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Warning: major Toy Story 4 SPOILERS ahead!
As was expected given the series’ track record, the ending of this summer’s Toy Story 4 was bittersweet in every sense of the word, leaving audience members emotionally wrecked after saying goodbye to these beloved characters for perhaps the final time. But if you thought the theatrical ending to the Pixar film was rough, Toy Story 4’s alternate ending might be even more heartbreaking.
Toy Story 4 doesn’t hit digital and home video until October, but Entertainment Weekly has an early look at one of the bonus features, which include an alternate ending for the film. In it, after helping all the other lost toys find kids and homes, Bo Peep sees a kid from the store that she connects with (possibly Harmony, the girl that Gabby Gabby wanted to be with the whole film only to get rejected by her) and calls her “the one.”
Bo Peep, who for the majority of the film eschewed the need for a toy to have a kid and espoused the merits of a free life on the road, realizes that she would like to be with a kid again, that she wants to go back to being a toy in a bedroom with this little girl. She didn't think she wanted that life anymore, but her connection with this child changes things for Bo Peep. In this moment, Woody would have understood that he once again has to let Bo go.
So after finally finding Bo Peep again after he thought she was lost forever, Woody would have been forced to part ways with her, perhaps for good this time. Bo would have been happy to have found that connection with a kid again, but it would have been absolutely crushing for the cowboy and the sheepherder, and incredibly heartbreaking for the audience to see them part.
The theatrical ending of Toy Story 4 finds Woody saying goodbye to his friends from Bonnie’s room, including Buzz Lightyear, and choosing to stay with Bo Peep and live a life on the road. Bo and Woody then help other lost toys that want homes and kids to find them. It’s a bittersweet ending because Woody had to say goodbye to his friends, but he was reunited with his long lost love and they were embarking on a new life together.
Depending on its implementation, this alternate ending might be even more heartbreaking because it would have been all bitter, no sweet. If this ending took place after Woody and Buzz said goodbye, Woody would have essentially stayed with Bo only to be left by her, at which point he would have no one, or at least no one he really knew. Bonnie had lost interest in Woody but at least he would have still been in her room with Buzz and friends.
I have to say, this move would have been kind of selfish on Bo’s part after Woody just gave up everything he knew to be with her. Plus, she could have just went with Bonnie if she wanted to be a toy again, or Woody could have went with her to her new kid.
This alternate ending would have also kind of forced the Bo character to change her entire belief system. Sure, maybe she felt hurt by Molly and didn’t want to risk that again, and that’s why she was on the road. And just like people, toys can change their minds, but this alternate ending would have gone back on the confidence and freedom Bo Peep had found and the lifestyle she advocated for.
Director Josh Cooley says they came pretty close to using this ending, and although it would have certainly provided the requisite waterworks for a Toy Story movie ending, I think they ultimately made the right choice. And if this is the end of the Toy Story franchise, it's a happy one for all the toys.
Toy Story 4 arrives on digital on October 1 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on October 8. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the movies headed your way this fall season.