Toy Story 4 – How The Fans Feel


Courtesy of Pixar

All your favorite characters, including some new additions, gather together again for the fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise.

Kelly Ritenour , Clubs and Activities Editor

Pixar has released their first full length trailer for Toy Story 4, and many die hard fans are not so keen on this new addition to the beloved franchise. With the hard-hitting emotional ending that was Toy Story 3, it feels essentially pointless to tag on another installment to a series that wrapped up so pleasantly.

An issue that many fans find frustrating is Bo Peep’s new design. When the film was first announced, it was revealed that the beautiful and wise porcelain doll we all loved as children would be returning after her noticeable absence from Toy Story 3. However, none of us were quite ready for the fashion “upgrade” Pixar decided to give us.

Instead of her hoop skirt dress, Bo is sporting a jumpsuit with a cape. As well as her costume change, Bo has developed some new skills, and now uses her trusty staff to fight off evil marionettes and other foes.

Courtesy of Pixar

Her new outfit and upgraded features make her unrecognizable to the nostalgic eyes of the Toy Story audience. Animation has evolved significantly since the first two films. However, like with all of the other original characters, the animators could have updated Bo without completely changing her appearance. The redesign may have been to make the character appear more modern, or “feminist” in this day and age. However, giving a woman pants and some fighting skills does not automatically make her strong or independent- it’s about the characterization, not presentation, of female characters that give them their strength. In the original franchise, Bo Peep was caring, intelligent, and headstrong, and she managed to be all that and more in a bright pink dress with a hoop skirt.

When it comes to plot, the trailer did not reveal all the details, but the themes that were presented were oddly reminiscent of past Toy Story films. Like with Toy Story 2, Woody flees the safety of home to rescue a toy and finds himself lost. He meets a new toy, or in this case, is reintroduced to Bo, and finds himself questioning his role as a toy and whether or not to return to his kid. This feels like a regression of character development and a completely unnecessary experience for Woody and the gang. Also, in the trailer, Bo unfortunately seems to be hinting at some signs of being the antagonist, evidenced by the line, “Don’t let Woody leave.”

On the upside, the trailer does provide a few good elements to lift our spirits. Woody’s growth since the first film shines through with his desire to protect Forky, Bonnie’s new favorite toy, instead of sabotaging Forky’s position like he tried to with Buzz. It’s also incredibly heartwarming to see the familiar banter of the original Toy Story gang, and Buzz’s immediate leap out of a window after being asked what Woody would do is undoubtedly iconic and hilarious.

Although many elements of the trailer would leave a Toy Story connoisseur concerned, it’s hard not to grin at the sight and sound of our childhood heroes. First impressions aren’t always correct, and for all we know, this new venture could be just the medicine we need during our time of teenage stress.