TOY STORY 4 – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

 

TOY STORY 4 – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

In 1995, we were introduced to Woody (Tom Hanks) and the toy who would become his best friend, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).  Since that momentous occasion, generations have grown up watching the films.

The toys, from Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) and Slinky Dog (Jim Varney) to Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Hamm (John Ratzenberger), became icons and adorned kids rooms world-wide.  We identified with their hearts, their desires.  We still love them.

The toys have changed owners over the years as the kids have grown up.  Their mission in “life” is to take care of their kid.  For Toy Story 4 their owner is Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw), who is about to start school.  School scares her.  Woody is determined to help her get past that fear.

Enter a new toy absolutely unlike any other in the series, Forky (Tony Hale).  Forky is a toy that Bonnie makes while doing crafts at school orientation utilizing the venerable versatile spork, part spoon and part fork.  Forky is NOT happy to be a toy.  He wants to help someone eat something and then move on to the trash.

The film follows Bonnie and her family accompanied, by her toys, on a cross-country road trip in a motorhome.  The adventures along the way are pure Disney/Pixar, pure Toy Story.  We are shown a whole passel of new toys, some good, some not so good.  Of the new toys, I fell in love with Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) a Canadian toy stunt motorcycle rider.  I wish I had one.

The other big reveal has Woody finding Bo Peep (Annie Potts), his long-lost love.  This meeting will change his life.

This is a good film with a happy ending that was also sad for me.  Without giving away anything else I honestly can’t see any way that they will be able to make a Toy Story 5 though I truly hope they will be able to pull a new rabbit out of this venerable hat.  Thankfully Disney and Pixar’s amazing teams have performed this type of miracle before.

Now for the fun part of the review, the bonus extras!  The disk and digital offerings are a mixed bag this go-around.  We have the usual set of deleted scenes with each being set up for us by the film’s director, Josh Cooley.  Some are interesting to watch but they are all done in storyboards, none got to the stage of being fully animated.  This means that most folks just won’t find them easy to watch.

The audio commentary is brought to us by director Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen.  By now you all know how much I love watching the film with the commentary because, to me, it enhances my enjoyment of the film to know a little more of the back story.  Like finding out that over half of the effects budget was spent on the first scene which updates us on the relationship between Woody and Bo Peep.  The scene was just that important to the film!

The featurettes are universally good but the one that grabbed me and made me smile the most was a group called “Toy Box” in which the voice actors get to talk about the characters they voiced and what drew them to the part and why they loved them!  Christina Hendricks (Gabby Gabby), Tony Hale (Forky), Keanu Reeves (Duke Caboom), Key and Peele (Ducky and Bunny), and Ally Maki (Giggle McDimples) give us a fascinating view into their characters.

Next on my list had to be the “Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue” and “Anatomy of a Scene: Playground” featurettes.  The filmmakers and animators discuss the development of the scenes from inspiration to the drawing board.  These were excellent!

Following these bonuses, “Bo Rebooted” with Annie Potts (who voiced the character of Bo Peep in all of the Toy Story films) and the animators talking about how the character worked and evolved from concept to the screen was cool.  I also loved “Toy Stories” as it confirmed my envy of the Pixar animators and filmmakers for their offices filled with their favorite toys!  Listening to these folks (and the voice talent) talk of their favorite stories was fun!

Don’t get me wrong, the “Woody & Buzz” featurette will be loved by everyone who watches it but I just loved the other ones more because I was not as “up-to-date” on those characters as I was on our power duo!

Finally, the four trailers, each in a different language, was interesting.  The fourth, for China, was different as it opened with a quick show of other Pixar films like Coco (2017), Finding Nemo (2003), Cars (2006), and The Incredibles (2004) before segueing into info about Toy Story 4.

One note before I end.  If you watch your digital offerings on a platform other than Movies Anywhere (such as Vudu) you will see different titles on some of the featurettes and no audio commentary or trailers.  On Vudu I also found a featurette I didn’t see in the Movies Anywhere offering, “Party Saurus Rex”.  It is good.

A final word – this Disney/Pixar offering is worthy of holding a proud place in your home film collection.  You will love it every bit as much as I did!

Directed By:

  • Josh Cooley

Cast:

  • Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jordan Peele, Jay Hernandez, Annie Potts, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Keegan-Michael Key, Betty White, Wallace Shawn, Mel Brooks, Joan Cusack, Laurie Metcalf, Don Rickles (archive sound), John Ratzenberger, Tony Hale

Extras:

Digital:

  • ‘Toy Stories– The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
  • Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
  • Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
  • Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
  • Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue – Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life (Digital Exclusive)
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Playground – Filmmakers and crew review this key scene of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life
  • Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
    • Scamming Playtime
    • Bo Knows Hippos
    • Desperate Toys
    • Knock-Offs
    • Recruit Duke
    • She’s The One
    • Bonnie’s Playtime (Digital Exclusive)
  • Audio Commentary
  • Trailers
    • Spanish
    • English
    • Russian
    • Chinese
  • Carnival Prizes
  • Toy Story 4 Toy Views
    • Carnival Run
    • View from the Roof

Blu-ray:

  • ‘Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
  • Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Playground – Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life
  • Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
  • Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
  • Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
  • Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
    • Scamming Playtime
    • Bo Knows Hippos
    • Desperate Toys
    • Knock-Offs
    • Recruit Duke
    • She’s The One
  • Audio Commentary
  • Trailers
    • Spanish
    • English
    • Russian
    • Chinese
  • Toy Story 4 Toy Views
    • Carnival Run
    • View from the Roof

Specifications:

Runtime:

Feature:

  • 100 Minutes

Extras:

  • 190 Minutes

Studio:

  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Release Date:

Digital:

  • 10/01/2019

Blu-ray/DVD:

  • 10/08/2019

Region:

  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)

Website:

MPAA Rating:

  • G

Selig Rating:

Film Rating:

  • BRAND NEW

Bonus Features Rating:

  • A+

Picture Quality Rating:

  • A+

Audio Quality Rating:

  • A+

Selig Rating Scale:

BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost

SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale

SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used

RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning

COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks

PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target