Toy Story 4, the newest installment of Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy gang is set to appear worldwide in June 2019. With the release of the latest trailer for the film, I just don’t feel the magic with the movie. I can still watch the older ones and have no issue with them at all; they are still wonderful and magical movies, yet this one just doesn’t fill me with the want and desire to see it… and I want to understand why.
Where to begin. I think it came about with the announcement of Toy Story 4 in general. When I heard we were going to get another one in the series I thought to myself “Why do we need it?” and I’m still trying to work that answer out. But somewhere in all of this weird rambling of mine, I hope to find the answer.
I guess I could start by using the idea of Occam’s Razor. For those of you unfamiliar with this idea or concept, here’s a brief description: “Other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones” (Source: Wikipedia). So using Occam’s Razor, the simple explanation for my lack of desire to watch Toy Story 4 comes from the simple idea that MY story ends with Andy.
Through the three movies, we’ve seen many themes in the Toy Story movies. Toy Story 1 was about the idea of bringing something different into a world (Buzz) and seeing how the world reacts, especially when the new thing takes over the main position of the current holder of said position (Woody) and how through adversity and common bonds, we can live together in harmony… Also that toys that can move by themselves can scare the shit out of teenage brats causing decades of psychological harm (poor Sid).
Toy Story 2 was more of a collector’s tale, but instead of things being told from the collector’s point of view, we got to see it from the toy itself. As someone who is in that collector’s stage of life, I understand what it’s like to dedicate part of your life to collecting something, going through garage sales to get a bargain just to add one more thing to that collection. While from the toy’s point of view, in this case Woody, it’s learning that you are a part of a much larger world than you ever knew and having to make a choice to either stay with the child that you love and has loved you or join that larger world. Then there is Jesse, a toy who has been abandoned by her owner and has a huge distrust of everyone and everything, just like any child who has lost a toy or parent in their lives.
Then there is Toy Story 3 and a story many of us have experienced in it’s two forms. I’m sure many of us have gotten to the age where we think that toys are not for us and decide to either throw them out or donate them to somewhere that could have use for them. I know I’ve sold off one of my more beloved toy sets to someone who would get more enjoyment and appreciation out of them than I would at the time. I’ve also had that moment of passing down some toys (again by force of my mother… RIP many G1 Transformers at the hand of my little brother, including an OG Optimus Prime and a complete Devistator combiner set) to my little brother who proceeded to destroy them in a manner that only comes from someone who doesn’t give a crap about them. But there were times where my little brother and I played like Andy and Bonnie at the end of Toy Story 3, and those are memories I’ll treasure.
And it’s here that it becomes clear to me why I don’t want to see Toy Story 4. MY story is done. From the child to the adult who moved on, to the collector who would do anything to get that one last item. All of these aspects of my life have been covered. So with Andy moving on and Bonnie becoming the next child in line to tell stories with these characters, I’m finding very little to connect to. Sure, I built my own characters out of scraps as she did, but I don’t want to see that story. Woody seems to look like he is going to have a crisis of choice between going back to the child he was given to, whom he doesn’t seem to have the same attachment to and a much larger world where he could bring joy to many other kids. Again, not something I seem to connect to thus want to see.
I guess I’ll put it down to Toy Story 4 just being one of those films “not made for people like me,” another in a long line of movies where people who have supported and helped these films obtain the success it has been pushed outside and ignored. But unlike those films that jump up and down screaming this (Eg. Captain Marvel, Black Panther, anything popular in the last 5 years), this is more natural. Toy Story 4 begins a true next generation of stories that are going to appeal to the next generation only… and I can live with that.