S P O I L E R | A L E R T!!
If you haven’t seen Toy Story 4 yet, you proabably want to stop reading. There are major spoilers in what you’re about to see. We took our family of 5 to the theater on opening day and I just had so many feelings...cried like 5 times (even on the way home from the theater) so let me break it down into phases.
Phase 1: THE FLASHBACK
The tears started within the first 2 minutes of the movie for me! I don’t know about you, but something about seeing little Andy again really got me. I was suddenly 7 years old again and I could remember all the details of my life at that age...it was so nostalgic. Especially when you throw in Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” as the scene morphed into college Andy giving Woody away to Bonnie! SOMEONE GET ME A TISSUE PLEASE! I’ll end this phase with Woody’s freshly painted boot. I teared up for the 3rd time (already!?) as we see Bonnie’s name in place of Andy’s. It was a good, clear, emotional transition that “Andy’s Toy’s” are of the past. We are now in 2019, Bonnie’s world where her mom, oh-so-relatably- throws toys in the closet for a quick cleanup. I was very impressed with Phase one and slightly annoyed whenever the theater waitress brought our food and I had to answer questions. This is just getting good!!
Phase 2: FORKY
I love Forky! We even made our own version and I posted a tutorial to our youtube channel.
Forky was necessary for us to understand that Woody has lost his purpose and is desperate for something to do to help his kid. The whole “trash” concept really cracked us all up. My kids were cackling and so were the adults! You catch on really quickly that the bulk of this movie is going to involve Woody looking after Forky...ps, how cute was he scrambling to get all those craft supplies on her desk at school!? Cue my 4th cry: Woody and Forky walking along the highway at night. I mean...come on!! “Who’s Andy?” That subtle line from Forky being repeated paired with Woody’s awkward silence was just gut wrenching! We all know what it’s like to feel those deep longing feelings for happier times of the past....especially our childhood! As a mom of 3 I reminisce about the craziest of things from my childhood...almost romanticize it in a way. Again, very pleased with phase 2!
Phase 3: WHERE THE HECK WAS BO PEEP!?
I’m not going to lie, I asked at least 5 kids last week if they knew the mystery of Bo Peep coming back around in the 4th movie since she wasn’t there in the 3rd. No one knew and Symphony and I were on the edge of our seats waiting for her arrival. I love how they tied her story together in the flashback too (also where my 2nd set of tears came in)...it was so well done and answered all our questions after carefully watching 2&3 to see what we missed. Anyway...the twinkling lights that lure Woody into the antique shop was just. the. best!! I always thought their little romance was sweet as a child.
I even thought that it was “bad” because I wasn’t allowed to watch things with romance or love until I was a teenager. So you can imagine that my sheltered, knaive self was excited for the little rebellion of Woody and Bo Peep’s love story. Their reunion was such a sweet surprise in this movie! I mean, really...the best! I just LOVE how things are going so far. Phase 3 got an A+ in my book.
Phase 4: GABBY GABBY
Ummmmmm....creepy baby doll and her marionette caretakers wasn’t my favorite. I mean really, that first scene where we see the puppet pushing her in the carriage... I think every single person in our theater gasped in fear. Weird move, Disney. “It’s really weird that they made him do that”...was my 8 year old’s reaction to the scene where Woody had surgery to give his voice box to her. I agree kid. Whole heartedly. It was like this really dark sacrificial scene that didn’t seem necessary considering all the smarts and shenanigans this toy crew can pull off. SURELY there was another way for Gabby Gabby to get her happy ending. Surely. I do really love how her story ended and that she eventually got a kid of her own though. That’s really all I have to say about that. Considering I’ve loved the movie so far...Phase 4 is still getting an A...
Phase 5: THE KIDS
Kid’s movies...really all movies these days are constantly throwing in subliminal messages. I really try to keep my eye out for those, and there were a couple in this one, but I really focused on the two kids. I for one LOVE the contrast between Bonnie and the other little girl Harmony. Bonnie is so loving and precious with her toys, while Harmony is getting something new every time we see her and she essentially throws Gabby away with a spoiled little “nah”. The kids watching are rooting for Bonnie and also very disappointed with Harmony when she throws away Gabby.. especially considering Woody basically SACRIFICED HIS LIFE! If my children are going to be subjected to a subliminal message, this is a good one. Another A+
Phase 6: THE END.
Cue 5th set of tears (and 6th and 7th)...Bo Peep and Woody and the gang have pulled off yet another successful plan and they’re sitting in the umbrella of one of the fair attractions. We all know (well, we THINK WE KNOW) they’re either about to say goodbye again...... OR REUNITE FOREVER! Right? Weren’t you thinking that? BECAUSE I WAS! I seriously was just waiting for the dang camper to arrive and everyone’s like “come on Bo Peep you belong with us! We’re FAMILY”....And just as she’s tipping his hat one last time...I just lost it! I couldn’t believe she wasn’t going too!!!
AND THEN.....the UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS...and Woody just up and leaves everyone to be a vagabond in the FAIR!
literally...all jokes aside, I said to myself “what would Andy think? you can’t leave Buzz and Slink and Rex!!!” I mean y’all...I don’t know if this stems from something way way deep down that I need to talk to a counselor about hahaha, but I was NOT OK with Woody leaving everyone...and they’re just all like “Ok bye Woody!”...like...tell me that normal Rex wouldn’t fall to the ground begging him to stay? WHAT HAPPENED TO "NO TOY LEFT BEHIND"?! To take the perspective of an adult for a second...I DO understand the moral of the story here. Woody has lost his purpose, he isn't making good use of his real self in Bonnie’s closet...and he needs to move on. We all go through that as people. We enter and exit phases of life and it’s not healthy to dwell on the past or to live in the past when you could be doing good for yourself and others around you. I GET IT DISNEY I GET IT. But, for those of us who grew up on Toy Story (I was SEVEN when this came out....the role that these toys have played in many of our lives over the last 24 years has been somewhat of a family, mentor role.) As kids we fantasize and we make it come to life. As parents we relive our childhood as we watch our children go through exactly what we did and it’s really magical. I’m just super shocked and sad. I love the movie over all.....but the ending was not a good one for me. Consider the 3rd movie...where I also cried like a baby- it was a peaceful, understandable, inevitable ending. Andy was bound to grow up and we all got to watch it! When we left the theater today Symphony said “Ok, i can’t wait for 5 to come out. I need to know they get back together before then! it’s going to take forever!!”....and she’s 8! So there you have one 30 year old and one 8 year old feeling very similar things without discussing anything prior. I just wonder who else felt like we did. My husband wasn’t as emotionally invested in Toy Story as I always have been, and even he thought it was crazy! What did you think? Let me know in the comments section and we can chat all things Toy Story!