The past 24 hours have been very exciting for Toy Story fans! In this short time, we’ve gotten two new Toy Story 4 teaser trailers; synopses of certain elements of the film’s plot; four new teaser posters; and, we’ve met three brand-new characters! My head’s still reeling a little bit from all the new information, but I’m so happy to finally have some official details from Pixar to share!
The first teaser trailer – which was posted all across social media on Monday morning – shows the classic gang accompanied by the song “Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins. We see Woody, Buzz, Jessie, the Potatoheads, Rex, Hamm, Slinky, and one of the Aliens. We also meet, for the first time, a handmade spork-toy named Forky. The video’s caption on YouTube provided the first real summary we’ve gotten of the film since its rewrite:
Just like it was hinted at during the D23 Expo’s 2017 animation presentation, Toy Story 4 will feature a road trip with the toys. I can’t wait to see where they will go, to discover “how big the world will be for a toy.” The idea of them traveling across the country is full of possibilities.
There has been concern expressed online that Bo wasn’t in the teaser; however, Annie Potts has confirmed that she has a large role in the film. Tim Allen has even included her in his descriptions of the story. And porcelain Bo couldn’t have been a part of that slapstick chaos anyway. My guess is that they’re building anticipation, and are waiting to reveal her new-render redesign at a later date, with a greater impact. Personally, I’m happy to see that Mr. Potatohead wasn’t written out following Don Rickles’ passing; though time will tell whether they were able to reuse his old recordings, or if a new voice actor has taken over the role.
As if one teaser wasn’t thrilling enough, on Tuesday morning a second “reaction” video was posted, which introduced even more new characters…
There was additional information in this video’s caption, introducing Bunny and Ducky as well as their voice actors:
I love the idea of the toys visiting a carnival – there’s so much potential, for both fun and suspenseful moments. Where all is this road trip going to take them?
Back when Toy Story 3 was being promoted, new characters weren’t introduced until the first months of 2010. In fact, that film’s teaser trailer was simply the classic gang building the logo. So we were very lucky to get to meet three new Toy Story 4 characters so early on.
In one of his recent interviews, Tim Allen said that “there’s a new character in Toy Story 4 that everybody cares about” – which now we can surmise was referring to Forky, who is voiced by actor and comedian Tony Hale. In a new article from Entertainment Weekly, Director Josh Cooley spoke a little more about Forky:
“The world of Toy Story is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose. A toy’s purpose is to be there for its child. But what about toys that are made out of other objects? Forky is a toy that Bonnie made out of a disposable spork, so he’s facing a crisis. He wants to fulfill his purpose as a spork, but now has a new toy purpose thrust upon him.”
Even with this new featured character, the Toy Story films always center around Woody, and I expect that to continue with the fourth installment. Forky will likely have a secondary plot – or, perhaps he will play into the “vignette” structure that Tim Allen mentioned about the movie, with several storylines happening simultaneously. Now that Forky has been revealed, I’ve been seeing positive things about him from those who have gotten to see some preview clips, and I’m curious to find out where things go with his “reluctant toy” persona.
The other new characters we’ve been introduced to are Ducky and Bunny, voiced by the comedy duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Their short scene so far is hilarious, but I can’t help but wonder what “plans” of theirs are “rudely interrupted” by Woody and the gang. Are these guys going to be a lighthearted element of comic relief? Is there a more sinister side to their plans? Or have they just been toughened by carnival life? (See their expressions in the poster below for the reason I pose this question.) I wouldn’t anticipate more villainous plushes after Lotso, but one can never know what Pixar has up their sleeve.
Along with the teaser trailer, a single new poster for the film was also released yesterday, featuring Woody – which is now the official image for Toy Story 4 on the Pixar website’s “Coming Soon” section. Although this initial and rather dark image seemed rather foreboding, in light of three more posters being released today in the same style – showcasing Buzz, Forky, and Ducky and Bunny – it seems to be more of an artistic choice. The Toy Story 3 posters were all simple characters on a solid black image; however, there is a seriousness about these new teaser posters that contradicts the humor of the trailers, and has me very intrigued.
There are still plenty of questions, but I’m just so happy to finally have real, solid information from Pixar about the direction of Toy Story 4. Another statement from Cooley clarified that it does, in fact, pick up after Toy Story 3, and continues where that film left off:
“Like most people, I assumed that Toy Story 3 was the end of the story. And it was the end of Woody’s story with Andy. But just like in life, every ending is a new beginning. Woody now being in a new room, with new toys, and a new kid, was something we have never seen before. The questions of what that would be like became the beginning of an entertaining story worth exploring.”
The best part? Finally having irrefutable proof that Toy Story 4 is, in fact, happening! After such a long and bumpy road for the movie, now the anticipation is real, and we can get excited. This is only the beginning!
Videos and images © Disney/Pixar.