What the Forky? New ‘Toy Story 4’ Character Explained

 “A utensil’s existential crisis?” says voice star Tony Hale. “I’m in!”

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:

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