Woody greets visitors to Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios Disney World. Photo: Disney parks

This is a first for me, writing a movie review. One of the great things about being a parent is having the excuse to watch kids’ movies. As much as I love these films, this is only the second time that writing a review has crossed my mind. The first was for Incredibles 2. It just depicted parenting so well, and in a way that made you laugh out loud. I never wrote that review, other than in my head. But Toy Story has a special place in my heart. And, after seeing it opening day, I’m so inspired to write about the Toy Story 4 movie.


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Until last summer, I hadn’t thought about Toy Story in years. A visit to Disney World’s new Toy Story Land brought back the love. I have vivid memories of seeing the first film in the theater in 1995 even though I was in my early 20s and didn’t have kids at the time. It was groundbreaking. The first animated feature that was completely created on a computer.

Toy Story 4 Movie: Age Appropriate

I am often conflicted about movie choices in our house. Our 6 year old wants to be able to see the movies that the 10 year old is watching. They aren’t always appropriate. And, the 10 year old isn’t really interested in many of the movies that are appropriate for a 6 year old. So, I always really appreciate a move that is appropriate and enjoyable for both of them. The Toy Story 4 movie met this criteria with flying colors.

Our kids could have watched this at any age. But there are three creepy characters, Gabby Gabby’s henchmen. It is possible that these characters could be scary to a much younger child.

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Toy Story 4 Positive Messages

Toy Story 4 has a ton of positive messages. Empathy, loyalty, friendship and forgiveness are overarching themes of the movie. No grudges are held here. Even when there is a less than positive theme of Gabby Gabby thinking that if she fixes what’s wrong with her she’ll find love, the film shows that’s not quite right. She shows us that you’re more likely to find love by helping someone who needs help.

One thing that some loyal fans may not like is a diversion from the theme that one child is the most important thing to a toy. In Toy Story 4, a couple of the toys (both minor and major characters) break free from that belief and find happiness together and/ or in finding many different children with which to play.

Toy Story 4 Movie Characters

Of course, I love that there was a strong female character. Bo is a character after my own heart. Tough, independent, realistic, understanding and resourceful. Happy in the independence that she has found.

Forky shows us that toys don’t always take the form that we expect. He has his own internal conflict over who he is until Woody helps him understand his importance. Plus he’s just hilarious.

Gabby Gabby is interesting. I couldn’t quite decide if she was manipulative or truly curious. But in the end she learns something powerful and ultimately just wants to love and be loved.

Duke Caboom finally reaches his true potential by believing in himself. And, he’s pretty funny too.

Toy Story 4 Movie Summary

In life, not everyone can be the favorite, or best at something. And, often even when we are the favorite or the best at some point that changes. That’s life. It is important to show that and to see that happiness can be found elsewhere.

Overall, I loved this movie because it shows us that while we don’t always get exactly what we want, we can find happiness elsewhere. Things never stay frozen in time. Change is a constant and learning to follow different paths is important. And, most important is doing the right thing. Look forward, always!

Have you seen Toy Story 4? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!

Toy Story 4 Movie Has the Feels

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