Saturday, 14 December 2019

New ‘Toy Story’ is generating a buzz

New ‘Toy Story’ is generating a buzz

FOR a “children’s film” in the most inverted of commas, 2010’s Toy Story 3 packed a heck of an emotional punch.

In terms of sheer cultural impact, the series is unlikely ever to top the first film, which came out almost a quarter of a century ago.

Taken together, the Toy Story films are surely the most beloved animated films of all time.

But if you thought Toy Story 3 was perfection, its sequel goes all out to take us to infinity and beyond.

Until now, Woody and the gang have been looked after by Andy, whom we watched grow from a young boy to a teenager over the first three films.

Toy Story 4, however, opens a new chapter. Andy has gone off to college, but at the end of the last film he left his toys to Bonnie, a five-year-old girl next door. So what happens next?

Before Bonnie starts kindergarten, her parents decide to take her on an RV holiday.

Woody has another role this time around, as he is charged with looking after a problematic new “hand-made” toy called Forky — a hilarious, goofy-looking plastic spork who is arguably not even a toy at all and thus exists in a permanent state of near-existential crisis.

Forky’s not the only new toy on the block, however. All your old favourites are back, including Hamm the Pig (John Ratzenberger), Slinky the dog (Blake Clark), and Mrs Potato Head (Estelle Harris).

But prepare to meet some inspired new characters, too. There’s Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Get Out director Jordan Peele), a pair of fluffy fairground toys who are literally joined at the hip (okay, the paw).

There’s also a hilarious Seventies-style action figure called Duke Kaboom (Keanu Reeves), and the smallest new character to take centre stage, Giggles McDimples (Ally Maki).

But the true star of Toy Story 4 is arguably Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts). Bo disappeared altogether in the last film, but it turns out that while she was away she wasn’t just counting sheep...

This film sees Bo back with a bold new look as an empowered, kick-ass action heroine. How will Woody feel about that?

As you’d expect of any Pixar film, it’s visually groundbreaking. Back in 1995, the original Toy Story made history as the first fully computer-generated feature animation, and the studio hasn’t stopped innovating since.

Ultimately, however, it’s not just the technical brilliance that makes these films stand apart from their increasing number of rivals.

These movies have a huge heart, with visual cues and inventive writing that will have children and adults alike laughing throughout.

Toy Story 4 is showing from today (Friday).

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