In Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear has to come to terms with the fact that he is a toy and not, as he believes, an actual Space Ranger. In the upcoming Toy Story 4, it’s Forky, a new character, who has the identity crisis. Forky is the first kid-made toy in the Toy Story franchise, a plastic utensil that Bonnie fashioned into a toy with some googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and imagination. It appears that becoming a toy overnight is a traumatic experience for him, and it doesn’t help that his name is a misnomer.
“He’s kind of a bit of an existential crisis himself because he knows he’s a spork, but then he’s called Forky,” Tony Hale, who provides the voice of Forky, said in a recent interview with fellow new castmates Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves and franchise stalwarts Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Annie Potts.
“Do not say spork. Do not say spork,” Allen joked, as if there was a directive from Disney about the proper nomenclature for the cast to use.
“I think we all said, ‘Why isn’t he called Sporky?’” Hanks added. “They said, ‘It’s a big thing we were talking about it.’”
The mystery remains, but we are excited to see how the new character — and the idea of kids making their own toys — fits into and expands the Toy Story universe.
And for a neurotic, identity-confused character like Forky, Hale is a great choice. He’s best known for his roles as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep, two masterfully neurotic performances that bode well for his voice acting work.
Forky and Toy Story 4 arrive in theaters on June 20.