From the sequel that brought you the thematic conclusion “Life without a kid is better for a toy!” comes the fundamentally game-changing twist, “Actually, what if maybe that’s not true at all?”
One of the bonus features on Toy Story 4’s upcoming home-entertainment release includes an objectively crazy alternate ending that would have upended the entire narrative arc of the Disney/Pixar film, as you’ll quickly see in EW’s exclusive clip of the sequence.
In the finished movie (***SPOILERS AHEAD***), which scooped up over $1 billion at the box office this past summer, dashing doll Woody made the shocking decision to split off from his longtime companions in Bonnie’s (née Andy’s) room, opting instead to live an owner-less life on the road with fellow rogue Bo Peep. In this alternate ending, however, Bo’s “Who needs a kid?” mentality completely vanishes when she realizes that “the kid from the store” — presumably Harmony, whom we know as the human albatross that Gabby Gabby spent much of the finished movie chasing — is actually the kid for her, the one to get her off the road and back in a bedroom where she believes she belongs.
Obviously, to actual audiences of Toy Story 4, this cut ending is outrageously out of place as the conclusion to the film we saw (in which Bo and Harmony didn’t connect at all). Still, it’s curious that there was once upon a time a world in which Bo did opt to go back to a kid in the end — and what, in turn, would that have meant for Woody, his decision, and thus the future of the Toy Story series itself?
It’s a compelling question we won’t ever really know the answer to (until Toy Story 4’s inevitable 50th anniversary oral history), but you can at least entertain the concept in the axed animatic sequence above, which contains a helpful introduction by director Josh Cooley explaining why these storyboards were left on the shelf.
Toy Story 4 is available digitally on Oct. 1 and on Blu-ray Oct. 8.