Toy Story 4 released in June 2019 to positive reviews. It was a really good movie, but, there were aspects of it that didn’t make sense, especially when viewed as a part of the Toy Story franchise and not just as an individual entity. We’re here to look at everything that could have been explained better or changed in the latest film.
Yes, we’re going to be super critical, but our criticisms don’t change how great the movie actually is; we’re just having a little fun here. Warning: spoilers abound, so if you haven't seen Toy Story 4 yet, go watch it! With that being said, here are 10 things in the fourth film that don’t make sense.
10 Buzz Lightyear’s Character Development Is Destroyed
The latest film in the Toy Story franchise doesn’t feature Buzz a whole lot, but during one scene he is in, Buzz asks Woody about the inner voice that tells him what to do. Woody tells Buzz about following his conscious, but Buzz misinterprets his advice and thinks that Woody turns to the voicebox inside of him to determine what to do next. This leads Buzz to press his buttons and use his own automated phrases to guide him.
Though this is humorous, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Buzz’s character. The space ranger comes off as dumbed-down compared to the versions of himself in previous movies, and while this joke might have worked if he had more screen time, his growth otherwise is lacking.
9 Toys Are Careless About Being Discovered
In past Toy Story films, the characters would instantly play dead the moment a human walked in the room. In the new one, they take a lot more risks that don’t add up. One of these, in particular, occurs when Trixie pretends to be the voice of Bonnie’s dad’s GPS.
While the scene is laugh-out-loud sort of funny, the liberties the scriptwriters took are far looser than in previous films. Trixie’s voice doesn’t sound like that of the GPS, and a quick look down would have Bonnie’s dad discovering that toys were hijacking his vehicle. This scene isn't bad, it's just a giant unrealistic stretch for the series.
8 Giggle McDimples’ Doesn't Have A Purpose
Toy Story introduced lots of new characters, including Duke Caboom, Ducky, Bunny, and Giggle McDimples. While they were all funny and cute in their own way, McDimples was kind of useless.
Don’t get us wrong — she’s adorable, but if she'd been cut from the movie, the plot would have remained exactly the same. After first meeting Woody, Giggle simply tags along for the rest of the adventure and doesn't contribute anything of substance to it. Ducky and Bunny didn’t have a whole lot to contribute either, but their characters at least fulfilled a comedic purpose and worked toward some sort of conclusion.
7 It Was Woody’s Movie More Than It Was The Toys’ Movie
The first three movies in the Toy Story franchise focus on the storylines of several characters. While Woody is a prominent voice, Jessie, Buzz, and even Barbie all have character arcs of their own. However, the new movie doesn’t develop any of the original characters outside of Woody and Bo Peep (who was a minor character for most of the movies anyway). Not only does the original gang not develop much; They’re just not in it much, either.
Though the events of the fourth film still take place in the Toy Story world, they feel a bit disconnected from the rest of the series. It feels like a Woody spin-off more than a traditional Toy Story movie.
6 The Stakes Were Lower
The script was entertaining, but you can't say the stakes didn't feel downsized compared to those in previous movies. In the third film, Woody and the entire gang are almost burnt to death. That’s intense.
While Woody is “lost” in the latest film, he jumps out of the RV by choice to rescue Forky. Had he failed and not returned the spork to Bonnie, the world wouldn’t have ended. She would have been sad and moved on. It’s not like every one of Andy’s toys was headed toward a fiery conclusion. Though the narrative of Toy Story 4 was fine, it just didn’t elevate the high stakes created in the film before it.
5 Woody’s Final Choice Is Questionable
In the end, Woody decides to leave Bonnie behind and live out the rest of his life with Bo Peep. As his character develops, he realizes that he already had his peak as a toy with Andy, and now, it’s time for him to move on. That’s okay.
What doesn’t make as much sense is that he chooses to be with Bo over Buzz and the gang. Yes, there was always some flirtation between the pair, but historically, Woody and Buzz have always been much closer than Woody and Bo. Of course, there are interactions we don’t get to see on camera, but based on what we have seen, his choice to leave Buzz (potentially forever) isn’t fully satisfying — especially since their goodbye comes so abruptly.
4 Bonnie Doesn’t Realize Woody’s Gone?
Woody’s life goal — at least at the beginning of the movie — is to keep Bonnie as happy as possible. That being said, his priorities shift by the end when he realizes he’s no longer the favorite toy and decides to stay behind.
Being realistic, though, wouldn’t Bonnie have noticed? Though the film doesn’t dive deeply into this, it seems to imply that Bonnie has altogether forgotten about Woody by the end and that she won’t care if he’s gone. His change of heart is fine and all, but it happens fast for him having believed his entire life that his purpose was to serve a kid.
3 The Message Competes With The Original Toy Story
Woody believed for a long time that his purpose in life was to be played with by a child. He also believed other toys had the same responsibility: to be a plaything for a kid.
However, as mentioned, in Toy Story 4, Woody decides that he wants to live his own life with Bo Peep. Feelings can change, yes, but the large shift does feel slightly out-of-character for a franchise that has spent so long building up a toy's purpose.
2 The Law Of Toy Life Is Vague
Toy Story 4 seems to answer the question “What brings a toy to life?” by showing a spork develop a personality soon after Bonnie starts playing with it. This makes us conclude that for a toy to be alive, someone has to use it — which is further proved in Toy Story 2 when Buzz Lightyear comes across the aisle of Buzzes in their boxes, each of which is dormant because they haven’t been played with yet.
On the flip side, though, some toys that aren’t played with come to life. The green aliens, and later Ducky and Bunny, all have personalities, though you could argue it’s because people try to win them. Sid’s toys in the original also can’t talk, but you could argue that it’s because he tortures them. All in all, the question of what brings a toy to life becomes more layered but no clearer in the fourth film.
1 Gabby Gabby Doesn't Really Need A Voicebox
The primary antagonist of Toy Story 4 is convinced that the reason a child hasn't played with her is because her voicebox is broken. Because of this, she sets out to use parts of Woody's voicebox to fix her own.
Seriously, though, why did Gabby Gabby think a voicebox would help? Why didn't she try getting the attention of a child sooner? How much longer would she have had to wait if Woody hadn't come along? So many questions, so little logic.