From the moment it’s been announced, there’s always been one lingering question: Is Toy Story 4 really necessary? After you see the latest trailer from Disney and Pixar…..you’ll still be asking that question.
Up to this point all we knew about Toy Story 4 was that Woody meets Bo again, and there’s a carnival at some point. This new two-plus-minute trailer has given us a lot more, enough to piece together the main drive behind what’s happening.
Bonnie builds Forky, a new toy made from a plastic spork and pipe cleaners. Forky is flipped out by his own existence and makes a run for it. Woody chases after him, trying to convince him the life of a toy is much better than that of a spork (which, for comparison’s sake, you’d think wouldn’t be hard). While Woody is giving Forky this pep talk, he spots what looks like his lost love, Bo Peep, in the window of a doll shop.
And what follows may be the creepiest ten seconds we’ve witnessed in any Toy Story film, as ugly antique dolls and sinister marionettes close in on Woody the interloper. These guys make Sid’s creations look absolutely cuddly, and could singlehandedly give Toy Story 4 a PG rating (if “PG” wasn’t the only rating possible for an animated film these days).
Bo comes to his rescue. Woody is thrilled about the idea of introducing her to Bonnie. But Bo has left the toy’s life behind. She no longer needs a child’s love to function; she’s in charge of her own survival. And she wants Woody to join her.
So the main conflict sounds like it’s Woody trying to decide if he should stay with Bonnie, as a toy, or have adventures with Bo as whatever he wants to be….which is awfully similar to the conflict from Toy Story 2. That’s not the only problem…is there really any doubt which side Woody will ultimately pick here? He’s already gone through this, and he already chose Andy.
For three movies in a row Woody has been a staunch defender of a toy’s duty; wouldn’t having him choose the opposite kind of wreck the message of every other film? They could throw us for a loop and have it end with Woody leaving Buzz and the others for good, but you saw Bonnie’s tears in the trailer and I doubt they’d fade out leaving her that upset.
Maybe we’re wrong and Toy Story 4 will be the best movie ever — and we’d LIKE to be wrong — but with the info we have it doesn’t feel like much more than a rehash. The introduction of Forky, however, almost justifies its existence.
Toy Story 4 comes out June 21.