Woody may have a friend in Buzz Lightyear, but he’s only got eyes for Bo Peep. Unfortunately, no one including Woody has seen her since Toy Story 2, which makes her sudden reappearance in the latest sequel a pretty big deal. Perhaps, an even bigger one once you hear that Bo Peep is the reason Toy Story 4 was made, according to the filmmakers.
Last month, Toy Story 4 producer Mark Nielsen talked to reporters at a press conference at Pixar Animation Studios, which Bustle also attended, about the importance of telling Bo Peep’s story. In fact, he said that the new sequel was actually code-named "Peep" for the four years they’ve been working on it, "because we knew she was such an important character in this one."
"The idea of Bo Peep was so intriguing to us," Nielsen said, according to Entertainment Tonight, adding that "the idea of [Woody and Bo Peep] coming back together after not seeing each other for nine years, and what’s become of her, was something we thought was really worth exploring."
The new film focuses on a road trip in which Woody (Tom Hanks) reconnects with Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who’s gone through quite a transformation since we last saw her. Gone is the frilly pink dress, this Bo Peep is now dressed in sensible pants, living her life as a lost toy in an antique mall.
Originally, Toy Story 4 was pitched as a love story, but the filmmakers say the actual movie, hitting theaters June 21, is an adventure movie with a sprinkling of romance. "So, there’s a ton of adventure in it," director Josh Cooley said of Toy Story 4. "I think of, like, Raiders of the Lost Ark isn’t a love story, but it has that great romantic element in it. I think of it more like that."
But, producer Jonas Rivera, compared Toy Story 4 to a different classic movie. “It was almost even a Lady and the Tramp analogy of, once out in the world, [saying], ‘Why wouldn’t you want all this?’ And the other ones [saying], ‘No, I want to be at home,’" And Woody is that,” he said. “So, all the change he’s done over the years, we thought she had the potential to change him more than anything ever has.”
Bustle’s Sage Young, though, sees the addition of new look Bo Peep as not just a change for Woody, but the whole Toy Story franchise. Bo Peep is the independent heroine all the other movies have been missing. After being overlooked for so long, Bo Peep "absolutely has her own arc,” according to Nielsen, which means she finally gets a chance to shine. Not to mention, show another side of this big toy universe, while also showing another side off herself.
"Her greatest strength is her flaw," Story Artist Carrie Hobson said during last month’s press conference. "So she’s gotten tough and she’s had to be out there in the world and do things her own way and play on her own terms which is great, but then also as a result of that, sometimes people do get a little shut off in letting people back into their life."
No doubt, after all these years, fans, just like Woody, are excited to let Bo Peep back into theirs.
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