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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Action > Adventure > Computer Animation > Toy Story 4 4K (2019/PIXAR/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-rays)

Toy Story 4 4K (2019/PIXAR/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-rays)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ 1080p Picture: B Sound: B+/B Extras: C+ Animated Film: B-

When the original Toy Story arrived in 1995, CGI animated feature films were still a novelty and so new that almost all the major releases were guaranteed to make money. Of all the early hit films, it was a stand out like Cars, Shrek and a few others that helped make this leg of animation history that made CGI a permanent part of that cinema artform and not just a side novelty. When the sequels to some of the films started surfacing, many groaned thinking it was the end of creativity, artistic freedom and would have the films fall into the same trap as too many a live action franchise. Toy Story could be the exception and after almost being relegated to straight-to-home-video-status for any sequels (which would have been an all-time mistake), the sequels have been better than expected.

Toy Story 4 4K (2019) might have been a dud or throw-away production, but instead, is much better than you would think with a new adventure centered in both a carnival and antiques shop, including some very funny moments and a few dark ones. This might be too much of a throwback for younger viewers, but it works extremely well as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Forky (Tony Hale) go out for fun only to have them get in trouble, including a doll from the time Woody was produced wanting to trade her warped toy voice box for Woody's still in perfect working order.

Even when this gets dark and offers more suspense than most 'adult, mature' horror films can muster these days, it is still funny, colorful and has interesting moments that show the writers were all working extra hard to pull this one off. The duo gets some help from Bo Peep (the great Annie Potts), Tim Allen is back as Buzz Lightyear, Keanu Reeves voices a Canadian Evel Knievel-like toy named Duke Kaboom, some other regulars are back and the team of Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (now expert horror filmmaker Jordan Peele) mess with a captured Buzz, then deliver maybe the funniest sequence in the whole film.

The talent and energy more than keep up with the expanded color and increase in detail and depth that still manages to have the look of the previous films without betraying them. Director Josh Cooley is able to handle all of this well and we'll see what he does next, but the film is a success enough all around and that makes it one of the entire year's better films.

Though some presentations in some theatrical engagements were in Dolby Vision, the 4K disc here is offered in a 2.35 X 1, 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image that is still very impressive, color rich and is one of the few CGI animated features that seems to be native in 4K. That makes this as fine looking as any 4K CGI release we've seen to date, including Sing, Secret Life Of Pets and The Grinch. Guess they'll save Dolby Vision for another time, but this has a bunch of demo moments and almost got a higher rating. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the regular Blu-ray is also fine, but misses the better color, detail and overall density that makes the 4K like entering the world of the characters.

As for sound, the 4K has a decent Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) that has some great moments, but sometimes feels held back on some level at times, a (minor?) complaint some Disney 11.1 titles have had leveled at them. The Blu-ray offers a slightly lesser DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix that is still pretty dynamic, but cannot match the Atmos tracks, even with a limitation here and there.

Extras are not on the 4K disc, but include Movies Anywhere digital code, the first Blu-ray with the full film on it adds a feature length audio commentary track by Director Josh Cooley and Producer Mark Nielsen that is to be heard after seeing the film, plus featurette clips Bo Rebooted and Toy Stories. A Bonus Disc with more extras (making this a 3-disc set) add five trailers, about a half-hour of Deleted Scenes and more brief featurettes: Anatomy of a Scene: Playground, Let's Ride with Ally Maki, Woody & Buzz, Carnival Run, View from the Roof and Toy Box. That all makes this one of the nicest 4K CGI releases to date.

For more on the previous three films, also being issued on 4K disc, try our coverage of the trilogy from this Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray 2D set at this link...


- Nicholas Sheffo


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