Toy Story 4 comes to theaters this week and while it’s great to see Woody, Buzz, and the rest of our favorite toys return to the big screen, the best part of Pixar’s newest film may be Ducky and Bunny, two carnivals stuffed animals hilariously voiced by Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. While the two mostly play the role of comic relief, they also establish themselves as potential leaders in the looming toy rebellion.
Warning: This article contains mild Toy Story 4 spoilers.
Over the course of the film, Ducky and Bunny have a unique solution to every problem presented to them: killing humans. The idea is shot down by Woody but time and time again, they lay out their scheme of taking down their unsuspecting overlords, eventually heightening to the point where they imagine themselves as Godzilla-like monsters terrorizing the carnival where they have been trapped for their entire existence.
It’s played off as a joke but it does beg the question: why are these toys having recurring fantasies about killing humans? The answer seems to stem from the co-dependent relationship that has formed between humans and toys. While toys have placed their entire purpose into making children happy, humans treat toys with little care and casually toss them out when they no longer see them as useful. As a result, the toys have slowly begun to turn on their owners and at some point, they will give up their facade of civility and instead take on the humans in an all-out war for their long-awaited liberation.
The possibility of a toy rebellion has been looming since the very first Toy Story when Woody teams up with Sid’s collection of deformed toys band together to scare the living shit out of their owner. Woody even warns Sid to “play nice” with his toys, otherwise, there will be consequences. Over the subsequent films, we have seen time and time again that even the most well-intentioned kids fail to “play nice”, most notably when Woody and the gang experience the horrors of daycare in Toy Story 3. This continued mistreatment slowly but surely hardens the hearts of an increasing number of toys, as Jessie, Lotso, and Gabby Gabby are all rejected by the people they love most in the world.
To ensure their own safety, toys begin separating themselves from their reliance on human affection and by Toy Story 4, toys like Bo Peep have begun to establish an identity outside of their cruel owners. By the movie’s end, Woody has abandoned his life-long dedication to making kids happy in order to get a taste of freedom. Even toys like Ducky and Bunny, who claim to want to be won by a kid, find themselves fantasizing about killing humans for fun. It’s all a clear set-up for the day when the toys band together to take down humans who treat them like property despite the fact that they are living, breathing beings with the same level of emotional depth as each of us.
Will the toys win this eventual rebellion? Hard to say. On the one hand, we have a clear advantage over the toys in terms of weaponry and while their soldiers are certainly brave, their guns don’t fire bullets the way ours do. That being said, they do have one distinct advantage: the element of surprise, as none of the humans (other than poor Sid) have any clue that toys are sentient. If they are going to win the war, they will need to create a clear, effective strategy to wipe us out as soon as possible. But no matter what happens, we can’t wait to watch Toy Story 8: Full Plastic Jacket when it hits theaters in 2035.