WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Toy Story 4, in theaters now.
Pixar's Toy Story 4 is a considerably lighter film than its predecessors. It lowers the stakes, permitting the characters to be sillier than they were in earlier films while still letting Woody (Tom Hanks) get the chance to bid farewell to his friends, and to the audience. The end credits feature a number asides that expand on the film's ending, bringing everything to a close on a high note.
Make sure to stay through the end of Toy Story 4, because the film has a lot of fun small moments throughout the credits.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
Throughout Toy Story 4, Woody is separated from most of his friends while trying to save Bonnie's craft project turned toy, Forky (Tony Hale). But, beyond helping his new friend, Woody begins to rediscover his purpose after he reunites with Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and learns to embrace being a "lost toy" with her. His instinctual drive to help every toy he comes across led him to save Forky and even assist antagonist Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) in finding a new home and family. Slowly, he comes to the realization that he doesn't want to waste away in a closet, and desires to find a new purpose while staying with Bo.
During an emotional farewell, Woody gives Jessie (Joan Cusack) his sheriff badge and an embrace. He gives the rest of the supporting cast a big hug, and says a final goodbye to Buzz. As the camper containing Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) and her family leaves the carnival, her toys head back inside while Woody remains behind. The film ends on Woody and Buzz looking into the distance after one another, finishing the iconic "to infinity, and beyond" catchphrase from the first film.
During the credits, scenes are shown highlighting what becomes of both groups of toys. Woody and his new group adjust to life at a carnival. He remains with Bo, her sheep, Canadian stuntman figure Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), carnival toys Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele), and Bo's best friend Giggles McDimples (Ally Maki). They're depicted exploring the carnival, helping toys that are stuck in the unwinnable sideshow games. Woody and the others help rig the game so the kids always win, allowing each toy to find a home.
As they celebrate, Duke gets an extended scene with Ducky and Bunny. The two go off on one of their over-the-top tangents, outlining a scenario in which the pair turns on the carnival game attendant. The imagined spot even has them growing to giant size and breathing fire as they chase down the carnival worker. Duke leaves the story seemingly believing they could actually do that. He even delivers a distinctly Keanu Reeves line: "Whoa."
Meanwhile, the other toys return to a comfortable life at Bonnie's house; the film even jumps ahead a year. Jessie has fully embraced her role as the new sheriff, and even accompanies Bonnie to her first day in the first grade. She then introduces the toys to Knifey, a female equivalent of Forky. Much like how Mr. Potato Head (the late Don Rickles) responded in the first film when he found out about Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris), Forky is immediately in love. The final moments feature him introducing her to the world in a way similar to how Woody brought him up to speed on everything at the beginning of the film.
It's a sweet ending to the movie that actually follows through on the overarching theme. This new relationship gives Forky a purpose, something everyone else in the film had been looking for. It ties into the overall idea of finding something in the world that you love to do and doing it, even if it means moving on from what you know and love. After the credits are finished, the Pixar logo appears. This time, however, Duke replaces the signature animated lamp.
In a cute final touch, Duke is the one to jump up and down on the "I," eventually crushing it. A little Combat Carl who appeared earlier in the film, and was perpetually denied a high-five, runs onscreen and to get one from Duke. It's not as resonant as Toy Story 3, which also featured small epilogue beats about the future of the toys. But, the extra moments give the audience one more laugh.
Directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jeff Pidgeon, Blake Clark, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Tony Hale.