“Toy Story 4” (2019)

Animation

Running time: 100 minutes

Written by: Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom

Directed by:  Josh Cooley

Featuring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan and Joan Cusack

Woody: “Uhhh… this is Forky…”

Forky: “I’m trash.”

Critical Commentary

Released recently on 4K blu-ray is the fourth installment in the long running ‘Toy Story’ franchise in the form of the aptly if not plainly titled “Toy Story 4” (2019) which is in fact a kind of prequel as well as a sequel to the almost perfectly pitched “Toy Story 3” (2010) which at the time seemed to close out the entire narrative story in a very satisfying way and becoming one of the most successful animated films of all time.

Nine years earlier, after the events of Toy Story 2 and prior to the events of Toy Story 3, Bo Peep and Woody are trying to rescue RC, Andy’s remote controlled car. Just as they finish the rescue, Bo is donated to a new owner. Woody considers going with her, but reconsiders after seeing Andy worried looking for him and realizing he needs him. Years later, a teenage Andy donates them to Bonnie, a younger child. While the toys are grateful to have a new child, Woody struggles with accepting that Bonnie doesn’t love him like Andy did.

On the day of Bonnie’s kindergarten orientation, Woody sneaks into her backpack and goes with her. After a classmate takes away Bonnie’s arts and crafts supplies, Woody covertly recovers materials from the trash, including a spork. Bonnie turns the spork into a handmade toy she names Forky. Forky comes to life and begins to experience an existential crisis, considering himself to be trash rather than a toy. As Forky becomes Bonnie’s favorite toy, Woody takes it upon himself to prevent Forky from throwing himself away.

Technical Commentary

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment brings “Toy Story 4” to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a three-disc combo pack. The dual-layered UHD66 disc sits comfortably opposite a Region Free, BD50 disc atop another BD25 disc containing all the bonus material. All three are housed inside a black, eco-vortex case with a glossy, lightly-embossed slipcover.

Video

“Toy Story 4” arrive on Ultra HD with a stunning HEVC H.265 encode, and like the Blu-ray, the results make this the best-looking installment of the entire franchise on any format.

The movie was originally rendered in 2K, but a 4K DCP was made for cinema distribution and likely used for this UHD home edition. In terms of contrast and brightness, the improvements are a bit more understated and not quite as apparent, which likely has a lot to do with the creative intentions of the filmmakers. Faithful to those aesthetic choices, the 4K video nonetheless looks brighter and move vivid, making daylight exteriors livelier and bursting with energy from the lustrous sunshine. 

The HDR10 presentation will keep viewers spellbound and amazed by its gorgeous, hypnotic array of colors. In every scene and no matter the location or situation, the action is continuously permeated in absolutely sumptuous primaries, easily making this one of Pixar’s most impressive, demo-worthy and spectacularly dazzling home releases yet.

Audio

“Toy Story 4” debuts to 4K home theaters with an excellent and overall satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack that adds a couple welcomed enhancements but on the whole, is not much different or offers a significant upgrade over the DTS-HD MA 7.1 version. 

Extras

For this Ultra HD edition of Toy Story 4, Disney Studios ports over the same set of bonus material as the day-and-date Blu-ray release and spread across two BD discs. 

Blu-ray Disc One

  • Audio Commentary: Director Josh Cooley is joined by producer Mark Nielsen to discuss various aspects of the entire production, the characters and the talent behind the sequel.
  • Bo Rebooted (HD, 6 min): All about the growth and evolution of the character.
  • Toy Stories (HD, 6 min): Cast & crew reminisce on childhood toys. 

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • Anatomy of a Scene: Playground (HD, 10 min): While screening the scene in question, the filmmakers provide an informative breakdown of the work that went into making it. 
  • Let’s Ride with Ally Maki (HD, 6 min): The actress shares anecdotes of recording the voice for Giggle McDimples, the ADR process and working with the director. 
  • Woody & Buzz (HD, 4 min): Cast & crew discuss the characters’ evolution through four films. 
  • Toy Views (HD, 2 min): A pair of POV shots, one from the ground and the other from above. 
    • Carnival Run 
    • View from the Roof
  • Toy Box (HD): Five shorter pieces dedicated to the new characters and voice talents. 
    • Gabby Gabby and her Gang (4 min) 
    • Forky (3 min) 
    • Duke Caboom (3 min) 
    • Ducky & Bunny (3 min) 
    • Giggle McDimples (1 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 28 min). 
  • Trailers (HD). 

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