Toy Story 4 (U)****

Directed by Josh Cooley

Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen,  Joan Cusack, Annie Potts, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves. Runtime: 100 minutes

IF you were around for the first Toy Story in 1995 chances are you long ago put away childish things and replaced them with a mortgage and a Netflix account.

Well, get ready to pick them back up again with the return of the mummy and daddy of all computer generated animations. Whether you are taking your own children, or grandchildren, for the first time, or simply fancy reacquainting yourself with an old childhood pal, there is much to savour in Pixar’s Toy Story 4.

Strictly speaking, make that Disney’s Toy Story 4. A lot of years and a big bucks buyout of Pixar have flowed under the bridge since Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the contents of Andy’s toy box came to life, with the last instalment bringing in a record-breaking one billion plus.

READ MORE: Europe in focus for the EIFF in 2019

But that was nine years ago. Today, animated films are ten a penny. Could the first still be the best?

Scottish audiences were the first in the UK to find out yesterday as the Edinburgh International Film Festival screened Josh Cooley’s picture five days ahead of its UK-wide opening. Edinburgh has long had a good relationship with Disney-Pixar, often being given first look at new releases. This time, Toy Story was early for the party, with the festival proper not starting till Wednesday. Time, tides, and marketing schedules wait for no official opening.

Toy Story 3 ended with Andy giving his box of toys to Bonnie as he set off for college. Now Bonnie is about to start nursery, a big milestone in her life. On her first day there she invents a new toy for herself out of a plastic spork (a cross between a fork and a spoon). It’s a piece of rubbish (a single use plastic to boot. Boo!), but he is Bonnie’s favourite toy in the world.

As such he is destined to get lost and have to be rescued by Woody and the rest of the gang. Toy Story fans might feel as though they have been through this movie before, and they have. Every Toy Story is about things being left behind, be it toys, or childhood, even parents to some extent as children become more independent.

READ MORE: What is on at the EIFF in Edinburgh this month

Even so, the lack of a truly original story after all these years of waiting is disappointing. But there is plenty to compensate, including a reunion between Bo Peep and Woody. This is a different Bo to the one Woody said goodbye to, one more in keeping with these girl power times. Previously given away by her owner, Bo chose to take herself off the shelf and is now living the life of a free toy, able to do as she pleases.

Otherwise, the big laughs are slow to arrive but they do make an appearance, and the joke spread spans all the ages, with lots of Easter eggs for the most dedicated fans. The hyper-real animation is as stunning as ever, and still far ahead of everything else out there.

Whenever a new Toy Story arrives there is always a moment when you think, with sadness, that it is not as good as it used to be. Then comes the realisation that a first Toy Story, like childhood Christmases or long hot summers, is something unique and cannot be repeated. The concept has not moved on, but you have. In Edinburgh yesterday, dressed in their Jessie and Woody outfits and clutching balloon animals, a new crowd had their first Toy Story experience - and loved it to infinity and beyond.

*Opens nationwide on Friday