiced by youthfully naïve Tony Hale. By the way, Forky is the spork (hybrid spoon and fork) rescued from the trash.

Wide-eyed Woody regretfully confesses to doll Little Bo Beep, played by spirited Annie Potts, about losing Andy and now Bonnie, “I don’t have anything else…” Andy loved Woody, then eventually moved on to college. Bonnie loved Woody. Now she’s moving on to school, with Forky.

Recall Taylor Hackford’s “An Officer and a Gentlemen”, where Louis Gossett’s Sgt. Foley coerces Richard Gere’s Zack Mayo to quit the officers’ training program. Zack tearfully yells, “I got no where else to go… I got nothing else.”

Director Josh’s “Toy Story 4” is Woody’s transformational reckoning, albeit for a toy. Yet, the narrative wonderfully underlies the unique duplicity of “Toy Story”. Children love their favorite toys with all their hearts. In a sense, the toys care for them.

In “Toy Story 4” Woody loves Andy and Bonnie back. Life moves on. Eventually, children shall move on to their next love, be it another toy or new friends.

In one sense, the toys — Woody and Buzz are much like parents on the journey as their children transform into adults. I’m not a parent, yet I see that as our affinity to “Toy Story 4”. What happens when your love is replaced? Rather, what happens when the ones you love so dear move on? Maybe, we too continue to find our next love?

In “Toy Story 4” Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Band are back together, now with little girl Bonnie. The…

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Agents of Change

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