Early reviews are in for Toy Story 4 - and it seems the Pixar series has yet again delivered a winner.
Toy Story 4 has debuted to a 100 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes, with a verdict that praises the film as a "heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated" continuation of a "practically perfect" saga.
While many critics noted that the sequel initially seems unnecessary after 2010's critically acclaimed Toy Story 3, many said Toy Story 4 - from first-time director Josh Cooley - rapidly earns its place as a necessary extension of the franchise.
CNN praised the fourth instalment - starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Jordan Peele - as a "cinematic grand slam".
"It's a towering accomplishment... touching, raucously funny, adventurous and yes, even profound, Pixar's signature property once again touches them all."
Associated Press's Lindsay Bahr called the film "enormously fun... Let this be a lesson to all franchise cynics: Sometimes more is actually good."
Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson praised it as "Funny, exciting, and poignant", saying this potential conclusion to the series "surprises and satisfies".
Vox's Alex Abad-Santos said the film was a lesson "about how love defines us".
"Gorgeous, absolutely charming... [tells] a story about fictional toys' very real feelings about life, love, and the meaning of it all."
Polygon's Karen Han opened her review with a simple admission: "Pixar is making me cry."
"There are so many wonderful details and moments in Toy Story 4... if this film is the last chapter we get, it's the perfect ending."
Arriving nine years after Toy Story 3, the fourth instalment faced some trouble along the way; Pixar head John Lasseter, who directed the first two, was intended to direct the fourth but exited due to sexual misconduct against female employees at Pixar.
The screenplay reportedly changed hands three years into development, before Pixar animator and sometime voice actor Cooley was hired to direct.
Toy Story 4 is released in New Zealand on June 27.