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TO INFINITY AND BEYOND: Toy Story 4 will warm the coldest of hearts

It’s been almost 24 years since Toy Story – the first feature-length movie to be made using only computer-generated imagery – appeared on our screens and changed animated movies forever.

Yep. Almost a quarter of a century.

For the parents among us, that’s countless and seemingly endless re-runs of the movies. Not to mention all the DVD’s, Blu-rays, toys, games and various other paraphernalia featuring everyone’s favourite cowboy, Woody, and Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear.

(I may or may not have been secretly delighted when one of my son’s friends accidentally ripped Woody’s cord out, so he was blissfully and eternally silent. That Buzz never shut up though)

So, after the highly emotional ending to Toy Story 3, was there really any need to resurrect this almost perfect franchise ending for our kids’ kids?

Oh yes, there certainly was.

Without giving too much away, but as you may recall from Toy Story 3, the toys now live with the shy but cute-as-a-button Bonnie (McGraw) after Andy gives them to her as he leaves for college.

At her kindergarten orientation day, alone and sad, Bonnie makes a new toy, Forky (Hale) from a spork and pipe cleaners. Forky is now Bonnie’s new favourite toy. He is also endearingly funny and silly, which is quite a feat among some of the most beloved characters in cinematic history.

But Forky is having trouble realising he is no longer just trash, and it is up to Woody (Hanks) and the gang to keep him together, sometimes literally, so Bonnie can cope with the big changes happening in her young life.

The story is, for the most part, solid and well-paced, with the characters having lost none of their charm or appeal. We have some new baddies, such as Gabby Gabby (Hendricks) and her seriously creepy puppet henchman, but then there is everyone’s boyfriend, Keanu Reeves, as the meathead but lovable Duke Caboom, an Evil Knievel type motorcycle stuntman with something to prove.

Of course, it goes without saying that the CGI is simply spectacular.

This final installment in the Toy Story series is everything you could hope for. It is funny, witty and endlessly clever in a way the kids (thankfully) won’t understand until they’re grown. But that’s always been part of the appeal for these movies, that they entertained the grown-ups as much as they kept the kids enthralled.

The movie will also bring the feels and warm even the coldest of hearts. There will be tears so take tissues.

But possibly the best thing of all? There is not a mobile phone, laptop or ipad in sight. We are truly in the world of the toys.

And what a lovely, delightful and wonderful world it is.

5 stars

Running Time :  100 minutes

Release Date :  June 20

Who is in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Madeleine McGraw, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Christina Hendricks

Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.