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‘Toy Story 4’ closes series in only way possible

Pixar brought back — and hopefully concluded, for good — its most enduring property in the only way possible with “Toy Story 4.”

It’s hard to not look at this latest sequel with skepticism and cynicism. “Toy Story 3” concluded what could be considered the best animated trilogy of all time. Each movie served a purpose and told a story that will transcend generations to come. And that story came to a conclusion when Andy handed over Woody to Bonnie. There was no more room for adventures in the “Toy Story” universe. Pixar disagreed and proved — at least somewhat — that the toys had one last story to tell.

“Toy Story 4” abandons the sprawling cast of characters — casting the likes of Jesse, Slinky, Rex and Ham aside — in favor of a much more intimate and personalized story about Woody. In a way, this film feels like “Logan” — sans the brutal violence, dystopian atmosphere and depressing tone. It’s about an old toy on one last adventure as he tries to discover his place in a world that has all but left him behind.

In that way, this latest “Toy Story” trades some of the series’ signature laughs for more of a personalized and touching character study into Woody’s post-Andy existence. Bo Peep returns after going missing in “Toy Story 3” to serve as the linchpin of Woody’s arc and helps tie up some loose ends from the trilogy.

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