When Toy Story 4 was first announced, it was initially greeted with feelings of scepticism by some members of the fan base. After all, the previous movie had given people a satisfying ending for the likes of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, with the toys last seen starting a new adventure with Bonnie after they had survived both Andy throwing them away and a near-death experience involving a furnace.
However, any doubts over the point of the movie were soon extinguished, with the fourth outing of the franchise giving us more emotional moments regarding our favourite play-things. We now take a look at the 10 moments from the entire series that had us reaching for the tissues...
10 Toy Story: When Buzz Thinks He Can Fly
When we first meet Buzz Lightyear, we are introduced to someone who believes he is actually a space ranger who is capable of conversing with an international space station, shooting real laser beams from his arms and flying among the stars. Unfortunately, however, his bubble well and truly bursts when he discovers that he’s just a toy after all during a venture into Sid’s house.
Buzz gives it his best shot, appearing at one point to be on course to soar out of the window and back into Andy’s house. However, with the poignant "I Will Go Sailing No More" playing in the background, he crashes back down to earth and lies there a man clearly pained by his own shortcomings.
9 Toy Story: The Toys Ditch Woody
When Buzz is left a shell of a man he was before, Woody tries to do his best to motivate the toy and convince him to return to Andy’s house anyway. However, with his friend missing an arm, that’s easier said than done, and his plan to enlist the help of the rest of the toys at home backfires spectacularly.
The rest of the gang, knowing full-well how jealous Woody had been when Buzz was first unwrapped, accuse him of attacking his friend, who just sits back and allows it all to happen. Audiences feel genuine concern as the cowboy is left by the rest of his friends, even reliable lieutenants such as Slinky and Bo Peep. It looks likely to be the end for him.
8 Toy Story 2: Jessie’s Song
In Toy Story 2, we are introduced to the character of Jessie the cowgirl, who appears confident despite spending much of her time stuck in a glass cabinet. But we soon learn of her tragic backstory and how she was once a toy loved like any other.
It’s a well and truly heartbreaking moment as she recalls to Woody how she went from being the most-loved toy in existence to suddenly being on the scrap heap. Again, the music plays a key part with Sarah McLachlan’s "When She Loved Me" prompting audiences to dab at their eyes and wipe away the tears.
7 Toy Story 2: Woody Looks Set To Stay Behind
When Woody is first captured by Al, the kingpin of Al’s Toy Barn, he is determined to get back to Andy’s house as soon as possible. But, after discovering he once had his own TV show and learning how much Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete all need him, he then decides to stay behind and move with the rest of the gang to Japan.
His old friends have other ideas, though. Two Buzz Lightyears, Slinky, Rex, Mr Potato Head and Ham all set off on a rescue mission - only for it all to look in vain. Woody says his goodbyes to his friends and people are left fearing that a parting of the ways is on the cards.
6 Toy Story 3: Andy Doesn’t Want To Play Anymore
Toy Story 3 is set a considerable time after the first two movies, with the character of Andy now a young adult. Growing up unfortunately means not wanting to play with your old toys any longer - something we see for ourselves on screen.
It’s sad as Andy reaches for his phone, which Rex is holding, and snubs all his old friends. Woody is left hoping that he will be picked up by his owner but that doesn’t happen and he’s left curling up sad and unwanted as the realisation dawns on him. The rest of the toys all accept their fate and their feelings impact the audience, who feel just as low as them.
5 Toy Story 3: Lotso’s Backstory
Like Sid, Stinky Pete and Al before him, Lots-o’-Huggin Bear is a villain hellbent on ruining the lives of Andy’s toys. He runs the daycare centre in Sunnyside and seems nice enough at first, wooing people with his friendly nature and strawberry scent. He soon changes, though, and we see somebody who is determined for toys to accept they’re unwanted and unloved at all times.
His villainous ways are explained, though, during a devastating flashback sequence. He was once loved by a child called Daisy, who accidentally leaves him behind in a field during a brief stop-off on a road trip. Lotso makes his way back to his owner but is then left crushed when he discovers he’s been replaced. Ned Beatty’s character then descends into villainy.
4 Toy Story 3: The Furnace Scene
Seriously, both children and grown adults were trembling when, in Toy Story 3, it looks as if Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang are going to die in a furnace. They accept their fate, all holding hands in a circle as the ever-falling flow of garbage pushes them towards the fire following Lotso’s betrayal.
But then the aliens - the same aliens Mr Potato Head had adopted against his better judgement in the previous movie - come to the rescue. It didn’t stop us crying, though, and the scene ranks as one of the most emotional in Toy Story history.
3 Toy Story 3: Saying Goodbye To Andy
We never expected a Toy Story 4, mostly because of the ending of Toy Story 3. It seems very final. Andy, realising the importance of toys and how much happiness they brought to his childhood, decides not to throw the likes of Woody and Buzz away after all. Instead, he packs up his old friends and takes them to live with Bonnie.
It’s a poignant moment not just for the toys, but for Andy too. We’d seen him grow from an enthusiastic and imaginative child into a caring and considerate adult, one who is well and truly leaving the old days behind as he heads off for college.
2 Toy Story 4: Bo Peep Says Goodbye
Toy Story 4 is not just a satisfying conclusion to the entire series, but one that well and truly looks the part. Seriously, the movie is gorgeous from start to finish, a festival of colour that helps the story come to life. There is a dark and bleak moment, though, early in the blockbuster when Bo Peep says goodbye to Woody.
The movie is not even 10 minutes old when we’re already sobbing. Bo says goodbye to Woody, resigned to her fate as a toy destined for a new way of life elsewhere. And, with the rain pouring as she gently touches his cheek, it’s a hugely haunting moment.
1 Toy Story 4: The Final Goodbye
Ah, where do we begin on this one? If you’d told us back when the first Toy Story movie released in 1995 that characters such as Woody the cowboy, Buzz Lightyear and Slinky the dog would have us crying our eyes out over 20 years on, we wouldn't have believed it.
The final, most emotional moment of the series is also sat at the very top of this list. Woody going his separate ways with Bo Beep, who he is reunited with, is genuinely gut-wrenching. We never thought we’d see the day where he says his goodbyes to close friends like Buzz and Slinky, as well as the rest of the pack.