In Toy Story 4, the Franchise Shows Its Age

Buzz (Tim Allen), Woody (Tom Hanks), and Bo Peep (Annie Potts) in Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
Like any idea might after four films in 24 years, this one has grown a bit stale.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F or a film franchise, 24 years is middle-aged, bordering on elderly. Nearly a quarter-century after the first Toy Story, the fourth installment, which hits theaters later this week, feels a bit tired.

If earlier films in the franchise were about loss and abandonment and saying goodbye to childhood, this one is pretty much just about getting from one physical-comedy gag to the next. The set pieces that deliver the gags, busy as they are, are much less inventive than they were in years past, and the way underlying themes get tossed out haphazardly without much follow-through suggests a case of writing

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