The film continues from Toy Story 3, where Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, among their other toy friends, have found new appreciation after being given by Andy to Bonnie. They are introduced to Forky, a spork that has been made into a toy and embark on a road trip adventure. The film is dedicated to Don Rickles and animator Adam Burke, who died in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Most of the previous voice actors, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, signed on to reprise their past voices. Hanks stated in May 2016 that he had finished recording his first lines for Woody. Annie Potts was confirmed to be returning as Bo Peep, after being absent from Toy Story 3. Don Rickles intended to reprise his role as Mr. Potato Head, but died in April 2017, before any lines were recorded as the script was still being rewritten. According to Cooley, Rickles' family contacted Pixar and asked if there was any way to include him in the film. Pixar reviewed 25 years of archival material that Rickles had participated in, including unused lines from the first three Toy Story films, video games and other related media for the franchise, and other works, and were able to assemble enough material to use within the film.
Tony Hale was cast as Forky, a homemade toy suffering an existential crisis. Hale has performed roles before with similar panicked characters, notably Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep. When asked to voice Forky, Hale said, "A utensil's existential crisis? I'm in!". Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were cast as a pair of carnival prize plush toys named Ducky and Bunny. Cooley said that while they brought them on to provide some improvised comedy to the film, "they were story motivated which elevated Ducky and Bunny and the film to a level I never could have expected".
Additionally, Keanu Reeves was announced to be voicing a character in the film, named Duke Caboom. Reeves said he was contacted out of the blue by Pixar for the role, seeking him to voice the part and letting him develop his own riffs on the character. On March 22, 2019, Madeline McGraw, who previously voiced Maddy McGear in Pixar's Cars 3, was revealed to be voicing Bonnie, replacing Emily Hahn. Comedy legends Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Betty White were added to the cast to voice a set of four toys that Bonnie played with as a toddler but had since outgrown, acting as "veteran" toys to help Woody prepare for when the same happens to him.
Okay, so I didn't cry through the whole but just three times. The first two times were just tears in my eyes, but the third time (at the end of the movie) was just almost sobbing. I am a modern man that is in touch with my emotions. It is fun for my family to see what movies I will cry at! Anyways, the Toy Story series is my favorite series of cartoon movies, and this one did not disappoint. The ending will leave you speechless, and even my six year old daughter (who takes after my wife and is not a crier) had tears in her eyes. After the third sequel you would think the series would be getting tired, but the movie was great and emotionally it takes you to infinity and beyond!
MY RATING: 10 OUT OF 10