Like the elastic toy Dachshund Slink, “Toy Story 4” stretches the franchise to an almost-breaking point. It explores the same themes – embracing life’s transitions. It employs the same setups – rescuing toys in peril, toys being shelved and discarded. And, it introduces new characters to trick us into thinking this rehash is all fresh when it’s just a warmed-over version of the three previous movies. Don’t get me wrong, though, the film is solidly entertaining but nothing special.
Director Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”) works efficiently from a script by Andrew Stanton (an Oscar-winner for “WALL-E”) and first-time feature writer Stephany Folsom. Their screenplay eschews the heart and emotion that were the Pixar hallmarks in favor of slapstick gags and silly send-ups (a fun “Shining”