Toy Story 4: Meet three new (yet vintage!) characters
Few casts are better company than Toy Story’s plastic posse of playthings, and in the flagship Pixar franchise’s fourth film, the hallowed animated ensemble brings a few more vibrant cast members into its fold.
Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 sends Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and the rest of the gang far from home on a family road trip to a sleepy little town upstate, where our heroes encounter a creepy antique shop, a colorful carnival, and faces both familiar (like Annie Potts’ Bo Peep, presumed lost after Toy Story 2) and new.
EW and PEOPLE have an exclusive first look at three of the latter — the most pivotal new characters (besides Forky) whom Woody meets during his unexpected solo vacation.
First, meet Duke Caboom, a motorcycle-riding ‘70s action figure who’s hailed — or at least advertised — as the greatest daredevil in Canada. The problem is, Duke’s been unable to accomplish any of the death-defying stunts his commercial has promised… until Woody and Bo present the opportunity for Duke to rise to the occasion and cannonball out of his funk.
Duke Caboom is voiced by Keanu Reeves, who happens to be both Canadian and a motorcycle enthusiast… shockingly neither of which had anything to do with his casting.
“I didn’t know Keanu was Canadian, and I did not know that he had a motorcycle company, until after we cast him,” laughs director Josh Cooley. “We always had this character, who was always this bravado Canadian stuntman, and in my head, I had this one [idea] of how it would be performed, but then we met with Keanu and before he even signed on, he wanted to have lunch. And once he came to the table, he started asking all these great questions and doing different voices and actually jumped up on the table in the middle of Pixar to act out the character and his great ideas that we didn’t have in there originally. It was really incredible. Keanu really did help craft that character in a huge, huge way.”
Reeves tells EW, “I definitely wanted to give him energy and a big personality. But I also saw him as a character that has a really wide dramatic bandwidth in the sense of being so big. Kaboom! Kapow! Let’s go! But who can also then share his wounds, like, ‘You have a kid? I had a kid. I let him down!’ And he can get quiet. So it was really a lot to play with on the playground.”
Next, say hello to Officer Giggle McDimples. Though not as vintage as Duke, she’s a feisty Polly Pocket-inspired police officer from the 1980s Giggle McDimples line of miniature playsets and figures, set in microscopic Miniopolis. As such, this lost one-inch toy has already earned the superlative of being Toy Story‘s smallest character to date.
“Since we haven’t seen Bo in years, we wanted to show that she has a network of toys she’s been hanging out with and hasn’t been by herself just sitting around waiting for Woody,” says Cooley. “She’s off living her life and Giggle McDimples is somebody she’s come across in her travels who has become her best friend.” Cooley describes Giggle as a Jiminy Cricket type — “so small that she can just bounce into the frame wherever we want, up onto Bo’s shoulder, and they can have a little bit of an angel-devil-on-the-shoulder kind of conversation where Giggle can say whatever she wants and you get the sense that Bo either agrees with her or doesn’t, but they can nevertheless have this private conversation at all times.”
Wrecked star Ally Maki voices the character (a gig she landed not just from her TBS sitcom, but from a self-made spoof of Vogue’s 73 Questions that she made with friends in 2016). “Giggle is pretty much the coolest character you’ll ever meet, and she’s iconic because she is the tiniest character to exist in the Toy Story universe,” Maki tells EW. “She’s like the other half to Bo, but I also think what’s great is she’s got her cop side, so she’s a woman on a mission. She’s always got something to say, she’s got some snark, which I love about her, and she’s adorable. She’s kind of like those Sour Patch commercials. Sweet then sour. And she has a pretty iconic laugh, too.”
Some might even call it a giggle.
Finally, Toy Story 4 wouldn’t be complete without a thrilling new villain, and horror fans should recognize the sheer terror that lies within creepy 1950s doll Gabby Gabby. Good Girls and Mad Men star Christina Hendricks brings her voice to life; Gabby’s henchmen — a gang of voiceless ventriloquist dummies — are not as lucky (as midcentury antiques, there are no humans around to make them speak).
“Gabby has been in this antique store for 60-plus years,” Cooley explains. “We’ve never seen creepy, old dolls like that in Toy Story, and this was an opportunity to do that. Gabby is a perfect toy except for the fact that she’s got one thing broken about her that’s been keeping her from being purchased and loved forever. So when Woody comes across her, it’s bad right out the gate. And in fact, meeting her for the first time is one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.” Anything that can be described as Annabelle meets The Godfather can’t be wrong… right?