Director Confirms Ken Will Not Be In Toy Story 4

Toy Story Ken

The toybox is getting quite full with the fourth Toy Story movie. After getting to know all of Andy's toys in the first two Toy Story movies, Woody, Buzz and the gang joined the collection of toys already owned by young Bonnie in the third film. Now, with Toy Story 4, we'll be meeting even more toy characters, including Bonnie's new favorite, Forky.

It seems that, with so many characters, the fourth film wasn't able to find a place for everybody who had appeared in previous films, as the production team behind Toy Story 4 has revealed that Michael Keaton's Ken doll won't be appearing. During a press conference during my recent trip to Pixar, director Josh Cooley confirmed that Ken is still at Bonnie day care, a place the new film does not go.

Ken is not in this film. He's back at Sunnyside.

While Barbie is a character who appears in earlier Toy Story films, we don't meet Ken until the crew finds themselves at Sunnyside Day Care in the third movie. There, Ken and Barbie meet, and while the rest of Andy's toys go on to live with Bonnie, Barbie stays behind with Ken where they live together in apparent happiness.

Check out our introduction to Ken in the clip below.

If you were hoping that Toy Story 4 was taking a trip to Sunnyside, then I'm sad to report that's not the case. Since the story won't be going there, characters like Ken or Big Baby won't be appearing.

The opening few minutes of Toy Story 4 have screened in a few places and it's been revealed that as part of that Bonnie will be starting Kindergarten. Considering that, it's not too shocking to learn that Bonnie's day care won't be important to the story.

Instead, we know that Toy Story 4 will have two primary locations, an antiques store where Woody will be reunited with Bo Peep, and a carnival where Buzz Lightyear meets a pair of stuffed animals voiced by Key and Peele.

While I'm sure some fans will be sad to learn that Ken is not back, based on what I've seen of the film, there will be entirely new groups of fans excited by the new characters that are being introduced. And then, of course, there is the one big returning character of Bo Peep who was entirely absent from the last movie, but will be back in the new film, but with a very different attitude.

The producers admit that they also loved Michael Keaton's Ken, but Pixar is always very clear that the story is the thing that leads the production of a Pixar film, and the story just didn't take Toy Story 4 back to Ken and Barbie.

Toy Story 4 hits theaters June 21.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.