Movies: Toy Story 4 (2019)

Credits: flickeringmyth

Each Toy Story movies is unique as each presents a metaphor for different age milestone. First Toy Story dealt with teens/early twenties or college years. Toy Story 2 dealt with Woody undergoing a midlife crisis and questioning his life’s purpose. Toy Story 3 dealt with the idea of retirement and the prospect of death. Toy Story 4 deals with life after retirement. A new beginning. I figured this idea should merit this post as it is going to be published on the 1st Jan 2020.

I saw Toy Story 3 before I watched its prequels. I was aware of the first two movies because of the complementary toy given on every McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’. I used to have/I may still have a Woody from one such Happy Meal.

I was prepared to go for Toy Story 4 in the cinemas this year but for some reason I never did. I ended up watching the first three Toy Story-ies at home first and then watched the latest movie.

The conversation around Toy Story 4 online was lackluster. I knew that the latest movie won’t live upto its expectations. Toy Story 3 is and will forever be one of my favorite movies. Toy Story 3 made me cry twice: the incinerator scene and then the final playtime scene.

I didn’t think Toy Story 4 was a special movie until the climax when Woody said goodbye to the other toys on top of the carousal. Seeing these characters: many of whom have been there since the first movie at their swansong just broke me. I sobbed, I felt as I was saying goodbye to these characters again after ToyStory 3 itself was a goodbye.

Back to the idea that this movie deals with post retirement.

The bulk of the story follows Woody: the character who now has to retire from ‘Andy’s Toy’ to a toy just kept in the cupboard and is hardly played with. Woody is almost everything I can imagine an old almost retiree being:

He is stubborn. He refuses to accept that a kid can start preschool without their toy. He refuses to believe that his days of being a favorite are over.

He is reluctant to change his lifestyle. In another words, he is someone who doesn’t know what he is after he finishes working. This whole movie he is chasing the idea that he has to be there for someone without considering that it is time to be there for himself.

Also, Woody is someone whose experience makes him an old sage. Every toy yearns to have what Woody has had in his whole life. Every toy wants to know what it feels like to be someone’s toy.

Lastly, before he does go on to live his own adventure, I believe he chooses to make sure that he helps out as many toys as possible.

I think the end credits scene where he spends the entire time cheating the system and handing out all toys is a perfect example of him passing the torch.

An awesome video by NerdWriter on the animation technique:

It took Woody a lifetime to live for himself. I hope that you walk onto new year with some of Woody’s enthusiasm and determination. I hope you try something new. Live for yourself after spending a long time living for others.

Happy new Year!