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We have been waiting nine years for this movie. “Toy Story 4” was released in theaters June 21, 2019. That’s nine years after “Toy Story 3.” Why would they make another Toy Story movie? Was it really necessary? While the debate rages on about the “necessity” of needing another Toy Story story, I think that everyone, adults and kids alike, can appreciate the kind of story being told in “Toy Story 4.” Is Toy Story 4 a good movie? Let’s discuss.

Honestly, is Toy Story 4 a Good Movie?

First of all, let’s talk about the word “good.” I get asked this a lot because I love to see movies and talk about them afterwards. Most of the time when I’m asked if a movie was “good,” it’s parents wanting to know if they should spend their hard earned money taking the family to see something. It is no longer a cheap “date” to go to the movies. I think “Toy Story 4” is worth spending your money on. How much you spend is 100% up to you. If you can only see it during peak times, it wouldn’t be a waste of money. If you can save a little cash by seeing it during a matinee or $5 special, take advantage of that too! There is no wrong way to see this movie.

What Parents Will Love About Toy Story 4

I was eight years old when the first Toy Story movie came out. 1995 was a great year. The animation and storyline was nothing like anything I had ever seen before. I had never thought about what happens to my toys when I leave the room, but after seeing “Toy Story,” it definitely left an impression on me (and I definitely treated my toys nicer, too)!

Fast forward to 2019, and I’m now taking my eight year olds to see their first Toy Story story in the movie theater (they weren’t even born when “Toy Story 3” came out in 2010). Much like other amazing franchises, I’ve enjoyed sharing this one with my kids. The story feels the same, but it also feels different. What I loved about “Toy Story 4” were the moments of fun and excitement coupled with the life lessons I will be able to call back to and talk about with my kids.

What Kids Will Love About Toy Story 4

Disney/Pixar animated movies usually hit their target audience of kids with typical Disney/Pixar flair. There are funny moments, action moments, silly moments, and everything in between. The new characters are more prominent than some of our “older” friends. Ducky and Bunny, the “prize” toys from the carnival, voiced by the incredible talents of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, are hysterical, but not inappropriate (which, if you know their adult comedy, is a legit concern).

My girls’ favorite new character was Forky. Hands down, his role is the most hilarious of the bunch. He is the catalyst for many of the story’s events, and his struggle to accept his identity as a “toy” and not “trash” is pretty humorous for adults and kids alike.

What Families May Not Love About Toy Story 4

As with all “family” films, there are some cautionary notes. Without revealing too much of the plot, there are some scenes that take place in an antique store with characters named Gabby Gabby and Benson. They are not in and of themselves creepy, but there are creepy moments that include them. Kids under the age of five may not understand some of the more mature concepts of those seemingly creepy scenes, so keep an eye on their little faces for signs they may need a comforting hand.

However, thankfully, there are no curse words or foul words (besides one use of the word “idiot” that was cringy for me), so rest easy that all the “repeatable” lines are going to be more humorous than anything. “Yes I CANADA!”, anyone?

Why Toy Story 4 is a Different Story

I argued with my friend Amy on our weekly show, Sweet Tea Talk, about why “Toy Story 4” was a good movie. One of our disagreements was about how the movie felt formulaic to her and not to me. Yes, there was an element of “Oh no, what toy will be left behind?“, but there was much more to this movie than that tired old trope. Woody was the main character this time, and we spent a lot of time learning about his past and how it affected his present.

I appreciated this change of pace for the story. Bo Peep was also another character who changed in this film. Did you remember she wasn’t in “Toy Story 3?” I had totally forgotten she wasn’t there! It was fun to see how Bo changed over the years. Her storyline felt right, and, yes, even with the moment of female empowerment, nothing ever felt forced on us as an audience. As a mom of daughters, the message of female empowerment is very important to me, but it’s just as important that it feel real and not forced.

Above all, “Toy Story 4” is a really fun movie. It’s a safe film for the entire family to see. If you’re looking for some indoor entertainment this summer, make sure to put “Toy Story 4” on your list.

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