I want to petition a new letter in the movie rating system: T for tissue. I needed a few in the last few minutes of Toy Story 4, because the ending went straight to my heart. Each Toy Story showcases the role a toy has to children, and perspective of the toys’ own purpose.
In Toy Story‘s first film, Andy is a young boy preparing to move to a new house with his mom and baby sister Molly. Before the move, Andy’s mom throws him a birthday party. What you discover is that Andy’s toys are alive! Andy’s mom gives him Buzz Lightyear, a new space ranger toy. A sheriff cowboy doll named Woody becomes jealous of Buzz being Andy’s new favorite toy, and attempts to make him disappear throughout the movie. This leads them both to an unexpected road trip across town and Andy’s mean next door neighbor, Sid‘s home. Eventually, Woody and Buzz return to Andy on the way to his new home, and become best friends.
Woody saves Wheezy , a penguin toy from their home tag sale, but his pull string gets pulled in the process and he gets stolen! Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex, and Slinky Dog go rescue him. Woody learns about retro TV show “Woody’s Roundup“, and that he’s getting sold to a toy museum in Japan with its characters! The collector toys are a horse named Bullseye, Cowgirl Jessie, and Stinky Pete the Prospector. Jessie shares that her previous owner Emily gave her away as an adult, and the only purpose she has left is the museum. Woody offers the collector toys to join him among Andy and his sister Molly’s toys. The prospector fights Woody and his offer. Bullseye and Jessie accept Woody’s deal, and the prospector winds up with a different owner.
Even college bound, Andy still loves Woody and packs him for his dorm. He packs his other toys in a trash bag for the attic, but his mom accidentally puts it outside for garbage pickup. Naturally, Woody prevents that from happening. Andy’s mom is donating other toys to a daycare center, and Andy’s toys hopped in the same box. Although they liked the idea of children always playing with them, the daycare toddlers were too rough for them. After an adventure there and in a garbage landfill, the toys find their way back to Andy’s room. Woody secretly writes a note to Andy and it influences him to donate his toys to Bonnie, the daughter of Sunnyside Daycare‘s receptionist. He plays with them one more time with Bonnie before going off to college, and she gladly adopts them to her toy collection.
A flashback shows Andy’s sister Molly, give away her Bo Peep and sheep lamp. Woody tries to make Bo Peep stay, but she wants to explore the world. Flash forward, Bonnie is nervous about kindergarten orientation, so Woody packs himself in her backpack. Later, Woody unpacks himself and places things on the table for Bonnie to cheer her up. She makes Forky out of a spork, yarn, rubber band, a pair of googly eyes, and a pipe cleaner. Forky becomes Bonnie’s favorite new toy, but he believes he’s meant to be trash. Bonnie brings her toys on vacation. Woody is reunited with Bo Peep after seeing Molly’s old lamp at a pawn shop, but Forky gets held hostage. Woody gives a Gabby Gabby doll his talk box which prevents him from talking anymore as a toy, so she can try to be played by a young girl someday. Buzz influences Woody to stay with Bo Peep and says farewell to the toy gang.
As a kid, I used to leave my figurines out in my room to see if my toys would come to life. Instead, I had them act out movies and play with them just like Andy and Bonnie did. I admire the western styled adventures Woody has as a sheriff. The bond shown between the toys as a unit and its owners is heartwarming for any generation in each film.
To celebrate almost 25 years since Toy Story’s release, and Toy Story 4, Disney recently opened up its attractions at their amusement parks.
Toy Story Land at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Shanghai Disney‘s Toy Story Land
Hong Kong Disneyland’s Toy Story Land Cubot