Toy Story 4 Is An Instant Forking Classic

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At the centre of Pixar’s new Toy Story movie is a suicidal plastic spork that wants nothing more than to be used once before spending the next 1,000 years decomposing in a warm, gooey pile of trash. Only Woody understands why Forky requires saving (as opposed to recycling)—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. When we last left the Toy Story toys (nine years ago IRL, but on screen it seems like it was only yesterday), they’d found a new home.

With Andy off to college and too old for toys, a preschooler called Bonnie became their new kid, lovingly playing with each of them the way Andy had for years. Like with the third instalment in most franchises, it felt like we got our ‘happily ever after.’ Yet here we are in the midst of more toy drama—and you can’t blame the studio for trying for another hit. Toy Story 3 was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (also, it made over a billion dollars at the box office).

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Happily, Toy Story 4 lives up to the franchise’s reputation for humour, storytelling, and animation innovation. The newcomers to the cast—Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Arrested Development’s Tony Hale, and Keanu Reeves doing Canada proud in the role of the motorcycle-riding, maple-leaf-emblazoned daredevil Duke Caboom—are likely to become instant Toy Story canon classics (Caboom’s backstory as a disappointing toy who failed to live up to his French-Canadian owner’s TV ad-induced expectations is a serious humour highlight).

It can’t go without mention that the members of the film’s creative team have stolen excellent little bits from real life and inserted them into the film. For instance, Key and Peele starred in a 2016 kidnapped cat movie called Keanu (which Peele co-wrote). Like his character, Reeves is a huge motorcycle enthusiast, and Duke Caboom utters the one line that fans have been trying to get Keanu to say since his Bill and Ted days. Bless this movie for including jokes that actual adults actually find funny. If you were expecting to sleep while the kids watched, you’re going to have to reschedule mommy/daddy/legal guardian nap time—but it’ll be worth it.

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Now back to that spork-centric plot: a kindergarten-bound Bonnie balks at the thought of going to school without a toy to reassure her, and so Woody the knapsack stowaway helps her make one. Forky is an instant comfort to Bonnie, and so Woody and his crew spend the rest of the movie trying to keep him from his singular desire: throwing himself into a wastepaper basket, trash compactor, or dumpster fire. It’s even funnier than it sounds, which is saying something.

Toy Story 4 is in theatres June 21. Check out the trailer below.