Leave it to “Toy Story” to grapple with the big questions in life. Why are we here? Why are we alive? What is life about? And who — or what — is Forky?
That’s the question confusing many online after Disney and Pixar released the first teaser for “Toy Story 4.” The trailer features the toys prancing in a slow motion circle to the tune of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” only for a spork with googly eyes and red pipe cleaners (as voiced by “Veep’s” Tony Hale) to shriek in terror, “I don’t belong here.”
Because Forky may not be a “toy.” Director Josh Cooley explains in the announcement for the teaser that he is an actual spork-turned-craft-project. And though Bonnie, the new young girl and owner of all of Andy’s old toys, plays with Forky as though he were one, he feels he doesn’t belong.
“The world of Toy Story is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose,” Cooley said in a statement. “A toy’s purpose is to be there for its child. But what about toys that are made out of other objects? Forky is a toy that Bonnie made out of a disposable spork, so he’s facing a crisis. He wants to fulfill his purpose as a spork, but now has a new toy purpose thrust upon him.”
It raises a lot of interesting existential questions. Was Forky given life as a toy when Bonnie strapped wire and a face on him and started playing with him? If one of his glued on eyes falls off, does he go back to being an inanimate spork? Or do all inanimate objects experience some form of existence in this universe, creating a twisted horror show not unlike that of the animated “Sausage Party.”
Hale too was fascinated by his character’s mortal dilemma. “A utensil’s existential crisis?” Hale said in a statement. “I’m in!”
“When we thought up this character, Tony was the first actor that came to mind and I’m thrilled he accepted,” Cooley added. “Tony’s performance as Forky is a comedy salad of confidence, confusion, and empathy … served by hilarious spork.”
See how some online are similarly processing this existential crisis:
So if forky “isn’t a toy” does this mean all inanimate objects in the Toy Story Universe are actually sentient beings with their own secret lives?
— License to get Festive ☃️???????? (@pharmd23) November 12, 2018
like, would taking the eyes off forky kill him? how many features can he lose before he turns back into a fork? i have so many questions
— Derek Robertson (@afternoondelete) November 12, 2018
The great thing about #Forky in Toy Story 4 is that my kids are always making their own toys and accessories out of pipe cleaners. This is true-to-life.
— Adam J (@DeusFever) November 12, 2018
#ToyStory4 teaser is pretty cute although I do kinda wonder how "Forky" works. I mean he's not really a toy but he has consciousness. …Ah Crap there's going to be 3 hour long YouTube rants about that isn't there?
— Dustin Phillips (@SonicBlueRanger) November 12, 2018
Toy Story 4's new character is named Forky. He's a talking fork. Somewhere, Shakespeare's rolling in his grave that he didn't think of that.
— Earl Fando (@earlfando) November 12, 2018
This is a really interesting concept for a Toy Story movie: What is a toy? What qualifies as a toy? and to what point does their toy-like qualities grant them sentient thoughts and actions?
— M.S.S Elijah (@MisterSureShot) November 12, 2018
Is Forky the most relatable character in the Toy Story universe?
— Steven David Kluber (@StevenKluber) November 12, 2018
“What if we had a hot dog but named him Sandwichy?”
“Fine, let’s do a spork but we call him Forky.”
“Do you even work here?
— Matt Fowler (@TheMattFowler) November 12, 2018
— Ashley Davie (@Smash41) November 12, 2018
I may have written this off, but A) I knew about this Forky character to some degree beforehand, B) the promise of it supposedly being ambitious and also super-sad, and C) They took their time and went through the trouble of rewriting 3/4 of it. I think it’ll be good.
— Kyle Otumn ???????????????? (@KyleOVox) November 12, 2018
Friend: Hey, my co-worker is having a party, you want to come?
*Me at party turning into Forky from Toy Story 4* pic.twitter.com/30PE9nPEnD
— Vlipsy ???? (@VlipsyApp) November 12, 2018
I honestly somewhat feel bad for "Forky". Not only is he in the new Toy Story movie, he has a high chance of having a toy made of him. Imagine that if you will, next year's hottest selling toy at Christmas is a chintzy plastic fork with pipe cleaner arms. pic.twitter.com/Gx5Ey9VhqJ
— Brandon M. (@vanderbabsie) November 12, 2018
— Allie_Doc ???? (@Allie_Doc) November 12, 2018