The first half-hour plays like a reel of Pixar stand-alone shorts: Woody Goes to School, Woody Saves Forky, etc. It isn’t until the arrival at Granny’s antique store that the film finds its bearings. The voice box tracheotomy was an errant touch of genius. Too bad Disney couldn’t have secured the rights to Jerry Mahoney, no doubt the inspiration behind the mini-army of evil ventriloquist dolls with dropped head syndrome. And since when did Woody become Jiminy Cricket on crank? Can the moralizing, STFU, and let’s have some fun! (If you’re not crying, it isn’t because they’re not trying; the filmmakers stop just short of pumping tear gas into the auditorium to make kids wail.) Why the need for Part 4? There are new characters to merchandise! Kudos to the genius behind Forky. A plastic spork, pipe cleaner, and popsicle stick that set the studio back 13 cents for parts, assembly, and blister packaging can soon be yours for $24.95, S&H included. (2019) — Scott Marks
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