You’ve met Keanu Reeves’ stuntman action-figure Duke Caboom and Christina Hendricks’ doyenne of ventriloquist dummies Gabby Gabby. Now, please turn your attention — and your microscope — to the tiniest Toy Story character you’ve seen yet.
Officer Giggle McDimples pops in and out of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 with the same playful acrobatics as Jiminy Cricket; as voiced by comedian Ally Maki, she may also exhibit some of those cool conscience vibes in her relationship with fellow rogue lost toy Bo Peep (Annie Potts).
Bo and Giggle are part of what Maki dubs “the sandbox crew,” a misfit posse of free-for-all toys whose lack of allegiance to a kid opens them up to being played with by any and all children. “They’re kind of on this isle of misfit toys that have been kind of abandoned, and it’s really sad but beautiful in the sense that they found each other,” says Maki. “Bo and Giggle are kind of yin and yang. They fought their way through being abandoned and forged this new kind of friendship and strength together, which is really awesome to see. She’s like the feisty other half to Bo.”
Gigs, who clocks in at an inch in height and is therefore the smallest main character Toy Story has ever introduced, stems from the ‘80s line of miniature Giggle McDimples playsets (inspired by the real-world’s famous Polly Pocket series). Toy Story 4 features the Officer Giggle edition, who has vowed to protect the human and animal residents of microscopic Miniopolis, even if her police-patrol playset has been significantly separated from the rest of her hometown.
“I think with her being abandoned, she’s always just searching for purpose. That’s why she’s so feisty. Maybe that’s why she’s a cop. That’s why she’s finding her place. And that’s why I’m so pumped that she found Bo,” Maki tells EW. “They make such a dynamic duo and I’m so excited for the world to see them because they’re bringing girl power back. They’re pushing forward and breaking the norms, these two girls who are really taking on the world together. I think it’s a brand new element to bring to the franchise, and for me to be an Asian-American female playing this character I think is going to shatter a bunch of stereotypes.”
Even before she began recording, Maki already broke the mold when it comes to Pixar casting. As arguably the biggest newcomer to join the cast (which includes huge names like Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and Tony Hale), Maki recognizes how radical it is that the folks at Pixar discovered her — and moreover, what they discovered her from.
“They said they loved Wrecked, which was a show that I did, but they also found this YouTube video that I made one weekend with my friends, just casually,” Maki recalls. “They told me, ‘That was Giggle — we saw that video and we were like, this is the girl,’ and that to me is an insane chain of events.” The video in question is a spoof of Vogue’s 73 Questions, in which Maki welcomes an imaginary cameraperson into her life. “I made it kind of in my own voice of, like, the more awkward underdog girl. And I don’t know how they found that, because I truly just made it with my friends and my dogs on a Saturday and it didn’t really get that many views, but somehow someone at Pixar stumbled onto it.”
Maki wants the advice heeded far and wide: “Create your own content! I always think back and if I never made that video, this never would have happened. It’s huge. So make your own stuff, guys. It really does matter.”
And being in Toy Story 4 really, really matters to Maki. “I was raised on these movies. My whole age-group was,” she beams. “They perfectly aligned with my childhood. These toys basically helped raised me. I was the girl that collected all the Happy Meal toys. I would perfectly line up the aliens on my shelf. I also used to collect Polly Pockets and do the whole thing where I’d roll out the plastic mat, put all the houses down, and do all the different voices as the Pockets. I mean, if you really think about it, I’ve been training my whole life for this.”
And she didn’t even have to enroll in the McDimples police academy.