I came out of Toy Story 4 caring about a spork. I knew I would. I predicted it. Those Toy Story guys do that to you – make you care about things you normally wouldn’t.
They also give you perspective on things you wouldn’t have ordinarily.
Toy Story 1: I came out feeling bad for all the times I played with a new toy, while disregarding others, as a kid.
Toy Story 2: As an adult, I decided I never wanted my girls to grow up because Jessie absolutely ripped my heart out.
Toy Story 3: I thought was the end, and when Andy drives away it’s impossible not to sob about your own kids’ childhoods rushing by in a blink.
Toy Story 4: I don’t want to say too much, it did give me a twinge of guilt, as they often do.
The entire errand for the gang is to save Forky, a spork friend their person (Bonnie) built at kindergarten orientation. Forky, and his goofy pipe cleaner arms, is naïve and totally uneducated about toy-hood in a way that harkens to Buzz Lightyear’s initial arrival in the story’s first installment.
He’s hilarious. And awkward. And he has slow one-liners from time to time that are totally on the money.
He’s also the thing that Bonnie needs. Because she made it. And she can’t continue with whatever she’s doing until she knows she has him. She wants to sleep with him. And travel with him. And bring him to school and basically everywhere she goes.
Been there. I think every parent has.
We’ve all been the person searching under car seats, looking through the trash, checking the vacuum, even searching through empty Wheat Thins boxes (totally did that – and found a gang of princess dolls I thought were lost) to find the thing the kid needs.
We’ve all turned the car around to go back into a store. We’ve asked customer service to help us. We’ve rifled through lost and found bins – multiple times. We’ve stayed in Target an hour longer than we needed to hoping the person who found our son’s wooby would return it.
That was specific. And heartbreaking. It was also the day I drove next door to Jo-Ann Fabrics and sourced the softest blends to create his own wooby – which, eight years or so on, he hasn’t lost. And he still sleeps with.
When your life is little, little things are big. And when we’re big, we forget how big little things can be.
This was Toy Story 4, to me. Little things being big. And lots of comedic moments, especially from Ducky and Bunny (Key and Peele) who bring a Michael Pena-in-Ant-Man vibe to the whole fiasco.
I was laughing so much, and I got to hear the kids laugh their true, hard laughs so many times, that the moment I cried I was actually shaking my head “no.” Because it just hits you out of nowhere.
I thought I’d get through this one without crying. But I should know better. It’s a Toy Story. It makes you care about things you normally wouldn’t. So, in other words, it’s perfect. As usual.