Nine years have passed since we last spent time with Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the other toys in a happy household. Woody is proud to be a loyal and helpful toy, even now that his first kid, Andy, has grown up, and his new kid, Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw), rarely plays with him. For example, he welcomes a new toy named Forky (Tom Hale) that Bonnie makes at the crafts table at kindergarten from a plastic fork, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. Despite this toy's insecurities, Woody recognizes that having a special toy is crucial to Bonnie's adjustment and will help her create happy memories.

To their delight, Bonnie's toys get to go along on a road trip that ends in an amusement park. There Woody has an unexpected reunion with his former girlfriend Bo Peep (Annie Potts). She no longer aspires to be a played-with toy and is having adventures of her own. Her new situation causes him to rethink what he wants to do and be.

The Toy Story franchise has always been about learning what is most important to you and then being true to yourself. Each film in one way or another encourages us to find and express our purpose in life. As Woody embraces change, we find ourselves sending him some Buddhist blessings: May you be happy. May you live with ease.