Toy Story has created some of Pixar’s best characters during its (current) four-movie run. Characters like Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) are timeless because these heartwarming characters make you laugh, cry, cheer, and question how you’ve treated your toys. Toy Story characters have rich personalities and fascinating backstories, which gives Pixar an abundance of possibilities with future stories to tell about these characters.’
In 2020, Pixar and Disney announced plans to explore more of Buzz Lightyear’s origins in a solo movie called Lightyear. Chris Evans will voice human Buzz Lightyear, the fictional person that the toy character is based on. Now that Disney is making the Buzz Lightyear movie, Lightyear, I’ve been excited about the possibilities of other Toy Story characters getting their own solo films. I picked a few characters that I want to get their time to shine in a solo film. Spoiler Warning: spoilers about the Toy Story movies ahead.
Jessie (Joan Cusack) entered the world of Toy Story in Toy Story 2. Jessie was a toy created based on a television program called Woody’s Roundup that starred Woody, Jessie, Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer), and Bullseye. We also learn that Jessie was once abandoned and tossed by her owner, which is why she ended up with toy collector Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight).
A Jessie film could either explore more of her Woody's Roundup character and its origins, or it could go back to Jessie’s days with former owner Emily. The Emily route may seem sad at first, but we know that Jessie eventually gets a happy ending with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy’s toys. It might be interesting to see what happened with Emily and why Jessie was eventually donated. The Woody’s Roundup route is just as interesting because we don’t know the complete story behind the series and those who created it. Maybe the puppets are based on real people, like maybe Jessie was based on the creator’s daughter or something of that nature. We could see the inspiration for the toy Jessie’s story in a movie.
Sid (Erik von Detten) appeared in the original Toy Story film. He was known for torturing toys, but Woody and the gang got revenge by scaring him into thinking twice about mutilating toys. We then only saw Sid once again in the Toy Story movies. In Toy Story 3, we saw older Sid as a garbage man.
A Sid movie could work if it explores Sid after he’s scared by the toys. What does life look like for an older teen or adult version of Sid? I think a Toy Story movie following adult Sid as his kids take an interest in toys could be really fun. Maybe, he’s still terrified of them, and then his child secretly gets a toy behind his back. At first, Sid is petrified but then eventually learns the joy toys bring to children.
Bo Peep (Annie Potts) was originally Andy’s sister, Molly’s lamp and toy. She appears in the first two Toy Story films as Woody’s love interest. However, it’s revealed in Toy Story 3 that Bo Peep has been given away. She then makes her return in Toy Story 4 with a whole new look and attitude. We learn that Bo Peep has become street savvy since leaving Andy’s house but also attached to her free life without the interference of humans.
Since we know that the fourth film ended with Bo Peep and Woody together, the only way for a solo Bo Peep film to work is if it explores her life after being given away but before she encounters Woody again. We saw some of this in Pixar’s short Lamp Life. However, there is still a lot of potential story material with Bo Peep’s life after leaving Molly, because it seems like she went through a lot and had many adventures in that time.
Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) was the main antagonist in Toy Story 4. Gabby Gabby is a pull-string doll missing a voice box. She lives in a second-hand antique store where she controls ventriloquist dummies called Vincent. Toy Story 4 ends with Gabby Gabby finally finding a home with a lost girl.
Gabby Gabby was a toy created in the 1950s, so it’s very likely that the toy could have just been a popular toy at that time, like Chatty Cathy, or she could have been based on a popular cartoon character. A solo movie could explore the origins of Gabby Gabby, the doll or character, or it could specifically focus on the Second Chance Antiques’ Gabby Gabby and her rise to power. Either direction could be very fun, and I’m a sucker for a villain origin story.
Barbie And Ken
Pixar introduced Ken in Toy Story 3. We then witness Ken (Michael Keaton) and Barbie's (Jodi Benson) love story play out. It started as love at first sight, then got a little complicated when Ken was working for the evil Lotso Bear (Ned Beatty), but in the end, he picked Barbie and they seemed to have a happily ever after. They decided to stay in the Sunnyside Daycare.
A solo Barbie and Ken movie could focus on their life in Sunnyside. I know we’ve seen some short films that show more of Ken and Barbie’s new life, but I would love to see them have an official movie with adventure and danger. The characters are also two of the funniest Toy Story characters, so the idea of their own movie just sounds so entertaining.
Toy Story fans first met Duke Caboom when he appeared in Toy Story 4. Duke Caboom is voiced by Keanu Reeves and is a Canadian action figure from the 1970s. We only really learned that Duke Caboom is a daredevil who never could live up to his former owner, Rejean’s expectations.
I suspect that Duke Caboom has a backstory similar to Buzz Lightyear, and he was probably based on a real-life stuntman or daredevil. It could be interesting to see the real man behind the toy. The 1970s is such an interesting time for action movies that it would be very intriguing to see Pixar’s take on that era and action films.
We last saw Andy (John Morris) in Toy Story 3. He was a teen about to go to college. At first, Andy didn’t want to let go of his toy, Woody, but when he saw Bonnie's (Madeleine McGraw) attachment to the toys, he was able to let them all go.
I would love to see what Andy has been up to since college ended. Maybe we can see a middle-aged Andy with his own kids. Maybe he gives them a toy similar to Woody and we get introduced to a whole new set of toys in Andy’s home. It could be a fun way to evolve the series but still keep it tied to the original story.