Sometimes, you have to wonder what is going on at Pixar. The animation juggernaut continues to break records at every turn. This year, The Incredibles 2 became the highest grossing animated film ever, earning more than $600 million at the box office. Toy Story 3 and Up are two of the three animated films to ever get a Best Picture nomination. Even the Cars franchise, critically derided by many, has arguably the single best ride at a Disney resort. With the recent opening of Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, it is clear that Disney still believes in the property in a big way. The new area opens just in time for the release of their new film, which dropped its first trailer today.
Did Pixar lose a bet? Is this a challenge? Who knows, but “Forky” is an absolutely ridiculous addition to the franchise. What is certainly crazy is 1) you know you’re going to buy the toy, 2) there’s a 30% chance he makes you cry, 3) he’s probably voiced by someone you love, and 4) he’s got new fan-favorite status written all over him. Regardless of how you feel about “Forky,” you still get a glimpse of our favorite cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks), spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the original cast sprinkled throughout. It is good to see Mr. Potato Head returning, despite the fact that Don Rickles passed away in 2017.
Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.
The new film was largely announced and developed through the lens of being a reuniting of Woody and Bo Peep. While this does not seem to be the case in the teaser, it is still a teaser. However, the poster above seems to indicate it will be a Woody-centric story. With over seven months until the film debuts, there is plenty of time for actual footage from the movie to hit. Perhaps the journey with “Forky” is just the start of a larger adventure.
There’s also the very real philosophical question the new character creates for the Toy Story universe. What constitutes a toy? When is life created? If I play with a rock, do I give it sentience? This is a crazy slippery slope for the Toy Story franchise to play with and should be a fun little subplot. It is also a little horrifying if you think about it. Maybe it’s best not to.
While we may not learn anything new from the trailer, it certainly will increase attention. To be honest, it’s Toy Story, potentially the best trilogy start to finish ever. Hopefully, there’s another emotional story at the heart of the film, and if that proves to be the case, get ready to bring those tissues. Apparently, Tom Hanks needed them for the last days of recording, so that’s all I needed to hear.