Quantcast

Toy Story 4 (4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review)

Woody, Buzz, Jesse and the rest of Bonnie’s toys are back and ready to reacquaint with old friend Bo Peep and find help from newbie daredevil Duke Kaboom! Toy Story made its fourth outing in cinemas a big deal, cracking the billion-dollar mark worldwide. Surprisingly, just usurping Aladdin but still falling well behind The Lion King in the fight to be Disney’s 2nd place movie behind Avengers: Endgame. The film will be arriving on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on October 8, with all-new bonus features and some digital exclusives. Disney had previously issued new 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray editions of the original three films earlier in the summer, so this fourth one will sit neatly next to those in your collection. Once the pre-order link goes active you can order from it below.

Film 

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

People acted surprised when it was announced that Woody and the gang would be arriving for a brand new adventure when Toy Story 4 was announced. Sure, they’d had a couple of television specials since Toy Story 3, but most felt that feature film-wise, the book had closed. And while Toy Story 4 yet again has some finality to it, do we really think we won’t ever see a Toy Story 5? Toy Story feels like a brand for Pixar similar to what Star Wars was for George Lucas. While not giving a trilogy each time out, Toy Story puts together a new film once a generation or two has passed to reintroduce these beloved characters to the next. You may feel its all sacred, but keeping a fresh brand awareness is key, and a lot rides on Toy Story. It even has its own area of a theme park now. Movies will continue to be made. And guess what? Everything will be okay.

This fourth film shows there is still plenty left in the tank and a story to tell. Almost feeling like an epilogue to the original trilogy, it still packs its own punch and importance. Time has passed and new characters (Actors) come in and give a new flavor and humor which this series has not had before. They even put a great new spin on the old character of Bo Peep. Our characters continue to grow, learn and take what life throws at them in the world of everything growing up and moving on around them as they stay pretty stagnant.

Overall, the story hit me in all the right feels. It felt a little different and much less epic or grand than the previous three films (Almost feeling, at least at a script level, that this could have been a couple of TV specials cobbled together for feature script), but it still managed to punch all the right buttons when the time came. Keanu Reeves’ Duke Kaboom and the pair of carnival prized played by Key and Peele are gut-busting hilarious. Things felt new, old and fresh and the emotions soared constant. Toy Story 4 was a welcome addition and when that day comes, I’ll keep an open mind for a fifth.

Video 

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the MoviesAnywhere 4K streaming copy, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Time to celebrate! Toy Story 4 was finished with a 4K digital intermediate, making it a native 4K title. I’m not sure I’ve reviewed a native 4K animated title and this is certainly a rare occurrence for Disney at this juncture. It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL, too. It has good sharpness, well saturated punchy colors and great use of HDR. Details are quite strong and for my eyes, was an easy improvement over the standard Blu-ray disc.

Depth:  The image is quite well rounded and very three dimensional in its appearance. Movements are smooth, natural and carry no motion distortions of any kind.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep, natural and do a fantastic job of shading, defining and giving night light to many sequences. No information is lost at all and its a pretty good improvement over the standard Blu-ray disc. No crushing occurs.

Color Reproduction: Colors are very strong and pop pretty outright when well lit. The HDR has its fun with the midway lighting and other punchy colors. All primaries and secondaries come over very rich and strong with terrific saturation.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles

Dynamics: I’m happy to report that Disney has produced a mighty fine Dolby Atmos track for its release of Toy Story 4. This one needs no volume adjustments as it is plenty loud on the default setting. The mix is a little interesting as the balance leans to favor the score and vocals more than the effects. Said effects, however, have some outstanding crispness, attention to detail depth that sound of the finest polish. The score of the film also sounds rather lovely, at times almost as if it is being played in front of you in your living room/viewing area.

Height: From above, the pretty active ceiling channels give you a taste of the carnival happenings, Duke Caboom soaring overhead as well as debris falling down.

Low Frequency Extension: The bass in the Randy Newman songs/score bumps lovingly as other natural sound effects like doors shutting, things crashing or stomping and others give a traditional feeling thump.

Surround Sound Presentation: Plenty to go around here in the full room experience. Sound rolls around the room to have the speakers full assisting one another in making travel and camera movements feel lifelike and real. The ambiance may be the most fun factor in the film between the quiet antique story and the midway carnival going on as well. Plenty of fun unique sounds to wonderful degrees of lifelike volumes for the environment.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are loud, deep when the voice demands it and plenty crisp and at the forefront of the mix when it happens. The dialogue captured from the actors is well rounded and clean to hearing degrees of breath and mouth sounds for normal situations.

Extras 

Toy Story 4 comes with the 2-Disc Blu-ray edition of the film and a digital copy. Bonus features are found on the standard Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray Disc 1

Audio Commentary

  • With director Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen 

Bo Rebooted (HD, 6:21) – The story supervisor and other “Team Bo” members discuss how to recraft the character, using new technology (Different from the last time they used her) and bring her back into the folder as well as Annie Potts giving her insight.

Toy Stories (HD, 5:38) – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys.

Blu-ray Disc 2

Let’s Ride With Ally Maki (HD, 5:41) – Ally Maki, the voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team. It’s a goofy little scripted bit about the process.

Woody & Buzz (HD, 3:35) – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters with Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and others discussing.

Anatomy of a Scene: Playground (HD, 9:31) – Animators and artists discuss a “pivotal” scene in the movie sitting in a screening room together.

Toy Views – Just some POV shots with ambient sound from a toy’s perspective in the movie. In a nice contrast, one is from the ground level and the other is from the sky.

  • Carnival Run (HD, 1:00) 
  • View From The Roof (HD, 0:29)

Toy Box (HD, 13:00) – A 5-part series of mini-docs on the new character for this film, featuring the voice actors (Christina Hendricks, Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Keegan-Michael Key and Ally Maki), director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable

Deleted Scenes (HD, 28:00) – Features an introduction by director Josh Cooley.

Trailers & Promo

  • Carnival Prizes (HD, 3:25)
  • BOOTH: Global Teaser In Spanish (HD, 1:39)
  • PLAYTIME: Global Trailer In English (HD, 2:20)
  • FREEDOM: Global Trailer In Russian (HD, 1:46)
  • PIXAR PEDIGREE: Exclusive For China (HD, 1:35)
Digital Exclusive:

Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue (HD, 1:20) – Filmmakers and crew 2 scenes at the beginning of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life.

Additional Deleted Scene (HD, 7:40) –”Bonnie’s Playtime”

Summary 

Toy Story 4 provides yet another story of closure and moving forward in the lives of our favorite classic toys we met during Andy’s childhood. Disney’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray provides a really beautiful picture that is a nice upgrade from that standard Blu-ray and a surprisingly terrific Atmos track. Extras feel a bit short and quick, but do provide some key information.

Share

Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

  1. No Comments