The first reactions to Toy Story 4 are in, with critics almost universal in their praise of the latest film in the iconic franchise.
A synopsis for the forthcoming Pixar film, which is set to be released on June 21 in the UK, says: “Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie.
“But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called ‘Forky’ to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.”
For critics who have now seen the film, many have praised its “belly laugh” comedy and “highly emotional moments.” One critic said: “This is Pixar at its best”; another added that the film was “simply delightful.” He added: “A tightly paced narrative that harkens back to the feeling of the original 2 films featuring some of the franchises best comedy.”
Keanu Reeves, who voices the new character ‘Duke Caboom’, has been singled out for the most praise, with one critic saying “Keanu Reeves steals it all.” You can see more reaction from the first viewings below:
I can't describe #ToyStory4 as anything other than "emotionally punishing".
This is Pixar at it's best, and it's the first of their nostalgia sequels since Toy Story 3 that truly feels earned in every sense as it twists and warps that very nostalgia into something transcendent. pic.twitter.com/uF32uTsCGg
— Bailey – ??? ? ???? ??? ? OUT NOW! (@loverboymedia) June 8, 2019
#ToyStory4 is simply delightful. A tightly paced narrative that harkens back to the feeling of the original 2 films featuring some of the franchises best comedy. A relatable & mature message that speaks to those who grew up with it. #DukeCaboom RULES! More Keanu please. pic.twitter.com/JB3RZRGrTi
— Griffin Schiller (@griffschiller) June 7, 2019
TOY STORY 4: Only Pixar at the top of their game can make a third sequel to a franchise about living toys that’s a poignant look at learning to prioritize your own happiness over the happiness of others. Also: feels as definitively final as 3 did. Keanu Reeves steals it all.
— Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) June 7, 2019
Just finished #ToyStory4! If you were nervous about another Toy Story movie, don’t be! It is amazing and another great addition to the franchise. I can’t wait to see it again ???. pic.twitter.com/yqgmGvFiNB
— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) June 7, 2019
#ToyStory4 brings a conclusion to the story of Buzz & Woody that we never knew we wanted but is totally worth it. It sets up a potential future for the franchise with a host of new characters. Definitely a quality Pixar film and one of their best sequels.
— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) June 7, 2019
#ToyStory4 goes to infinity and beyond. It tugs at the heartstrings right from the get go and doesn’t stop. The new characters fit right in and all your old favorites get time to shine.
— James Viscardi (@JimViscardi) June 7, 2019
Toy Story 4 is super satisfying, and features some of the funniest and most emotional moments in the franchise. It leans into new characters quite a bit and will surprise you by the end. And yes, there are some great moments during the credits (none at end though). #ToyStory4 pic.twitter.com/mYT4z4Nvfo
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) June 8, 2019
A few things about #ToyStory4 :
The level of animation that @Pixar has achieved in this film is astounding.#KeanuReeves is so awesome as Duke Caboom.
The theater we saw it in was a bit dusty…
And i loved the entire movie. So well done. Absolutely recommended. pic.twitter.com/u5ExEZBf6w
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) June 7, 2019
Just saw #Toystory4 & I'm still in my feels! ? It's heartwarming, heartbreaking & everything in between. Disney keeps making me openly weep over these toys! ??
& yes I'll say it, we are all #Forky pic.twitter.com/CuaJf4eM4Q
— Markeia McCornucopia ? (@markeiamccarty) June 8, 2019
#ToyStory4 has an ending as lovely and warm and heartbreaking as Toy Story 3. In between the genuine belly laughs (thanks, Duke Caboom) is a story that has the heart that Pixar is known for. Loved it.
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) June 7, 2019
#ToyStory4 is another fantastic entry in the series & the one installment that feels most like an adventure movie. With themes of hard goodbyes, second chances & finding your way home, it’s packed w/ big belly laughs, but I also cried harder here than I have for any of the others pic.twitter.com/MoFFY2pNqJ
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) June 7, 2019
#ToyStory4 takes audiences down so many pleasant emotional avenues. You’ll laugh, you’ll think about your own life, reminisce… maybe even shed a tear. It was the perfect extension — and ending — for the nearly 25-year-old franchise. Duke Caboom deserves his own spinoff. pic.twitter.com/VKd7lNJJ3l
— Mark Daniell (@markhdaniell) June 7, 2019
You’re sitting there, wondering if Keanu Reeves is good in TOY STORY 4.
I gotta tell you, actually… Keanu Reeves is great in TOY STORY 4. pic.twitter.com/QXMkAe2RhV
— Russ Fischer (@russfischer) June 8, 2019
#ToyStory4 made me want to run and hug my childhood toy. Pixar rewards fans for being invested all these years. Beautiful character journey for Woody. Not quite as good as Toy Story 3. Keanu as Duke Caboom is an absolute treat. Has my favourite nod to The Shining yet.
— Jonathan J. Spiroff (@jonjspiroff) June 7, 2019
Don’t worry everyone! #ToyStory4 is fantastic. The funniest of the lot – dipping into surrealism, sure – with a gorgeous, grown-up end. New Bo is a star, but Duke Kaboom steals this – a sad, honourable stunt man with decades of regret, it’s some of Keanu’s most touching work
— Jonathan Dean (@JonathanDean_) June 8, 2019
#ToyStory4 is equal parts heartwarming and hilarious. I laughed until I cried and then I just flatout cried when I least expected to. Pretty much the perfect capper to a wonderful Disney weekend with @TheSpencerPerry. pic.twitter.com/wUDquq64Wl
— Carly Lane-Perry (@carlylane) June 8, 2019
Describing the character’s reappearance, Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley said: “Bo’s taken control of her own destiny.
“While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can’t believe that they’ve found each other again.”
His comments came just days after Tom Hanks confirmed in an emotional post that he’d finished his final scene as the iconic cowboy.
“Final line, final session as Woody of Toy Story 4. We rode like the wind, to infinity and beyond,” he wrote.