Adventure Animation

Old Friends, New Adventures: A Review of ‘Toy Story 4’ on 4K Blu-ray

October 8, 2019Ben MK

As hard as it might be to fathom, it's been 25 years since audiences were first introduced to a cowboy named Woody and a Space Ranger named Buzz Lightyear. And while these characters have remained just as endearing as they were a quarter of a century ago, it's safe to say that animated movies have never been the same since.

Now everyone's favorite toy-tastic duo is back for Toy Story 4, the latest installment in the feature film franchise. This time, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and their pals are accompanying their kindergarten-bound owner Bonnie and her parents on summertime road trip. But when Bonnie brings along a reluctant new toy named Forky (Tony Hale) — which she's crafted out of little more than a disposable plastic spork, some pipe cleaner and a popsicle stick — the gang quickly discover that this vacation will be anything but relaxing.

Whether you're 5-years-old or 50, it all adds up to one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. For while it's easy to invoke the law of diminishing returns when it comes to sequels, it's reassuring to see that there are still some franchises that not only stand the test of time, but get better with age.

Toy Story 4 arrives on 4K sporting a pristine, pixel-perfect 2160p transfer, and the results are nothing short of a high point for the series. As expected, the HDR picture quality is flawless through and through, from familiar environments like a child's bedroom to the wide open spaces of a faraway carnival. And it's all topped off with an equally fantastic Dolby Atmos sound mix, bringing to life the cast's endearing vocal performances, old and new music from composer Randy Newman, the whimsical sounds made by the various toys, and more.

Disney's three-disc "Ultimate Collector's Edition" includes an iTunes/Google Play digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray discs:

  • Toy Stories (5:37) - The cast and crew recall their favorite childhood toys and what they meant to them.
  • Woody & Buzz (3:33) - A look back at all that Woody and Buzz have been through over the years, and how their relationship continues to evolve in Toy Story 4.
  • Bo Rebooted (6:21) - A look at how the film's female animators reinvented Bo Peep, while still paying homage to the original character.
  • Toy Box (12:59) - Five featurettes about some of the movie's new characters ("Gabby Gabby & Her Gang," "Forky," "Duke Caboom," "Ducky & Bunny" and "Giggle McDimples").
  • Let's Ride with Ally Maki (5:39) - The voice of Giggle McDimples herself hosts this look at what a line of dialogue goes through both before and after the voice actors get to the recording booth.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Playground (9:29) - A breakdown of how the film's pivotal playground scene was created.
  • Carnival Run (1:02) - A tour of the movie's carnival set from the point-of-view of Bo Peep's Skunkmobile.
  • View from the Roof (0:31) - Another view of the carnival set, this time as seen from the roof of the antique shop across the street.
  • Deleted Scenes (35:26) - Seven scenes ("Bonnie's Playtime," "Scamming Playtime," "Bo Knows Hippos," "Desperate Toys," "Knockoffs," "Recruit Duke" and "She's the One"), with introduction by Director Josh Cooley.
  • Trailers & Promos (10:46) - One character montage and four international trailers ("Carnival Prizes," "Pixar Pedigree - Exclusive for China," "Playtime - Global Trailer in English," "Booth - Global Teaser in Spanish" and "Freedom - Global Trailer in Russian").
  • Audio Commentary - Director Josh Cooley and Producer Mark Nielsen talk about the making of the film, from the need for a third sequel to how the actors brought their characters to life, and more.

Toy Story 4 is available from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as of October 8th, 2019. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 40 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on June 20th, 2019.

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