No one would blame you for thinking Toy Story 3 was a definitive end to the story of Woody the Cowboy (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger (Tim Allen) and company. That movie was, in a word, perfect in the way it tied up the story of Andy and his lifelong toy companions. I count myself among those who thought Toy Story 3 should’ve been the final chapter in the franchise. I now count myself among those who are fine with one more chapter in the totally satisfying Toy Story 4, a movie I never thought I would see and wasn’t wishing for. Pixar and director Josh Cooley—making his directorial debut with their most precious franchise—have chosen to mess with perfection and extend the story of Woody and friends. The results are less than perfect, but still very worthy of Toy Story lore and a welcomed breath of fresh air in a summer movie season that has been laying a series of big franchise stink bombs (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International, Dark Phoenix). It’s not surprising that Toy Story 4 is the most visually impressive of the lot. The folks at Pixar have had nearly a decade to hone their skills since the last chapter, so the likes of Woody, Buzz and Jessie take on a new refined beauty. The ending of Toy Story 4 will, once again, have fans and critics alike proclaiming that this must be the end for the franchise. It certainly feels like a closing chapter, but we all said that about the last movie.

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