The “Buzz” is building for Toy Story 4, as Pixar has dropped another new trailer and the sequel is playing well with critics.
The Bay Area takes a special, sentimental ownership of the Toy Story animated movie franchise, with Emeryville-based Pixar’s frequent San Francisco references and Tom Hanks (Sheriff Woody) being a 1974 graduate of Oakland’s Skyline High School. We absolutely lost our shit when the Toy Story 4 trailer dropped, and Pixar recently released the more action-packed follow-up trailer seen below. But the film starts screening at Bay Area theaters tonight, and the Toy Story 4 reviews are all over the local and national papers.
The Paper of Record weighs in with the most eruditic (and perhaps crankiest) of Toy Story 4 reviews, as Manohla Dargis writes in the New York Times that “Much of Toy Story 4 is great-ish” but that “the whole thing feels deeper than it is.” She hails the “real wow factor to the studio’s renderings, to the graphical details and spatial dimensionality that persuasively suggest quotidian existence and our own chairs, floors and trees. This photorealist quality can make you wonder what you’re looking at.”
"There's a serious current running through this fourth installment about the inevitability of change and the loss that goes with it." Read @MickLaSalle's full review of Pixar's "Toy Story 4." https://t.co/INqBiATSf1— SFChronicle Datebook (@SFC_Datebook) June 17, 2019
Locally, Mick LaSalle’s Chronicle writeup ran Monday, and the Little Man is clapping but not quite rising from his seat. “The new film is a bit lighter than Toy Story 3, with that film’s concentration camp analogy,” he writes, but says the movie is “genuinely gripping for most of the way, with just a couple of minor dips." LaSalle deliciously calls out the shitty and obligatory Randy Newman song that “sounds a lot like every other Randy Newman song of the past 40 years.”
Jeffrey Anderson’s Examiner review points out that the now 24-year-old “franchise is old enough to drink,” but hails how its “ideas are fresh to newcomers and to those who’ve followed Woody’s journey for a quarter of a century.” He has particularly flattering words for the terrifying new fleet of villainous ventriloquist’s dummies, whom he says “may come clacking into your nightmares some day.”
No second billing, ‘cuz you’re a star now.https://t.co/3AkogWVULH— SF Weekly (@SFWeekly) June 14, 2019
Over at SF Weekly, film critic Sherilynn Connelly calls the latest iteration “All About Bo Peep” (Annie Potts), saying the film “reflects a comparatively woke 2019 sensibility.” Connelly calls it “as funny and action-packed and as effective a tearjerker as is to be expected from this series,” saying that Bo Peep’s “newfound agency will anger the same MRAs who fumed about Arya slaying the Night King or the very existence of Captain Marvel.”
“He always said, ‘Keep my name alive. Let them know who I am,'" said the daughter of the late Mr. Potato Head actor. https://t.co/BvtayR3c0B— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 20, 2019
And we cannot help but acknowledge the coolest thing about Toy Story 4 — Mr. Potato Head is still voiced by Don Rickles, despite Rickles’ 2017 death. According to the Los Angeles Times, editors went through 20 years of Rickles’ TV and film appearances to harvest every word in the script from words he had previously spoken, and mashed them together so the legendary insult comic could still voice the role.