Toy Story 4 marketing has been confusingly vague, revealing little about the actual film’s plot but instead treating it like it’s a fighting game that is doing character reveals to hype itself up. Why is there a fork? The hell do I know. Bo Peep on the other hand has been rumored to return since Toy Story 4 was announced and I feel that to bring back such an “unimportant” character in the franchise there has to be good reason behind it. So why don’t we take a moment to think about what this means?
The New Design
My initial reaction is just confusion? Was Bo Peep in the first two not supposed to be completely made of porcelain? Even as I look at images of the character she’s completely glossy and there doesn’t seem to be a texture difference especially in the sleeves and hat. Plus the original design has socks that seem pretty evidently to be part of the paint. Why is this character soft-rebooted? How could she have possibly given herself a face-lift and completely changed literally her entire shape?
While It raises questions, I do really like the design. Everything is softer and more pleasant to look at, especially with the color scheme of the tinted “baby” powder pink and blue. It this weird mix between Rey from Star Wars as literally everyone was quick to point out and the Princess Peach vibes more consistent with the original.
I do get a sense that Bo Peep’s redesign is completely indicative of shielding the potential character backlash. Originally Bo Peep was established as the “damsel in distress” for Andy’s I don’t what a moron would call it probably something like “toxic masculine fantasies”. Well Bo Peep don’t need no cowboy she can rescue herself now! Bo Peep was let’s be honest a pretty dull, flat and lifeless character that really had little to no purpose in the grand scheme of things so I’m actually on board with reinvention and trying to find a new angle to work for this character. I’m a little nervous it is going to massively overcompensate and try to make her all that and a side of fries but only time will tell.
What Will Be the Plot of Toy Story 4?
The Toy Story franchises has always been primarily about one thing… separation anxiety. As much as we think of the external conflicts provided by the series iconic antagonists they more are less provide action to complete the overarching narrative which is the relationship between Andy and Woody. The first film in the franchise is about how Woody essentially learns that people’s interests and personalities can change overtime with the resolve being that Woody understands Andy is going to grow as time goes on but that doesn’t necessarily mean he enjoys Woody any less. Sid almost works in a way for Woody to question his attachment to Andy as Sid shows the demented lack of empathy of humans towards their toys and how that bond is nothing more than “mere plaything” (but he’s just a bad apple). The second and third movies are more or less the same, presenting Woody and the other toys and out so they don’t have to accept that the good times eventually come to and end confronted with toys who reiterate that that departure sucks. The conclusions of these films leave us with the lessons that we should enjoy things while they last and that change is a healthy and necessary part of life that we can face with our friends by our side.
The emotional bond between toy and child from the toy’s perspective has been a major part of the franchise and this time we have to assume that entering the presumed “Bonnie Trilogy” has to play a similar role. I think the major theme of Toy Story 4 will be accepting change in life. I expect the opening cinematic child’s imagination sequence that opened the third movie will be reused but will deliberately set up how Bonnie has a different way of playing with her toys than Andy. Woody was always Andy’s favorite considering he was probably one of his first and held enough nostalgic sentimental value that Andy wanted to bring his Cowboy doll to his college dorm. I would like to see all the characters in different roles where Woody is either a villain or like a village idiot or just something unglamorous that would kind of get upset about while like forky or one of the aliens is the great hero of her imagination.
I really think having Woody a little nostalgic for his glory days is a good set up for Bo Peep especially with this Bo Peep. I do think hearing about and trying to find Bo Peep will be the inciting incident in this film…. and I can’t wait to see Woody get his heart ripped out. I think there’s a chance this is a completely new character as we’ve seen replica toys before in the franchise. Even if it’s not, I think this is going to almost an entirely different character which is going to be completely disheartening to Woody who goes on this adventure in hopes of rekindling and bond that reminds him of great memories of the past to find they’re more or less a stranger now.
I’m sure there will be some antagonist at the carnival location, probably some stupid stuff animal that is sick of being teased with the prospect of going home with a child as he lives on a hook for like 5 years. Probably by the end of it Woody learns to accept change and now we can’t look back at what we lost but appreciate what we have now. This also might tie into the forky identity crisis sub-plot as he’s able to stop looking at himself as the spork/utensil he used to be and finally come to terms with his identity as a toy (indirect trans metaphor hmm…).
I think if something like this is close to what they’re going for then it would pretty satisfying. It’s true to the original and even expands on it in a way where the first trilogy was about accepting that change will occur while this one goes on to display coming to terms with changes we endear. I might also foreshadow a shift of the limelight that maybe by Toy Story 6 we recognize that Woody & Buzz have had their fair share of adventures and can leave the franchise in the hands of a new generation of toys. It can also begin to play as a sort of metacommentary towards the fanbase and accepting that we as an audience should be open to change and that the franchise is in the hands of a new generation.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?!?!?!?!?!? Love the new design??? Hype for Toy Story 4??? Does my predictions suck? what do you hope for in the new movie? Would you consider maybe hitting that LIKE BUTTON if you enjoyed my rambling and would you possibly hit that FOLLOW BUTTON for another such ramble?? Thanks for joining me, I appreciate it and have a wonderful day at the movies. Theatre 3 will be on your left.
main image credit: Disney Pixar