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Outside The Toy Box with Forky and Gabby Gabby | Toy Story 4

I mentioned earlier this month about going on an amazing tour of Pixar Animated Studios where I got the skinny on the soon-to-be-released Toy Story 4.  During that trip a plethora of new characters were revealed for this release including Tony Hale as Forky, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples, and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny.

I kinda love all of these voices for different reasons, but was particularly intrigued by Gabby Gabby and Forky.

TOY STORY 4 – Concept art of Gabby Gabby by Michael Yates. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
TOY STORY 4 – Development art of Forky by Albert Lozano. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
ANIMATION – To create a sequence in Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” the animation team works with the suggested layout and recorded dialogue to create the physical and emotional character performances. This sequence shows just how ominous Gabby Gabby and Benson are when Woody meets them for the first time. Directed by Josh Cooley, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

My fascination with Forky begins with the fact that of all the characters he is not a toy.  At least that’s what he thinks…lol. Forky is pretty sure that he doesn’t belong in Bonnie’s room. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get away, someone yanks him back into an adventure.  He literally is a spork constructed of pipe cleaner, wax, google eyes, popsicle sticks with a little glitter and cement.



So, it suffices to say that I was uber excited when we were given a close-up and personal tutorial with Pixar Animator Claudio De Oliveira.

Claudio shared that the main barometer for creating Forky was his daughter.  Makes sense right?  If you are creating content for children, the best audience and judge for it should ultimately be a child.  He then screened an adorable video of his daughter squealing with glee over being able to make her own Forky with her Dad…priceless.

Claudio De Oliveira presents details about the creation of the character Forky, as seen on the Toy Story 4 Long Lead Press Day, on April 3, 2019 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

“The world of Toy Story is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose,” says Cooley. “A toy’s purpose is to be there for its child. But what about toys that are made out of other objects? Forky is a toy that Bonnie made out of a disposable spork, so he’s facing a crisis.”

We loved the idea of Forky,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “He doesn’t understand the rules of the world, so he doesn’t play by the rules, which really makes the story feel fun and new. But it makes life hard for Woody who’s just trying to help Forky understand the importance of his kid.”

Filmmakers called on comedian Tony Hale to provide the voice of Forky. Says Cooley, “When we thought up this character, Tony was the first actor that came to mind and I’m thrilled he accepted. Tony’s performance as Forky is a comedy salad of confidence, confusion and empathy… served by hilarious spork.”

Gabby Gabby we meet when the toys hit the antiques mall, which is another world all unto itself.  Remember the land of misfit toys in Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer?  Well, the antiques mall would be its equivalent in Toy Story 4. It’s almost like purgatory for toys with defects.

Gabby Gabby is patterned after those squishy baby dolls of the 50’s.  She has perfect pigtails, a pristine dress and eyes that shine like glass.  Great detail was given into how the each specific strand of hair was perfectly placed in order to appear as though they had been sewn in just like the dolls from that era along with a voice box.  Problem is Gabby’s voice box is faulty with static which is why she has found herself in the antiques mall.

One of the key locations in “Toy Story 4” is an antique store, Second Chance Antiques. Bo Peep spent years gathering dust at this store until she decided to move on. Later, Woody spots her lamp and goes inside to look for her. It’s also home to a host of toys, including Gabby Gabby, her henchmen dummies, Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) and more.  The antiques mall detailing is short of miraculous,  Exquisite attention was paid to each and every nook and cranny down to the frays in the carpet.

Production Designer Bob Pauley, shared that for a lot of their animated features, the team often travels for research taking them as far away to Venezuela and Paris to name a few.  For Toy Story 4, the team simply took a tour of various local antique stores discovering a lot of charming collectibles like a stoplight, juke box, sometimes a big plastic Santa . “There are many lights and lamps illuminating all the items throughout the store—lights connected to lots and lots of extension cords and power strips. The front desks are always interesting, small notes, little curiosities and extra tags.”  There’s also a cat or two that have the run of the place, so of course they incorporated one to help tell the story. Fortunately, at Pixar, there are numerous big ‘backlot’ of objects from all of their features, so lookout for some fun Easter eggs sprinkle throughout.

Take a look at this adorable trailer/tv spot featuring my boy Forky and remember Toy Story 4 advance tickets are available NOW.


I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch and Board Member), African American Film Critics Association and Online Association of Female Film Critics. My op-eds or features have been seen in Variety ,, The Wrap The Cherry Picks, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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