Sid. Al. The Prospector. Lotso. Emperor Zurg. Big Baby.
Toy Story’s rogues gallery is already full of terrifying faces, but Toy Story 4 plans to introduce the most arguably adorable one yet. (FYI, no, we do not consider Big Baby to be conventionally attractive.)
Actress Christina Hendricks, who went from running things on Mad Men to running from the law on NBC’s Good Girls, will voice Gabby Gabby, the vintage villain calling the shots in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 (in theaters this June).
“We couldn’t have picked a better person to voice our villain than Christina Hendricks,” director Josh Cooley tells EW. “It’s perfect. She can play such sweet innocence and kindness, and then at the flip of a switch, she can go just so cold and terrifying. It’s so much fun.”
A pullstring doll from the 1950s remanded to a life inside a sleepy antique shop, Gabby Gabby is bad news from the get-go (and her first meeting with Woody is, Cooley says, one of the director’s favorite scenes in the film). “I’ve always loved The Twilight Zone and that Talking Tina-type of thing. We’ve never seen creepy, old dolls like that in Toy Story, and this was an opportunity to do that,” says Cooley. “Gabby has been in this antique store for 60-plus years. 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.”
That broken thing is a screwy voice box, courtesy of a manufacturer’s defect (blame lax ‘50s factory regulations). “Because of this defect, she has never known the love of a child or been able to fulfill her destiny to love one back,” Hendricks tells PEOPLE. Gabby’s should-be-sweet catchphrases thus come out sounding more along the lines of this ratchet Elsa. Oh, if only another toy with a working voice box could mosey on into the antique shop!
The great irony, though, is that vocally-fraught Gabby Gabby has amassed a following of voiceless ventriloquist dummies; led by her right-hand man Benson, the antique shop dummies have no humans around to voice them and therefore rely on Gabby Gabby to speak on their behalf. “She can just tell her henchmen of ventriloquist dummies to do her bidding for her, and they do,” says Cooley. “She’s like the Godfather, where she doesn’t really have to do much to do a lot.”
Yet we expect to see Gabby Gabby doing the absolute most (along with Keanu Reeves’ new character Duke Caboom) on June 21.