Posts Tagged ‘disney movie’

We kicked off our Summer Disney movie series with the 2019 live action version of Aladdin, next up is Toy Story 4.

When I first heard about a Toy Story 4 I rolled my eyes. Really? Another one? Toy Story 3 ended so well, and I didn’t see the point in another. The trailer threw me off. A spork toy? What? I did not anticipate the movie being very good. But I tried to go into it with an open mind. We’ve screened it twice now and plan to see it again this opening weekend. If that’s not indication enough of how good it is, let me go ahead and give you a spoiler-free review.

Toy story 4 movie poster

My Toy Story 4 Review

My kids and I had re-watched the first three movies recently in preparation for this movie. It’s not necessary but a refresher of the first one is helpful to understand some of the conversation points. There were huge strides in technological advancements between the first three movies and then again with this movie we see even more detail and sharpness with this fourth installment. I was doubtful going in, but came out having gone through a roller coaster of emotions with a wide variety of sounds coming out of my mouth: Laughter, gasps and sobs. I don’t know why I ever doubted Pixar.

Toy Story 3 was a good chapter ending for Any and Woody’s story. This is taking us along Woody’s journey after Andy. Something that really struck me during this movie though was Woody’s growth. As if we grew up together through the years. There were some hilarious parts of the movie where I felt empathetic to Woody’s struggles and they took me back to those days as a new parent.

My husband hasn’t seen it yet but I know he will be there not only for the story but the comedic relief. As with all Pixar movies, there’s plenty of subtle (and clean) adult humor. Key and Peele as Duck and Bunny, Keanu and Reeves as Duke Caboom were hilarious additions I didn’t know I needed.

Toy story 4 characters kids review

Via Walt Disney Studios

Bo Peep came back with a vengeance and really kicks butt in a way that makes sense. I was sad that the Jesse and Buzz romance took a total back seat in this movie, but both characters still had some great parts.

Does it Beat the Others?

After seeing Toy Story 4 the first time I felt it was my new favorite Toy Story movie. But after watching it a couple of times and going back and watching the first one I think the two are closer than I thought. Visually this one takes the cake. But the first one won my hear when I was 9-years-old and it’s not letting go. But nothing beats sitting in a theater with my kids that are about the same age I was when the first movie came out–And hearing their laughter and clapping throughout the movie.

This is a film your entire family will love. Go into it with an open mind, and maybe bring a pair of tissues.

Oh, and make sure you stay for some during and after-the-credits scenes. There’s even one at the very very end.

Is Toy Story 4 Scary?

If you’ve seen any of the trailers you’ve probably noticed the creepy The ventriloquist dolls. They are a bit startling and had my kids not been next to me I would have thought some of those scenes were scary for them. But neither of them were frightened. When I asked if they were scared they insisted they weren’t. Maybe it’s because part of my childhood consisted of my watching scary movies about a terrifying murderous toy with my dad. But my kids apparently don’t have fears connected to dolls.

Gabby gabby from toy story 4

via Walt Disney Studios

My son did scream out loud, laugh and cheer through the movie. But he never yelled “I’m scared.” It’s rated G, and is no where near as startling as scenes in Zootopia. If you watch the trailers you see a good portion of the creepy dummy scenes so maybe take a peek and decide if it might be too much for your kiddos. Theaters are big and louder that something you’d watch at home so those scenes could be a little intense for little ones. I say trust your inner voice (*wink*), my kids say go for it! But more on their reviews below.

Toy Story 4 Kids Review

My kids loved the movie so much, the first words out of my son’s mouth as we walked out was “I want to make a Forky.” This coming from a not very crafty kid. As soon as we got home they made their own Forkys with things around the house (we didn’t have any sporks so they used plastic forks).

When we watched Aladdin, though they both enjoyed the movie very much, I didn’t get much audible reaction out of them. I can tell a movie is REALLY good when I can hear a physical reaction from their seats.  Aladdin didn’t hold my son’s attention the entire movie (though he says it did, there were moments he was squirming in his seat or asking if it was almost over). He was glued to the screen this entire movie (I think a big part of this is because he’s already so familiar with the characters). If your kids are fans of Woody and the gang, they will love this too!

Biracial kids dressed up as buzz lightyear and Jesse

8-Year-Old Review of Toy Story 4

Q: Did you like the movie?
A: Yes

Q: How did you like Toy Story 4 compared to the other Toy Story movies?
A: It was better because they improved on their computer skills. And the story was good.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: [The beginning part with Forky] – (Edited to remove spoilers)

Q: Did the movie make you laugh?
A: A little

Q: Did you think it was scary?
A: No.

Q: Do you think that little kids will be scared?
A: There’s one part where there’s a doll called Vincent and he’s kinda creepy. Some kids might be like me and not be scared. But if your kids are maybe 3 or 4 and pretty brave and stuff I think this will be a good movie for them.

Q: Did you learn any lessons in this movie?
A: I learned a lesson about bullies. But that’s all I’m going to say so I don’t spoil it.

Q: What did you think of Bo Peep?
A: In one and two she was with them and three she’s gone and in four she comes back strong. She reminds me of Merida.

Q: Do you think girls will look up to her?
A: Yes, because she’s a good example that you can be strong.

Q: Do you want to see it again even though you’ve already seen it twice?
A: Yes!

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A:Surprisingly Bo.

6-Year-Old Review of Toy Story 4

biracial boy dressed up like Buzz Lightyear with a giant tub of popcorn before watching toy story 4

Q: Did you like the movie?
A: Yes

Q: Why did you like the movie? Because there was Forky in it.
A: Did you think the movie was a little bit scary? It was not scary at all.

Q: Do you think little kids would be scared?
A: No.

Q: Was the movie funny?
A: YES! At Aladdin I didn’t laugh at all. Maybe just a tiny bit. But I liked this WAY WAY WAY more.

Q:Do you want to see Toy Story 4 again?
A: Yes yes yes YES!

Q: What’s your favorite movie ever?
A: Toy Story 4. I like it far away from everything else.

Q: Do you like it more than Toy Story 1?
A: Yes, way more.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Rex! Second was Forky

Q: Do you think your friends will like it?
A: Yea.

Q: Anything else you want to say about the movie?
A: Mom, who do you think I like more? You or Toy Story 4?
Q: Which one?

Toy Story 4 opens everywhere June 21st. Go see it then come back and let us know what you think!

Next up in our Summer Disney Movie series:

  • Dumbo! A review of the 2019 live action movie as it hits digital and DVD.
  • The Lion King: The 2019 version roars into theaters on Lee Lee’s birthday. The original is my all-time favorite movie so I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.
  • Countdown to Disney+: Stay tuned for more!

Wondering if we have similar taste in movies? Here are some of our other Disney movie reviews:


My husband and I have been going back and forth on baby names for months. We don’t agree. I’ve rambled off dozens of names and get shot down time and time again.

Just when I thought we may never agree we had a breakthrough. I was telling my husband how inspired I was by Ava DuVernay. How she was the first black female director with a film budget of $100 million. How important and meaningful her films are. And how she’s breaking glass ceilings and lifting others up with her. I told him I will never forget how she made me feel when I gave her a hug and told her how much her work meant to me and our daughter. How she really saw me, and how she spoke about being a light in the darkness (something I’m always telling our children). And how she even said hello to our nameless baby in utero.

Dreams come true. How this selfie with Ava Duverney came to be during Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Premiere

“What if we name the baby Ava?” I said.

I waited for his immediate “nope” but he stood silent for a moment. Was he listening? Did he tune me out?

“I like it!” He said. I couldn’t believe it.


“Yes, it sounds good and I like names that have meaning,” he said.

“Ok, but can we add a ‘y’?” I asked. “Maybe A-Y-V-A?”

He wasn’t enthusiastic about the additional letter but he didn’t object. Both of our kids have names containing ‘Y’ so I’d like to carry on the tradition.

Thrilled that we’d finally agreed, I did a quick search to see how popular it is.

Will you believe it’s the 3rd most popular baby name of 2018?

Coming from a Jennifer, I know how this feels. Going by first name, last initial in a class where five other people share your name. Or you get a nickname like Jenn, Jen or Jenny. Gah!

Our name decision is still murky, but something that’s crystal clear is the powerful impression Ava DuVernay left on me. I knew she was an incredible, inspiring, amazing woman. But what I didn’t realize was how genuine, spiritual, and down to earth she is.

In tears she told us about her nervous call to her mother before her first A Wrinkle in Time junket.

Director Ava Duvernay sat down and spoke about Directing Wrinkle in Time

Photo: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

“I said ‘mommy, I’m going to the junket. I’m gonna share the movie for the first time with people who are gonna see the movie for the first time. I don’t know what they’re gonna think,'” Ava recalled. “She said ‘Avy, you did your best.’ I was like a little girl again. ‘You did your best, babe and, you know, your best is good enough and so pretty. It’s just like you. You’re the best girl in the world.'”

Well I think Ava’s mom was right. Ava did an incredible job and I think the world is going to be pretty impressed with how pretty it turned out.

The Message She Hopes You Receive

Movies are powerful. They can make an impact on the world, and that’s what Ava hopes to do with hers. She wants everyone to leave feeling full.

“I just want them to be meaningful. I don’t want them to be junk food where you come in, you see the movie and you walk out and you forget about it by the time you get to the car,” Ava said. “I want the images to stick to your ribs like soul food, I want you to think about the stories or get something from the narratives or the way that the camera moves or the way that something looks. You know, just try not to let it be empty calories, you know, a meal and I think, you know, the only way to do that is to put love in every frame.”

Now she’s turned to make another impactful film, this time in a different genre. Ava said her films are her children. After her award-winning films Selma and 13th Ava really wanted to do something for children.

Director Ava Duvernay sat down and spoke about Directing Wrinkle in Time


“You know, I put my blood into them. It’s really what has my name on it. It’s what I’ll leave behind in the world and so to be able to make something specifically for kids today, something that I hope endures for kids, you know, for a long time to come was very emotional to me,” Ava said. “I really want it to be a seed that blossoms into something beautiful in young people about the way that we treat each other and the way that we see ourselves and the way that we’re seen and so that’s really what I’m hoping. I mean movies have the power to do that.”

When I took my daughter to see the film and one thing she mentioned after was how it was “funny”, but not “a funny movie” and that’s exactly what Ava said she wanted.

“Yes, kids like to laugh but kids also like to think,” Ava said. “They like to feel”

Without any input from me, my 7-year-old daughter walked away from A Wrinkle in Time making her own connections between the messaging in the movie, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s message.

Ava’s hope was to keep the intention of Madeleine L’Engle’s book the same. She wants to remind people to plant seeds with young people and remind them that they can be a light in a world of darkness.

Director Ava Duvernay sat down and spoke about Directing Wrinkle in Time


“It’s like if you could say to kids, if you could understand that you alone, can make a difference just in your world,” Ava said. “You don’t have to be Gandhi, you don’t have to be King. You don’t have to be Malala. In your day, when you go to school, when you see a kid being bullied, and you don’t talk about people, and you behave the right way and you grow up to be empathetic, whole hearted person in the world you have to start right now.”

Ava’s Secret of Daily Gratitude

You’re more than just a number to Ava DuVernay. If she counts you during her day, consider it a big compliment.

“I do this thing all day and I don’t talk to a lot of people about it but I do this thing all day where I count gratitude so throughout the day,” Ava said. “So at the end of the day when I say goodnights to myself and to the universe or to God I’ll say 13 or 47 or whatever. And in that moment I can’t remember all the things they were but like I’ll count them. So today I’m on 19. You all are 20 right, about the things that I’m grateful for in this moment.”

Doesn’t that just give you all the warm and fuzzies? But of course she keeps it real.

“And some days you’re going through the day and you’re like I got three. Good night,” she said.

It’s her prayer and reminds her to be grateful of the little things through the day. From a smile, to someone who lets her in the left turn lane late, or a great parking spot.

“If you just take a second to acknowledge it, it gives you a little jolt of joy,” Ava said.

I’ll Never Forget

Ava DuVernay’s words still reverberate through my soul. I will never forget the way her sincere hug calmed me on one crazy premiere night. Or the way her gaze and gratitude for my compliments made me feel like she saw me for who I am. Like Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya. That’s is another good name. Amaya. A little of both.

Namesake or not, I know we are going to be seeing so much more from Ms. DuVernay. And I imagine the name Ava is going to be one we hear for a long long time.

You guys, A Wrinkle in Time is now playing in theaters everywhere!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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I’m a 2017 Iris Awards Winner

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