The early reactions for Toy Story 4 are in, pointing to another fantastic sequel from Pixar. The animated studio popped onto the scene in a big way in 1995 with the release of their first film, Toy Story, which soon became a massive hit. The success of the film both critically and financially spawned Pixar's first sequel a few years later, but that would be the last time audiences would see Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and other now beloved characters for over a decade. When Toy Story 3 returned the franchise to theaters in 2010, audiences who had grown up with these toys were treated to what was presented as a goodbye.
The emotional wrap-up for the Toy Story trilogy was also incredibly satisfying for many, which is why there was some hesitation over the announcement that Toy Story 4 was on the way. The movie went through several changes during development as different writers got involved, and the initial trailers left many feeling as though the film was just another cash grab for Pixar. Throughout all of this, people involved with the project maintained that it was a necessary continuation of this story, and now the early reactions to the film back this up.
Disney has now screened the entirety of Toy Story 4 to select members of the press and allowed those who saw the film to share their reactions online. Full reviews are still embargoed at this point, but below is a collection of NON-SPOILER reactions to the sequel, including what Screen Rant's Rob Keyes thought about Toy Story 4.
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 :— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) June 7, 2019
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
#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 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 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: 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
For anyone worried that Toy Story 4 would detract from the incredible ending of Toy Story 3 and not deliver a similarly great story, these reactions say otherwise. They point to the film finding the right tone that is more comedic than past films, as well as putting more of a focus on new characters, like Forky (Tony Hale) and Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves). Even with these new additions, though, the movie also works as a great potential send-off for Woody and Buzz.
These reactions are incredibly reassuring and should generate further excitement for the film in the next two weeks before it hits theaters. There's already plenty of interest, as it broke Incredibles 2's pre-sales ticket record, while recent reports pointed to it breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie. And if these reactions are to be believed, then this amount of success could allow for the franchise to continue on once again.