The Toy Story franchise has always been a secret nightmare, but now the full trailer for Toy Story 4 is embracing it and leaning straight into its nightmare roots. This trailer has so much nightmare fuel, I don’t even know where to start. There’s Forky, the kindergarten craft project turned toy, thrust into an existential nightmare by the laws of an unforgiving universe. There’s Woody, trying to teach Forky to be a real toy, even though he doesn’t want to be. And then there is an antique store full of VENTRILOQUIST DUMMIES and OLD DOLLS, so naturally, it’s a hellmouth. OF COURSE ventriloquist dummies and old dolls are inherently evil in the Toy Story universe. They’re inherently evil in ours, everyone knows that (look, I don’t write the rules, I just know when a doll is evil).
Toy Story 4 looks like Homeward Bound but with toys, which is cute. Woody is having a crisis of faith because the toy life keeps getting harder, and on one side is his inherent purpose of helping children, but on the other is PG-hot Bo Peep Who Wears Pants Now. She’s…living in a carnival? And would rather be a Road Warrior than belong to a single child again? Frankly I could use less of Woody’s crisis and more of whatever happened to Bo Peep. Seems like she’s been on a real journey and we’re probably only going to learn about it just enough to help Woody with his wishy-washy problems. #JusticeForBoPeep
Also, we get a single-word introduction to Duke Caboom, a Canadian toy voiced by Keanu Reeves. I found this tidbit in the Toronto Sun which is the perfect antidote to the screaming nightmare of ventriloquist dummies and Frankensteinian horror introduced by Toy Story 4, and also our own dystopian nightmare reality. While discussing Duke Caboom with director Josh Cooley, Keanu asked “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.” Please let the image of Keanu Reeves posing like a toy and shouting “Victory!” in the lobby of a major business carry you through the rest of the week.