Toy Story 4

image for Toy Story 4

Short takes

Not suitable under 5, parental guidance under 7 (animated violence and some scary scenes)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Toy Story 4
  • a review of Toy Story 4 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 June 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to animated violence and some scary scenes.
Children under 7 Parental guidance is recommended due to animated violence and some scary scenes.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Toy Story 4
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare very young children.
Length: 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

After their former owner goes off to college, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang find themselves with a new kid called Bonnie (voiced by Madeleine McGraw) who loves them dearly. Bonnie has a shaky start to her first day of school, but Woody is there to help her and he sees firsthand how much her craft creation called Forky (voiced by Tony Hale) means to her. When the family heads off on a road trip, Woody dedicates himself to safeguarding Forky who still believes he is a piece of trash and keeps trying to throw himself away. When Forky falls out the window, Woody goes after him. On their way back to the camp site, Woody and Forky find their way into an antique shop where they are pursued by an antique doll Gabby Gabby (voiced by Christina Hendricks) and her numerous vintage ventriloquist henchmen. Woody is given to a little girl while Forky is taken hostage. When Woody fails to return at the appointed hour, Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) sets off to find him while Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack) and the others hang back with Bonnie who is devastated at Forky’s disappearance. Meanwhile Woody encounters his long lost friend Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts) who, with the help of Buzz and some new friends, agrees to help them rescue Forky from Gabby Gabby. When their plan backfires the characters are all forced to face what is most important, whether it be family, friendship, adventure or belonging and they soon come to realize that they can each make a difference no matter what path they choose.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Abandonment, finding your identity, separation between friends, hurtful rejections and the somewhat dangerous notion that if you fix what is wrong with you will find love or acceptance.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • There is frequent animated violence including lots of falling, bumping, kicking, grabbing, hitting, restraining, throwing, near miss landings etc.
  • Ventriloquist dummies chase, grab and restrain Woody and his friends.
  • Buzz smashes into an amusement park ride, gets hit with a door and finds himself strapped to a carnival prize wall. He is repeatedly kicked in the head by a plush duck.
  • An elderly lady is repeatedly attacked, head on, by two plush animals. The scene is imaginary but the two stuffed animals attacking her face and knocking her around is clearly depicted.
  • A cat rips open a toy and severs its body. Bo Peep later has a conversation with its head while the lower half of the body lies elsewhere.
  • Bo’s sheep loses a leg when they fall trying to escape from the antique shop.
  • Woody’s voice box is partially ripped from his body.
  • Gabby Gabby is thrown away by the one child she has always hoped would love her.
  • The toys hijack a car and haphazardly “drive” it to a carnival.
  • A motorcycle figurine hits his head on a target and his helmet is knocked off.
  • Two plush toys shoot lasers out of their eyes and fire from their mouths. The scene is imagined but graphically displayed for the viewers.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Gabby Gabby has a team of extremely creepy, ventriloquist, henchmen. They pop up all over the place with an evil and threatening demeanour. They are often lurking around corners, partially hidden in shadows or seen through mirrors. They repeatedly chase and grab at Woody and his friends while they try to escape. They are present in numerous scenes, there is loud, suspenseful music and the combined effect could easily frighten young children.
  • Bo’s friend Giggle is eaten by a cat. Large jaws are open after a dramatic chase scene and she is swallowed whole. Later she is regurgitated but viewers are left to assume the worst for a few minutes while her friends and fellow toys are horrified.
  • Gabby Gabby’s voice box has never worked and when she discovers that Woody’s is still intact she is determined to have it by any means possible. She threatens and has her ventriloquist henchmen chase them. She holds Forky hostage in order to lure Woody back and then restrains and tries to grab it out of Woody’s back while he fights her off. Some of the scenes are intense and threatening and could disturb younger viewers. Eventually Woody, in an act of compassion, agrees to give Gabby Gabby his voice box.
  • Two plush toys suddenly shoot lasers out of their eyes and fire out of their mouth as they attack a carnie and destroy the attractions around them. It is creepy and disturbing and slightly unexpected. The scene is imaginary but all actions are clearly displayed for viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some children, especially on the lower end of this age bracket may also be frightened by some of the above mentioned scenes.


Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children between the ages of eight to thirteen would be frightened by scenes in this film.


Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be frightened by this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • There are Barbies as well as Mr and Mrs Potato Head Dolls featured in the film.
  • Many of the main characters have already been made into merchandise and there are numerous new products based on this film including lots of LEGO.

Sexual references

None noted. 

Nudity and sexual activity

None noted. 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • In an imaginary scenario two plush toys see a Grandma relaxing in a bubble bath with a glass of red wine.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • No coarse language was noted in the film, however, there is one use of the word “Idiot” and a father makes some angry frustrated sounds when he discovers that he has a flat tire. At which point his wife ushers their daughter away saying: “Daddy’s going to say some words now…” No foul language was discernible.

In a nutshell

Toy Story 4 is an animated adventure, rumoured to be the final instalment in the widely popular Toy Story series. As a family movie, it will likely appeal to younger audiences and fans of the earlier films.

The main messages from this movie are to listen to your inner voice, to be there to care and comfort others and to find your purpose in life, whatever that may be.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork
  • Compassion
  • Friendship
  • Persistence
  • Courage

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of being open-minded (one person’s trash is another’s treasure or toy) and the importance of being the best version of yourself regardless of what anyone else may think.