On “Toy Story 4” (2019)

I’ve just seen Toy Story 4 (2019) at the cinema. Below, my feed-back, with spoilers.

  • Very realistic graphics and physics. Total immersion.
  • I liked the attention to details when Bonnie (the main girl character) picks up her backpack, she also moves a book. A lot of small details like this in the movie. Generally, in cartoons, on the image, there’s the background and there are the main characters. The background is just there to be ignored. Here, sometimes things in the background matter.
  • At some point, Bonnie is called to eat some food, but is warned to wash her hands first. At some point, another warning, to use sunscreen. I liked this part, with educational tips & tricks.
  • “Listen to your inner voice” – this is one main element in the movie. If you approach this as “trust yourself”, I agree. If you view this suggestion as “listen to your first instincts”, I disagree with it.
  • Things which are opposed in the movie:
    • Old habits of Woody vs. a big change in his life.
    • Disgust (garbage toy made of elements from the trash can, very realistical graphics, with sometime not-so-good-looking things, flashing neon, and so on) versus pleasure (beautiful graphics, images with the sky, clouds, fireworks, chandelier).
    • A range of emotions, laughter, romance, sadness, suspense, thrill, envy and so on. You are taken through a lot of emotions in the movie.
    • A balance between clichés (things work out as you expect, physics and so on) and surprise, you are amazed by somethings, didn’t see that coming and so on.
  • A lot of time, you see toys (mostly, but also other elements moved by the toys) and the people not once look at the objects in their new positions and say “Hmm, the object X has moved, I don’t remember it being here 30 seconds ago”. It’s a very nice game, I really liked it. As a viewer, you always look out for the change “what’s going to happen when they see object X having being moved”, but this never happens. But you think about it, and await a response, and the game is fine.
  • “It’s not like in commercials”. Really enjoyed this. Brings realism into the movie.
  • Some toys are scary-looking (the Bensons) or disgusting (garbage toys) or old-fashioned and envious and angry (Gabby Gabby). In the movies, you can generally estimate “oh, this is a bad character because they’ve made it ugly/angry/displeasing”. Here, some toys adapt (Gabby Gabby turns good), grow (garbage toys evolve), or get on the good side, but also get ignored (the Bensons). In most movies, a bad character, once recognized by some external features, remains the same throughout the movie. Here, it changes.
  • I liked the retro toy (Gabby Gabby) and the classic look of the Bensons.
  • The police are either men (one person) or women (two officers). “What, women can’t do X job?”. I guess that’s fine, I don’t think it should come on purpose, I would do this naturally, not on purpose (“let’s make character X a woman”).
  • About saving everybody – some characters accept their fate (Bo Peep), others start a new life as a toy of children, others start a new life by helping others (Bunny, Ducky), others are ignored in the end (the people from the club inside the antique shop). While I appreciate Disney’s/Pixar’s wish to save everybody, I think a valuable lesson is that you just can’t do this. Too many. Focus on the main issues. I like that.
  • The supernatural in the movie is all about the toys. Their ability to talk, their ability to be invisible to humans, while still interfering with their life, their overall impact on the course of action. Here, “magic” is about the main characters, which are the toys. Keep focus. :) I like that!
  • The most important factors in deciding the future fate of the toys in this movie are just two: Bonnie’s love for her toys, and Bo Peeps relation(ship?) with Woody.
  • I like the photo at the end of this article, where children make a world out of their toys.
  • Overall, I perceived the movie mostly on a cognitive, not an emotional level. Inside Out (2015) touched me emotionally, some other cartoon where fun to watch, this was a very smart movie, but I didn’t consider it very touching. Disney/Pixar surely tried a lot to bring emotions in the movie, but I didn’t feel it that much.
  • At the cinema, pretty much no one stays after the credits start rolling, I would have stayed in the room just after the credits finish, but I’m generally the only one doing so.
  • There are some movies which are either highly emotional, or I just enjoy seeing them a lot. This movie didn’t fit any category.
  • I’ve seen the movie with Romanian voices, not the original voices. I’ve watched two trailers of the movie after seeing it at the cinema and I didn’t feel I missed much by not having the original voices. But I would have preferred the original voices of the actors.
  • Final conclusion: smart movie, well done, worth watching, but not rewatching, and while a good movie, not a great one.

PS, 2019.07.14: While I don’t plan to rewatch the movie anytime soon, listening to the sountrack is on my to-do list. :)

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