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Blu-ray Review: Toy Story 4

October 8, 2019

By John Corrado

It was always a risk for Pixar to make a fourth Toy Story movie. The original trilogy, which concluded at the start of this decade with Toy Story 3 in 2010, is undoubtedly one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, leading to questions of where the story could possibly go from there.

Now we have Toy Story 4 to answer that question, and the geniuses at Pixar have done an incredible job of continuing the journey of these beloved characters, while introducing new ones and building upon the emotional depth of the series. Not only is Toy Story 4 delightful and a joy to watch, it’s also powerfully moving, satisfying on a deep thematic level. For my full thoughts on the film itself, you can read my original review right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a variety of bonus features spread over two discs. The first disc has a commentary track featuring director Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen, as well as the two featurettes Bo Rebooted, which focuses on how the character Bo Peep (Annie Potts) has evolved over the course of the series, and Toy Stories, which features different cast and crew members reflecting upon their favourite toys as children and, in the case of many Pixar employees, the toys that they still keep with them now. We are told that toys and collectibles are a big part of the culture at Pixar, and I had to keep pausing it to look at all of the things on display in the different offices.

The second disc starts off with a selection of featurettes. Let’s Ride With Ally Maki is a jokey but informative piece that features Maki, who voices tiny “Pet Patrol Officer” Giggle McDimples, taking us through the multiple different stages of the recording process; Woody & Buzz offers a nice overview of the journey that the two characters have been taken on over the course of the three films; and Anatomy of a Scene: Playground offers a fascinating and in-depth look at the amount of detail in the playground sequence. This is followed by the short pieces Carnival Run and View From the Roof, which are under a tab labelled Toy Views, and show run-throughs of two of the film’s sets from different vantage points.

Next up is a section called Toy Box, which is made up of the five segments Gabby Gabby & Her Gang, Forky, Duke Caboom, Ducky & Bunny, and Giggle McDimples, offering brief explorations of all these new characters and the actors who voice them. This is followed by seven deleted scenes (Introduction, Scamming Playtime, Bo Knows Hippos, Desperate Toys, Knock-Offs, Recruit Duke, and She’s the One), which are presented in rough storyboard form and feature introductions by Cooley explaining why these moments were cut from the finished film. The last scene (She’s the One) serves as an alternate ending, which is interesting to see but not quite as focused or impactful as what made it into the film.

Finally, the disc includes a selection of five trailers and promos for the film (Carnival Prizes, Booth – Global Teaser in Spanish, Playtime – Global Trailer in English, Freedom – Global Trailer in Russian, and Pixar Pedigree – Exclusive for China). This is altogether a fine supplemental package to back up what is not only so far the year’s best animated movie, but also one of the absolute best movies of the year in general.

Toy Story 4 is a Walt Disney Home Entertainment release. It’s 100 minutes and rated G.

Street Date: October 8th, 2019

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