Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

TOY STORY 4

Production Notes
The toys are back on the big screen with an all-new adventure in "Toy Story 4." Woody, Buzz and the whole gang find themselves far from home, discovering new friends-and old ones-on an eye-opening road trip that takes them to unexpected places.

Fans around the world thought the toys' story had ended when Andy brought his longloved pull-string cowboy Woody and the gang-Buzz, Jessie, Slinky, Rex and the rest- to live with Bonnie, a young friend of the family who-like Andy-has a huge imagination when it comes to her toys. "Like most people, I assumed that 'Toy Story 3' was the end of the story," says director Josh Cooley. "Turns out it was only the end of Woody's story with Andy. 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."

Woody has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid. Now that Andy has gone off to college, Woody's loyalty is to Bonnie. But as Bonnie gears up for kindergarten, she's feeling a little apprehensive. "Transition is a big thematic piece of this movie," says producer Jonas Rivera. "Bonnie is growing up and transitioning into kindergarten, and Woody is transitioning into a new role. We've never seen him in this situation before."

In 1995, "Toy Story" marked a major milestone in animated moviemaking as the first fully computer-animated feature film. What was it about these characters that touched so many people? According to Andrew Stanton, who's contributed to and/or written all of the franchise's stories, it boils down to the inherent magic. "I think there was something to the voodoo of tapping into the collective desire that everybody-whether they're aware of it or not-wishes their toys were alive," he says. "I think the other reason people gravitate toward these characters is that we gave our toys a slightly adult sophistication rather than making them naïve, wide-eyed puppies. We made them more parental."

According to Rivera, the filmmakers felt a huge sense of responsibility toward Woody and the rest of the toys. "People love them-they're like old friends," he says. "There are people working on this film who say 'Toy Story' was the first movie they saw when they were kids. But no matter how old we are, there's the sense that we've all grown up with Woody and Buzz. It's more than just a movie. These characters have been cemented in the fabric of people's childhoods and their families."

"The new technology of 'Toy Story' was what hooked people, but the characters were why they stayed with it, and cared," says Pete Docter, Pixar's chief creative officer who served as the supervising animator on "Toy Story." "As we wrote the film, for a while we thought of it as a twin protagonist story. Most kids relate to Buzz, which is funny because Buzz is basically deluded. I'm not sure what that says about kids. But in the end, the film is really Woody's journey, dealing with his own jealousy and how that gets in the way of truly being there for his child. Woody became a very deep, multifaceted character, who has continued to surprise us by bringing emotional depth to four films. Most characters - having been created for just one film - tend to run out of steam at some point. I think Woody continued to be a rich mine of emotion because he's basically echoing our own lives. The 'Toy Story' films are about toys, but they're really about us."

From the beginning, the "Toy Story" characters were rooted in reality-dealing with successes and disappointments, juggling confidence and insecurity-ensuring that audiences would see themselves in the toys. Filmmakers have consistently given Woody, a simple cloth-limbed pull-string cowboy on the surface, a complex array of emotions and the same kind of character arcs one might see in a live-action drama. But it's perhaps Woody's loyalty to his kid-whether that's Andy or Bonnie-and his fellow toys that make him so likable to moviegoers worldwide. In "Toy Story 4," when Bonnie finds herself all alone during kindergarten orientation, Woody just has to help- even if it means digging through a trash can to retrieve a few art supplies for his kid. The effort is a resounding success, but when Bonnie's beloved new craft-project-turnedtoy, Forky, declares himself trash and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. "Forky is like a newborn," says producer Mark Nielsen. "He doesn't know anything about life-he doesn't even understand why he's alive or what a toy even is. He makes Woody vocalize what it means to be a toy- what it means to be needed."

Woody, Forky and the rest of the gang accompany Bonnie on her family's road trip excursion, which leads Woody to an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep. "Bo Peep is just such a great character," says screenwriter Stephany Folsom. "She was part of a baby's lamp in Andy's sister's room, so she was given away a long time ago. Life was different for Bo, but she didn't just sit around. She's strong and independent, and long ago decided to make the best of her situation, pick herself up by her bootstraps and stand on her own two porcelain feet."

Adds Rivera, "To me, Bo is really the most important piece of the movie. If you were to run into Woody at the end of this movie and ask him, 'What's the biggest thing that's ever happened to you?,' he would say that meeting Bo Peep for the second time is the biggest thing by far."

"Toy Story 4" welcomes both veteran and new voices, including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Annie Potts as Bo Peep, Tony Hale as Forky, KeeganMichael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny, Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie,

Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples and Joan Cusack as Jessie. The voice cast also includes Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, the late Don Rickles and Estelle Harris.

"Toy Story 4" is directed by Josh Cooley, and produced by Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera. Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Pete Docter are executive producers, and Stanton and Stephany Folsom wrote the screenplay. Longtime "Toy Story" collaborator Randy Newman composed the score and wrote two new original songs, "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away," performed by Newman, and "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy," which is performed by Chris Stapleton for the end credits.

Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 4" opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

CELEBRATING THE "TOY STORY" LEGACY
Pioneering Technology, Compelling Characters and Signature Storytelling
Capture Audiences Worldwide-Then and Now
"Toy Story 4" director Josh Cooley was in high school when the first "Toy Story" premiered in theaters. "I think I have an interesting point of view because I didn't work on any of the other films, so I came into this as a fan," he says. "To me, the 'Toy Story' characters are the Mickey, Donald and Goofy of Pixar. Woody and Buzz have become part of moviegoing lexicon. 'Toy Story' was not only Pixar's first movie, but it was the first feature-length film to be completely computer animated."

It's perhaps easy to recognize the power of "Toy Story" more than two decades after its debut. But Steve Jobs-among other Pixar veterans-totally saw it coming. Jobs, who was Pixar's CEO from 1986 to 2006, was the keynote speaker at 1995's SIGGRAPH- the annual computer graphics conference attended by thousands of computer professionals. "In 1995, the centenary year of the invention of the motion picture itself, we have another major milestone-something I think will go down as a landmark in motion picture history," Jobs said in his presentation. "And that is the first completely computer-generated feature-length motion picture-completely computer synthetic-on the hundredth anniversary of the motion picture itself. That, of course, is 'Toy Story.'

'Toy Story' represents the computer graphics community contributing not just special effects to a motion picture, but the entire motion picture itself. It's a breakthrough on the scale of Technicolor, 'Snow White' and 'Star Wars.' It is way beyond what we've seen in computer graphics special effects."

Jobs proudly shared key sequences from the film, astounding SIGGRAPH attendees. "'Toy Story' is 79 minutes in length and every frame is totally synthetic-major, minor characters, backgrounds, sets, etcetera-an order of magnitude leap," Jobs said. "And again, most importantly, we see computer graphics not just playing a supporting role to live action, but actually providing the entire vision for the motion picture."

John Lasseter directed "Toy Story," which was produced by Ralph Guggenheim and Bonnie Arnold. Lasseter had created shorts like "Luxo Jr." and "Tin Toy," which won an Oscar for best short film-animated. "Toy Story" was the culmination of a long-held dream for the Pixar team. The project required Pixar to expand its animation, editing and post-production staff from 24 people to well over 100. Proprietary software was written and refined to meet the technical challenges of the film while the animation team honed their performance skills by studying acting, mime, life drawing and storytelling techniques.

Pete Docter, Pixar's chief creative officer, joined Pixar in 1990. A recent CalArts graduate at the time, he was the third animator to be hired at the studio, diving into "Toy Story" head first. "As naïve as it may sound, making 'Toy Story' felt like an extension of school, where we were just making the film we wanted to make for us and our friends to enjoy," said Docter. "When it actually came out, it was pretty stunning. My parents in Minnesota had heard about it. There were billboards and toys. We were being reviewed by TIME magazine! It was overwhelming."

"Toy Story" would become the highest-grossing film of 1995. It was nominated for three Oscars (best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen; best music, original song; best music, original musical or comedy score), and two Golden Globes (best motion picture-comedy or musical, best original song-motion picture). Lasseter won a special achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film."

Picking up where "Toy Story" left off, "Toy Story 2" enjoyed the benefit of almost five more years of technological innovation. In between the two movies, "A Bug's Life" had served as the proving ground for the next generation of CG technology, which added more realistic movement, flexibility in lighting and camera techniques. "Toy Story 2" made history by becoming the first film ever to be entirely created, mastered and exhibited digitally. Directed by Lasseter, co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon, and produced by Helene Plotkin and Karen Robert Jackson, "Toy Story 2" broke opening-weekend box-office records in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, and became the highest-grossing animated release of 1999. It surpassed the original at the box office, becoming the first animated sequel to gross more than its inspiration. "Toy Story 2" was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes and won the Golden Globe for best motion picture-comedy or musical, as well as a GRAMMY for best song written for a motion picture, television or other visual media (Randy Newman, "When She Loved Me").

Released in 2010, directed by Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson, "Toy Story 3" won Oscars for best animated feature film and best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song (Randy Newman, "We Belong Together"). The film also won a Golden Globe and BAFTA for best animated film. It was the second Pixar film to be nominated for the best motion picture Oscar, and was nominated for best achievement in sound editing, as well as best writing, adapted screenplay. Nine years after its release, "Toy Story 3" is Pixar's second highest-grossing film worldwide, behind "Incredibles 2." It is the fourth-highest-grossing animated movie of all time worldwide.

Since their debut on the big screen in 1995, the "Toy Story" characters have been beloved for generations. "Story and characters always came first," said Lasseter of the franchise. "They drove everything we did. You can dazzle an audience with brand-new technology, but in the end, people walk away from a movie remembering the characters."

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND
A pull-string cowboy with cool catch phrases, Woody has always been relatable. Andrew Stanton, who's been an integral member of the story team for every "Toy Story" movie, says that's by design. "Woody for us just represented our tried-and-true heirloom, that blue blankie or stuffed bear that you had from the beginning and never could part with," says Stanton. "Woody represented the old nostalgic toy, which naturally led to the idea of a new toy arriving as a potential replacement. That brings up jealousy and all these feelings that everyone understands even at a very young age. As we get to know Woody, we stumble along with him as he deals with those feelings and learns from them."

Buzz Lightyear is the newbie who threatens Woody's prize position as Andy's favorite. Unsurprisingly, Woody is not a fan of the delusional Space Ranger who's seemingly unaware of his toy status. The rivalry lands them squarely in the middle of nowhere-at risk of becoming lost toys-which, we learn, is about as bad as it gets for a toy. Forced to team up to outsmart a toy-torturing neighborhood kid named Sid and find their way back to Andy, Woody and Buzz find common ground. What begins as a rivalry evolves into a friendship between the two toys-a friendship that anchors the films that follow.

Filmmakers approached "Toy Story 2" much like the audience did-with a built-in bond with Woody and Buzz. Says Stanton, "There are three balls that you have to juggle when you're writing: plot, character and what I call drive. The hardest part is to come up with characters that are three-dimensional and worth spending time with for the entire film. In this case, I already knew who the characters were. With the main characters already established, we had the freedom to concentrate on the other two elements."

In "Toy Story 2," an obsessive toy collector kidnaps Woody, who learns that he is a valuable collectible from a 1950s TV show called "Woody's Roundup." He meets the other prized toys from the show-Jessie the Cowgirl, Bullseye the horse and Stinky Pete the Prospector-who reveal that Woody completes their set and they'll soon be shipped to Japan to become part of a display. Buzz and the other toys from Andy's room are busy plotting how they'll rescue their friend. But Woody struggles with his loyalty to Andy and the toys, and the possibilities a new adventure might bring. He discovers a sense of duty to Jessie and Bullseye, too. Ever the problem solver, Sheriff Woody figures out how to make everyone happy and returns to Andy's room and the comforts and constancy it represents.

"One of the things we were really proud of on this film was the amount of heart it has," says Unkrich, who went on to direct "Toy Story 3." "It is as action-packed as the first film and has as many jokes. But at the same time, there's a richness to the characters that was only hinted at in the first film. It taps into primal human emotions that people of all different ages can relate to."

"Toy Story 3" welcomes Woody, Buzz and the whole gang back to the big screen as Andy prepares to depart for college and his loyal toys find themselves in...day care! But the untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice, so it's all for one and one for all as plans for the great escape get underway. "'Toy Story 3' is about change," says Unkrich. "It's about embracing transitions in life. It's about characters being faced with major changes and how they deal with them. Woody and the other toys are facing the monumental fact that Andy has outgrown them. Andy is facing becoming an adult and heading off to college. And Andy's mom is facing the fact that her son has grown up and is heading out into the world. We begin our story at pivotal moments in the characters' lives."

"The film has a lot of big, serious themes, so we wanted to make sure we balanced it with a lot of humor," says Anderson. "It can be as deep as you want it to be, on many levels. The story reflects how we all must face change in life; it's inevitable."

"Toy Story 4" embraces the theme of change yet again as Woody learns to navigate the new dynamics in Bonnie's room and beyond. "I think what's made Woody a really universal, interesting character is that he became the everyman," says Stanton.

"Woody's this well-intended good guy who's often his own worst enemy. But the power of Woody for us as filmmakers was that we could track him in real time along with our lives as parents with our kids."

ROLE CALL
"Toy Story 4" Hits the Road with Friends, Foes and Forky
"The 'Toy Story' films accomplish what timeless classics aim for," says actor Tom Hanks, who has voiced Woody for 24 years. "They are full of innocent characters who face an endless trail of adventures. We all know the likes of Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and we wonder who we would be...if we were toys."

It's that connection with the toys and the wonderment they inspire that makes the "Toy Story" characters relevant year after year. Sheriff Woody has been the cowboy in the know for a generation. Toys have come and gone, but Woody has been a constant in Andy's room-serving as their leader, advisor and in many ways a parental figure. It was more than a job to Woody; it was his calling. Then Andy grew up. For a toy who's been with one kid year after year, change can be complicated. "Woody is in Bonnie's room now," says director Josh Cooley. "It's a whole new dynamic, which was really interesting to me. Bonnie plays differently with her toys than Andy did, and she has other toys who know her better. So, I knew that Woody wasn't going to be her favorite."

Enter Forky, who's not really a toy at all. Underneath the googly eyes, pipe-cleaner arms and red waxy mouth, he's a discarded spork. But Bonnie falls head over popsicle-feet for the little guy. When Woody and the gang join her and her family on the road, Forky's innocence sends him-as well as Woody-on a wild adventure full of unexpected new characters-and his long-lost friend Bo Peep, whose extraordinary experiences and unique outlook on life as a toy challenge everything Woody believes.

"I've known these characters literally half my life," says producer Jonas Rivera, who joined Pixar in 1994 as the studio's first production intern. "They're more like family to me than characters in a movie. So, I felt a sense of responsibility and excitement-and a little nervousness, to be honest-to help lift these characters and carry them forward."

CHARACTER LINEUP
WOODY is the same pull-string cowboy sheriff that Andy fell in love with years ago. But, despite the fact that he's found a new home with Bonnie and her toys, Woody is quietly struggling. "He's basically going through the toy equivalent of empty-nest syndrome," says screenwriter Andrew Stanton. "It's not that he doesn't have a kid, but his role has completely changed. Woody's trying to use his old ways of solving new problems."

According to producer Mark Nielsen, change is on the horizon. "Woody has gone through so much in the first three movies. We've seen him evolve and learn, but we couldn't repeat any of those lessons because he's already learned them. We wanted him to face something new."

Adds story supervisor Valerie LaPointe, "Woody is trying to find his place in Bonnie's room. He realizes she's uncomfortable about going to kindergarten and he jumps at the opportunity to help her, which ultimately leads him to adopt a new set of self-imposed responsibilities when Bonnie creates Forky."

Forky's confusion about his true purpose-toy versus trash-lends itself to Woody's own journey in the film. "Woody is himself searching for his role in a new room with a new kid," says LaPointe. "Forky's purpose in the story may be to keep Bonnie happy, but his purpose for us was to shine a light on what Woody is going through."

An unexpected reunion with his dear friend Bo Peep shows Woody that the world is much bigger than he ever imagined. "Bo and Woody have always had a special connection," says LaPointe. "With Bo, Woody has met his match."

Tom Hanks returns as the voice of Woody. "Bo Peep is interesting because she has made her peace," he says. "She's wise because she's actually seen the way the world works. On one hand, it's completely counter to what Woody is hip to, but at the same time Bo's outlook is the embodiment of what Woody wants, which is to be played with by children, and to make their lives happier."

According to Cooley, Hanks innately understands the nuances of Woody. "He knows the character so well. I don't think Woody would work without Tom Hanks. He's such a fearful character, yet Tom conveys his fears in such a lovable way."

Hanks says each film in the series has taken Woody to surprising new places. "We've been through profound examinations of community, of family, of growing older and finding new purpose," says Hanks. "And this one ends up being just as profound and new as the previous movies. They're all toys. As long as they don't break, they can live forever."

WOODY'S OLD LOOK
It's been nine years since we last saw Woody on the big screen and more than a quarter century since he was first created. Technology has changed, but Woody hasn't, so filmmakers had to ensure the sheriff met audience expectations. According to supervising animator Scott Clark, Woody and the other returning characters can be more complex because so many people know and love him. "He has floppy arms and legs with heavier plastic hands and boots. Respecting the materials he's made out of is ultimately what makes Woody Woody-if he's running really fast, his ragdoll arms and legs are out of control, but in a fun and charming way."

Clark, who joined Pixar Animation Studios when "Toy Story" was still in theaters, says revisiting Woody and the gang is like going home. "It's like going to a family reunion where you get to see your uncle you haven't seen in years. It's great to be with these characters again."

Indeed, Woody is like an old friend to audiences worldwide. But filmmakers knew he had to evolve. "The story is about change," says director of photography Patrick Lin. "Bo is a force of change, while Woody wants everything to stay the same."

The theme of change is aptly underscored by the cinematography. "Whenever we shoot Bo, we only use the anamorphic lens, because that represents change," says Lin. "When we shoot Woody-particularly in the antique store-we use a spherical lens. If he happens to embrace change at some point, we'll use the anamorphic lens."

BO PEEP is a long-lost friend of Woody, Buzz and the gang, who always shared a special connection with Woody while residing with her sheep on a lamp base at Andy's house. After being on the road for years, Bo has become chipped and weathered, but her spirit is far from broken. She has grown into an adventure-seeking free spirit whose strength and sarcasm belie her delicate porcelain exterior. When she and Woody are reunited under unlikely circumstances, Bo realizes just how much she's missed him, and can't wait to show him what she's been up to. "Bo's taken control of her own destiny," says director Josh Cooley. "While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can't believe that they've found each other again."

According to screenwriter Stephany Folsom, Bo and Woody first connected as leaders of their respective rooms. "Woody ran Andy's room, overseeing the toys there, and Bo was in charge in Molly's room," says Folsom. "There's a certain responsibility that comes with running a room, and it's clear that Bo is strong and in control."

Annie Potts returns as the voice of Bo Peep. "Bo is everything that we want to be," says Potts. "She is independent and courageous and funny and smart and able to tackle it all on her own. Her life hasn't been easy, but whose life is? She is an excellent model of making it in the face of adversity.

"Bo's not leading a conventional life right now," continues Potts, who says the character has no regrets. "She's like, 'I have an awesome life!' Those people who bloom where they're planted are always an inspiration."

Bo Peep's return to the "Toy Story" world called for a fresh approach to the character, who is resourceful, unpredictable and doesn't play by traditional toy rules. Several members of the production team came together to form "Team Bo"-a group of story artists, animators, modelers and even Annie Potts-who together oversaw every aspect of Bo's "Toy Story 4" look, backstory, evolution and ultimate design.

Team Bo kicked off their efforts by watching every scene that featured Bo Peep in "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2." "She was a background character with a sense of humor who played a supportive role," says story artist Carrie Hobson.

Adds directing animator Becki Tower, "We wanted to protect Bo from running into stereotypes," says Tower. "We tried to stay away from an old-school, fairy-tale character who's doe-eyed, weak and in need of someone else's validation for her own sense of value. Bo's very independent. She's OK with being a lost toy."

According to Hobson, Bo had a bigger load to shoulder in "Toy Story 4." "She needed to carry more weight and have enough complexity to challenge Woody," says Hobson. "When she leaves Woody, things don't go quite as planned. But she's able to pick up the pieces, transform herself and adapt to her situation. We thought it was a really beautiful message to play with-she's this character that's doing what Woody can't do in the story."

BO'S NEW LOOK
Bo Peep's recent adventures triggered a change to her look. Technology allowed some modifications that weren't previously possible, including telltale characteristics of porcelain figurines. "She's shiny with crazing," says shading art director Laura Phillips. "Crazing is a term for the tiny micro cracks that happen within the layer of the glaze. We had to be really careful where we put the crazing-it's not on her face, but it is in her hair and on her shoulder. It's super subtle. It just feels right."

Phillips says porcelain also has subsurface translucence when it's backlit, so artists ensured that would be featured in the thinner parts of Bo's body, like her hands. Artists also studied glazes and how they pool in certain areas, deepening the color slightly. They added brush work as well to mimic the look of porcelain glazes.

To effectively light Bo's porcelain, director of photography-lighting JC Kalache and his team referenced lighting of lead female characters from the 1930s to 1960s films. They also realized they had to use specific shapes to light Bo. "Square lights were completely unappealing on Bo because of her porcelain," says Kalache. "Round lights with no sharp edges worked much better, additionally the light edges needed to be feathered to further smooth out their reflection in the porcelain."

Artists explored several options for Bo Peep's new costume but ultimately decided to return to Bo's roots. "We stuck with her original color scheme of baby blue, pink and white to maintain the core of the character as we know her," says Mara MacMahon, character artist.

But, according to Hobson, the rest of Bo's look was turned upside down. "We all knew that we wanted to give her the freedom of not having the dress, without losing her beauty and femininity," says Hobson. "So, we embraced elements of her old costume that we really loved, like the bell-shaped dress, but decided that over the years she's figured out how to turn the skirt into a cape if she wants to be a superhero or a wizard for a kid. She can also change her toy pose and finagle her dress to be like a ballerina if she chooses."

Instead of a toy with a static costume, Bo is ever-changing. "I think that is the hallmark of her adaptability," says MacMahon. "It represents everything she's learned over the years. She is still very much the original Bo Peep with that sass and wit and inner strength, but she has also grown quite a lot."

Henry Garcia, simulation supervisor, says it was a big deal to get Bo's cape up and running. "There are so many different variants-the inside, outside, around the shoulders, around her waist," he says. "We actually made two real-life capes-one is with the animation team and one is with simulation-so we could physically interact with them to answer questions like how her cape might interact with her staff.

"There's a sequence of shots in particular in which her cape is being worn as a backpack as she's climbing the carousel," Garcia continues. "When she gets to the top, she switches the cape from a backpack to an over-the-shoulders cape pose before sliding down the carousel and flying through the air."

Bo's staff plays a major role in her action scenes. "We did a lot of development behind the use of her staff," says Tower. "It's very much a part of her character design." Adds MacMahon, "We wanted it to feel a part of her. It is not a separate thing that she is going to set down and pick up at will. It's almost an extension of her hand or her facial expression."

Bo is often seen in a light blue garment in "Toy Story 4." Says MacMahon, "You can see in the first two films that she has blue pants under her dress, so that became her new base outfit. From the base garment to the skirt-cape, it's still the same outfit that she has always worn, but we have repurposed it. It is a really great example of how Team Bo worked-ideas from all corners of the studio ultimately made it into the final film." Animators utilized reference footage of dancers, gymnasts, martial artists and strong-but-feminine movie characters to inform Bo's movement. According to directing animator Patty Kihm, animators balanced Bo's delicate fabrication with her active lifestyle and inherent femininity. "It was really important for her not to be masculine because we wanted to maintain her grace and poise. She's independent, sarcastic, confident, spunky-but she still has emotions.

"To stay true to her materials, we found that keeping her body more rigid with less overlap made her seem more like a toy," continues Kihm. "An actual porcelain doll's fingers are often grouped together because they'd snap off as single fingers, so Bo's hands are often posed like a doll's hands, especially when she's at rest, to remind you that this is still a doll."

According to Folsom, Bo's look was a reflection of her personality and past. "We wanted her to have the ability to do all kinds of crazy things because she's a toy out in the world. But we had to contrast the acrobatics and athleticism with the reality of her being a fragile doll made of porcelain. She has to be smart about working with what she has. The really hard part was honoring who she is as a toy, while letting her be a total badass."

Potts' ability to find both sides of Bo Peep really helped bring the character to life. Animators even borrowed the actress' subtle smirk when she delivers a sarcastic line. According to director Josh Cooley, Potts truly embodies the character. "Annie not only brings emotion to Bo, she completely fleshes out that character. She's heartwarming and funny, and Annie has a natural sarcasm that's just perfect.

"We had a few sessions when Annie and Tom [Hanks] recorded together," continues Cooley. "They've known each other for such a long time, there's a natural chemistry between them that made it so easy."

That chemistry was important, too, says producer Mark Nielsen, because the relationship between Woody and Bo is central to the story. "There is definitely love between them," says Nielsen. "We see in the prologue just how hard it was for Woody to let her go."

FORKY is not a toy! At least that's what he thinks. An actual spork-turned-craft-project, Forky is pretty sure that he doesn't belong in Bonnie's room. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get away, someone yanks him back into an adventure he'd rather skip. "The world of 'Toy Story' is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose," says Cooley. "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."

Cooley, who makes his feature-film directorial debut with "Toy Story 4," found he could relate to Forky. "I didn't realize it until we started crafting the story and my wife pointed out that Forky, who's new this whole toy world, is not unlike me."

Woody-ever the caretaker-assumes the role of Forky's keeper, which in the beginning just means keeping him out of the trash. Says supervising animator Rob Russ, "Forky gives Woody a new purpose, which he's been trying to find since he arrived at Bonnie's room. But taking care of Forky is not an easy task."

Adds producer Jonas Rivera, "We loved the idea of Forky. He's like an infant. He doesn't understand the rules of the world, so he doesn't play by the rules, which really makes the story feel fun and new. But it makes life hard for Woody, who's just trying to help Forky understand the importance of his kid."

Filmmakers called on comedian Tony Hale to provide the voice of Forky. Says Cooley, "When we thought up this character, Tony was the first actor that came to mind, and I'm thrilled he accepted. Tony's performance as Forky is a comedy salad of confidence, confusion and empathy...served by hilarious spork."

Forky was born, so to speak, in the story room during a casual discussion in which filmmakers wondered what qualifies as a toy. "We were joking around," says Cooley, "wondering what would happen if we had a toy that was not manufactured. Would it be alive? Those weird existential questions about the 'Toy Story' universe are really fun. If a child plays with you, are you a toy?"

According to screenwriter Andrew Stanton, filmmakers just had a good feeling about Forky. "If you just pick up a piece of paper and start flying it around, this little paper airplane won't suddenly come to life. I think there's something about imbuing an actual personality on it, and having a relationship with it felt like it crossed the threshold into giving this craft creation life as a toy."

Forky's simple origin made the character an instant hit among filmmakers. "He's an inherently funny character," says editor Axel Geddes. "He doesn't even have to say anything to be funny."

Next Production Note Section

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2019 2,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google