Toy Story 4 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Toy Story 4 from Disney Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94

Details:

Studio and Year: Disney – 2019
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, Laurie Metcalf, Joan Cusack, Estelle Harris, Bonnie Hunt, Jeff Garlin, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tony Hale
Directed by: Josh Cooley
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: Stephany Folsom, Andrew Stanton
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: October 8, 2019

“The World Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger”

Synopsis:

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

My Take:

In Toy Story 4, the toys are back and geared up for a whole new adventure. Woody has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid. Now that Andy has gone off to college, Woody’s loyalty is to Bonnie. As Bonnie gears up for kindergarten on orientation day she’s feeling a little apprehensive and, Woody just has to help, even if it means digging through a trash can to retrieve a few art supplies for his kid.

The effort is a resounding success, but when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, “Forky”, declares himself trash and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. Woody, Forky and the rest of the gang accompany Bonnie on her family’s road trip excursion, which leads Woody to an unexpected reunion which will impact his world like never before.

I love the first three films and couldn’t help but wonder why the need for another after eight years, especially in light of the events of the last film. As a family we are all fans of Toy Story, its iconic characters and heartwarming tales about the toys we have come to know so well. In this film we get a quick flashback to the time when the toys were still with Andy in order to establish an important plot point. After that it comes to the present where we see Woody struggling to find his place in Bonnie’s imagination as she plays with her toys. His sense of loyalty and duty to Bonnie and his fellow toys in an important element in the film. When they hit the road, Woody suddenly finds himself faced with several decisions that given his new perspective on life, will take him to a crossroads.

As with past Toy Story films Toy Story 4 has a heartwarming essence and spirit of adventure. What I found interesting and extremely well done here was handling of Bo and the role she played in helping Woody to re-examine life as a toy and what that meant on the two sides of the coin. The subplot involving the antique shop and carnival experience was quite good as well. I really did enjoy Toy Story 4 but, not as much as I thought I would. That isn’t to take anything away from it but, I really felt a sense of closure as the last film and, this film just seemed to take closure to an additional level that it perhaps didn’t need. Having said that, I have zero complaints about revisiting the gang and reveling in another story that give me the opportunity to experience their magic.

Toy Story is an endearing, timeless and classic animated saga that can be shared and enjoyed from one generation to the next. Thank you to Disney/Pixar for bringing us these films with tender loving care.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The film is appropriate for all audiences.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
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  • Entertainment factor: 

Toy Story 4 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

I watched the Blu-ray version of Toy Story 4 first, so going into viewing the Ultra HD presentation it’s 1080p video quality was still fresh in my mind. Digital animation tends to look quite good in high definition so I couldn’t help but have preconceived notions regarding a positive viewing experience of this film in Ultra HD. This presentation is rendered from a 4K DI and the results are marvelous.

In terms of resolution the differences are apparent as there is a noticeably finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the characters. The first shots of Bonnie’s room after the opening sequence look stunning. This also applied to backgrounds, such as the structures, mountains, and various objects at the carnival in town, which had excellent depth of field. The image has lots of pop as the expanded color gamut and emboldened dynamic range draw out the broad chromatic palate, and use of contrast. The scene where Woody and Bo look out at the chandeliers in the antique shop look fantastic.

Whites are gradational and bright and the monochromatic grays, blues and black featured in the sequences that take place at night, or with limited lighting, such as the scene Forky and Woody walk along the deserted mountain road, appear multi-staged and dimensional in appearance.

The application of HDR added a complimentary and defining element that proved eye-catching. The scene where the fireworks go off above the carnival and its twinkling host of lights looks dazzling against the night sky. Duke Caboom’s long motorcycle jump in the final act looked every bit as good too.

As good as Toy Story 4 looks in 1080p, the Ultra HD rendering takes it to another level, entirely, making for a visually engaging, faithful and, gratifying video presentation. Wow!

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, music, and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The mix effectively places effects/sounds within the soundstage which place you within the scene, in turn, adding an enriching element that heightens the intended feeling like something is passing overhead, traveling through the room, or emanating from a specific location.

There are ample times where near field objects, and multi-staged atmospherics places you inside the scene as sounds rotate and revolve around the sound field from both above and at ear level. While this is not what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix, it is an active one, that complimented the source material.

** It should be noted that a few additional turns of the volume knob is required to achieve the best listening results. I didn’t have any issues with dynamic range.**

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Toy Story 4 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent video presentation that boasts vibrant colors that are rich in saturation and bold in depth. Detail rendering is terrific as the video has three-dimensional quality with crisp texture and excellent fine articulation. Contrast is boldly applied, whites are crisp, and colors pop without distortion or loss of detail. Blacks are deep with excellent dynamic and enriching gradational highlights. This is a beautiful and pristine quality digital transfer that sparkles on Blu-ray.

The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, and crystalline dialog reproduction. This mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with supporting ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack’s elements. Dynamic range and bass response is appropriate, adding thematic emphasis and resonating punch when called upon. This is a solid audio presentation that mates well with the source material.

** It should be noted that a few additional turns of the volume knob is required to achieve the best listening results. I didn’t have any issues with dynamic range.**

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Toy Story 4 Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Toy Story 4 Blu-ray
  • [b]Disc 3[/i]: Blu-ray Bonus Disc (BD-25)
    • ‘Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
    • Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
    • Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
    • Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
    • Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
    • Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
    o Scamming Playtime
    o Bo Knows Hippos
    o Desperate Toys
    o Knock-Offs
    o Recruit Duke
    o She’s The One
    • Audio Commentary, Trailers and more!
    Digital Exclusive:
    • Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue – Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life.
    Additional Deleted scene – Bonnie’s Playtime
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Toy Story 4 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors and features a context rich narrative that includes complimentary new characters while infusing a contemporary and, stirring story that proves rewarding, especially if you’re a devoted fan. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Disney Home Entertainment featuring top notch Ultra HD quality, sparkling high definition video, gratifying lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos mix, and a fan friendly assortment of extras that are worth exploring. Toy Story 4 is pitch perfect family entertainment that comes highly recommended on Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems