Metacritic score: 84
It’s been nearly a quarter-century since the first Toy Story movie came out in November 1995, and it’s hard to believe the series can still pack an emotional wallop. But Toy Story 4 proves it can, bringing back Woody, Buzz, and even Bo Peep for another tale, this time about saying goodbye.
The new movie picks up where the last one left off, with all of Andy’s toys now belonging to Bonnie, the daughter of Andy’s mother’s close friend. The toys end up on another adventure, of course, and even welcome a new recruit in Forky (voiced by Tony Hale), a plaything with a special place in Bonnie’s heart. But along the way, they have to grapple with a difficult question: If toys exist to be loved, what happens if the love goes away?
“Toy Story 4’s message to us is that we don’t have to stop loving someone just because they’re not in our lives anymore,” Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos wrote in his review. “There’s going to be a time when we won’t be there for someone we love, and there will be a time when they won’t be there for us. What matters is the time we did share, and the feelings we did, and do, have for each other.”