I usually watch every Pixar movie in theaters so it was weird that I was not rushing out to see Toy Story 4. Maybe it was the fact that I felt that Toy Story 3 ended things perfectly enough for me. I thought to myself why this movie was made. I thought that it was not necessary and that I could skip it. With streaming services being a big part of my life at the moment because of the Covid-19, I had time to watch this movie on Disney+. I had the opportunity to give this movie a chance although I felt like I knew this movie wasn't going to be great. I honestly thought that this was just another Disney property that is popular enough to get people to see it. Another cash grab! While watching this movie I didn't feel to attached to any of the new characters. The first two acts of the movie seemed fun and entertaining but lacked heart. Then the third act happens and that's when I get reminded that Pixar is great at what they do!
The first reason why this movie turned out great is that it becomes extremely relatable to many people. Let's talk about the really dark themes of the movie which I believe is mental health and saying good bye. Mental health has been an ongoing theme in a lot of Pixar's movies. The theme is usually hidden with set metaphors and has it tailored for kids to learn. As adults, we can pick up these details and see it's true meaning. Let's talk about the character Forky played by the fantastic Tony Hale. This character in the beginning of the movie doesn't know why he exists. He constantly refers himself as "trash" and always wants to put himself in the garbage. Although for kids this is very funny, as adults we see is as extremely dark. Knowing our own self worth and suffering from anxiety and depression is a real thing that people struggle with every single day. Mental health has been a main focus of mine this year after falling into a bit of a rough spot last year. I know how important it is to know that you are not worthless and you have a lot to offer the world. Take the other character Gaby for instance. Gabby played by Christina Hendricks is a doll that is defective and feels like she never experience love and care. This is suppose to be the villain in the movie because she wants to steal Woody's voice box. In reality she is just trying to find a way to become complete any way she can. This movie really makes you feel bad for the villain and you understand why she is the way she is. Woody has always been the good guy and understands that as well and later becomes willing to help Gabby out. This movie shows that compassion and understanding can go a long way. Showing that compassion and love towards someone is something we can all do!
Then there is the message of how hard goodbyes are. This seems to be the last movie in the Toy Story franchise, with at least these characters. That alone made the last few minutes of the movie hard to watch for me. These are characters that I literally grew up with watching. I'm very close to the age of Andy when this whole journey started which made it that much more relatable. Woody and Buzz are a dynamic duo in all three prior movies and it felt like the movie kept them separated most of the time in this one. Towards the end where he decides to stay as a "lost toy" rather than go back with his family was heart breaking. Just like in life sometimes you have to go your separate ways away from the people you love. There is also a great line in this movie saying that even though you are a lost toy, it doesn't mean that you are lost. Like I said, there are a lot of great lessons to take from this movie. Even though something looks like a lost path, you could find yourself in it.
The movie overall was pretty darn good. I actually appreciated it a lot more than I thought I would too. Watching it at home felt even more personal and I was able to take it all in. During these crazy times, this movie was a perfect watch. It made me reflect to be more compassionate to others and making them feel valued. Everyone around us is so special and even though we are doing social distancing, we should still reach out to those who we love. It is important to work through all this together and this movie is proof. For those of you who have seen this movie already, maybe you should revisit it right now on Disney+. Director Josh Cooley did an incredible job with this final chapter of Toy Story. Can't wait to see what he does next. Everyone please remain safe and stay healthy!