Back in 2010, Toy Story 3 rounded off Disney-Pixar's Toy Story trilogy with a breathlessly perfect conclusion, to the extent that news of a fourth movie was met with scepticism.
In 2019, we finally get to see that movie in the form of Toy Story 4. It's a mixture of faces both familiar (Tom Hanks's Woody and Tim Allen's Buzz Lightyear) and new (Tony Hale's Forky; Keanu Reeves's Duke Caboom), sending our characters on a road trip adventure under the direction of longtime Pixar storyboard artist Josh Cooley.
So does the movie live up to our almighty expectations? Somewhat remarkably, critics say Toy Story 4 does this – and a whole lot more as well. In fact, its aggregated Rotten Tomatoes score (from 80 reviews and counting) is currently a magical 100%.
Here's a sampling of critical responses, beginning with Richard Roeper's rave assessment in the Chicago Sun-Times: "If this movie doesn't touch your heart, you'd have to be as lifeless as the toys pretend to be when humans are in the vicinity".
"It takes some kind of genius for the Pixar animators to give such a searing emotional charge to a story in which one of the main characters is a single use plastic spork retrieved from the trash," raves Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent.
The Times UK's critic Kevin Maher is even more succinct: "Sweet Lord, this is good." He adds: "You know that you’re in the presence of genius when the first five minutes of what is ostensibly the third sequel to a 24-year-old children’s cartoon about talking toys is revealed to contain more depth, more thought-provoking content and more soulful passion than any Hollywood movie released this year so far."
Empire's four-star review says that if the movie doesn't hit the heights of the third, that's more to do with the formidable benchmark that's already been set. "It might not take us to the epic highs of its predecessors – which is, to be fair, a skyscraping bar to reach – but Toy Story 4 is certainly the strongest fourth series instalment since Mad Max hit that Fury Road," writes Dan Jolin.
The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin describes it as "one of the most delightful blockbusters ever made", while Variety's Peter DeBruge says the movie "wraps up the saga beautifully". DeBruge also lauds the upgrade in the sophistication of the animation: "The first of these movies to be composed in widescreen, Cooley’s feature debut is by far the most cinematic of the series, doing incredible things with lighting, from the sparkling, rain-drenched driveway of the opening scene to the film’s breathtaking carnival-roof finale."
That's what the critics think, and on 21st June you can cast your own verdict. Click here to book your tickets for Toy Story 4 and let us know @Cineworld if you think the movie will be the best in the series so far.