New Toy Story 4 Cast Members

A new Toy Story 4 trailer just arrived, finally keying us into the story that Woody, Buzz and the whole gang find themselves in when Bonnie takes them all on a family road trip. This adventure mostly belongs to Woody (Tom Hanks) as he tries to convince Bonnie’s new makeshift toy Forky (a spork with googly eyes, pipecleaner arms, popsicle stick feet and a clay mouth, voiced by Tony Hale) to accept his life as a toy.

After falling out of the moving RV, Woody and Forky try to find their way back to Bonnie, but there’s a bit of a detour. Woody spots his old girlfriend Bo Peep (Annie Potts) in the window of an antique shop, and she opens up his world to the possibility of having an existence where he doesn’t have to dedicate his life to being just a toy. That also means Woody is meeting a bunch of new toys out in the world beyond Bonnie’s house, and Pixar has announced the voice cast bringing them to life. 

Toy Story 4 - Gabby Gabby

Gabby Gabby

Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) is voicing Gabby Gabby, a pull-string doll from the 1950s. However, Gabby Gabby has a manufacturing defect in her pull-string voice box, making her sound “anything but adorable.” Because of that, she’s spent 60 years stuck in a cluttered antique shop. It looks like she’s the bad guy in this movie, complete with a squad of voiceless ventriloquist dummies acting as her henchman. But deep down, Gabby Gabby just wants to get a working voicebox so someone will finally want her.

Director Josh Cooley had this to say about casting Christina Hendricks in the role of Gabby Gabby:

“It became obvious right away that Christina was the perfect actress to play Gabby Gabby. She has the ability to sound inviting and friendly, then subtly become cold and terrifying in just a few words. It still gives me chills when I see Gabby’s introduction in the film. Also, Christina told me that she preferred playing with ventriloquist dummies over dolls as a kid. That’s when I knew it was meant to be.”

Toy Story 4 - Duke Caboom

Duke Caboom

Keanu Reeves will be bringing his voice to Duke Caboom, a 1970s toy that is actually based on Canada’s greatest daredevil and stuntman. With his trusty Caboom stunt-cycle, Duke has confidence and swagger as he shows off all of his stunt poses. But despite being a toy emulating Canada’s greatest stuntman, Duke has never been able to do the stunts as advertised by his own toy commercial. He’s been forced to relive his failures stuck on the shelves of the antique store.

Producer Jonas Rivera commented on Keanu Reeves joining the Toy Story universe:

“The first time Josh [Cooley] and I talked with Keanu about the role, Keanu became Duke Caboom. Keanu was asking great questions that dug deep to find the soul of the character. At one point he stood up on the table in the middle of Pixar’s atrium and struck poses while proclaiming victory. It was so funny. It’s all in the movie and it’s all Keanu.”

Toy Story 4 - Woody, Giggle McDimples, Bo Peep

Giggle McDimples

Ally Maki (Wrecked, Cloak and Dagger) provides the voice for Giggle McDimples, a miniature plastic police officer from the 1980s toy line of the same name. She’s described as Bo Peep’s best friend, small enough to perch on her shoulder (and Woody’s shoulder above), and always her confidant, supporter and advisor. Director Josh Cooley says:

“Giggle is Bo’s Jiminy Cricket—we’re able to get insight on Bo through their relationship together. Giggle is definitely the smallest toy in the Toy Story universe. She’s been stepped on, vacuumed up, and probably put up a kid’s nose in her time. Giggle McDimples literally pops on the screen because of Ally’s personality and infectious energy. Nobody can laugh like Ally Maki.”

Toy Story 4 - Benson

Benson

Finally, there’s Benson, the voiceless ventriloquist dummy, of which there are many. These dummies patrol the antique store like an army. It’s their quietness that is so unsettling. However, I’m wondering why the dummies don’t have a voice when they come alive – other toys without voice boxes are able so speak, after all.

Producer Mark Nielsen says Benson is one of the creepiest things to come out of Pixar:

“The dummies are, by far, some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created. Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards. Throw in their fixed expressions with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws and they’re nightmare material—in the best way possible.”

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The big question is what purpose will all these new characters serve in Toy Story 4 and what role do they play on Woody’s journey? This feels like a retread of Toy Story 2 where Woody found himself enjoying life with a new group of toys, thinking that he didn’t need to be played with in order to be happy. This feels like the same thing all over again, but maybe the existential crisis of Forky and the damaged nature of the other toys in the antique shop will provide him with some kind of new perspective, even if he’s learning a similar lesson. Pixar knows how to pull at our heartstrings, after all.

Here’s the official synopsis for Toy Story 4, arriving in theaters on June 21, 2019.

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) 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. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.

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