Pixar's Toy Story franchise has created several iconic characters over the years. But the most recent film, Toy Story 4 was perhaps the most surprising of all as it turned a a spork with popsicle stick feet into an incredibly endearing character. Forky was voiced by Tony Hale and, not surprisingly, the actor admits that he had some reservations about playing a character who believed he was worthless trash.
Forky was such a popular character that the sentient spork lived on his own Disney+ series of animated shorts, but Tony Hale told Comicbook.com that he was far from certain that would be the case when Pixar first pitched him the idea. Hale says he wasn't sure how well people would receive a character who believed he was worthless, but that the message of the movie and how Forky fit into it was what ultimately brought him around. According to the actor,
I remember when Pixar brought me up to their headquarters, which was crazy, by the way, if you ever get a chance to go, you would love it... They brought me up and they sort of, 'We were thinking about you playing a spork.' And I was like, 'All right, that's not what I was expecting,' but they said that he sees himself as trash. And I was like, 'Wow, how is that going to resonate?' But what I loved about Forky is he came into the world thinking 'I'm trash' but then Woody comes along and he's like, 'No you're made for so much more than that. You know, you have purpose and you have value.' And I think in life many times, me included, can see ourselves, not the way we should see ourselves, you know, but the truth.
One assumes that if Tony Hale was asked to come to Pixar Animation Studios to discuss Toy Story 4, (and having been there, I confirm it's awesome) he expected to be pitched the role of, well... a toy. So of course he was a bit surprised when he was asked to be the voice of a please of plastic picnicware. Forky seems to be somehow aware that he's designed to be used once and thrown away, which leads to a lot of the character's early comedic moments and he attempts to literally throw himself in garbage.
And yet, Forky works. He learns that he doesn't need to be trash, and that he's more important than even he believes. Tony Hale says that's a sentiment that he was able to relate too, and clearly so were a lot of other people.
I, for one, would love to see more of Forky. The Forky Asks a Question shorts on Disney+ were great and there are certainly a lot more topics that could be covered if Disney+ and Pixar wanted to make more. And certainly, Toy Story 5 is something that could happen. It's at least as likely as Toy Story 4 was.