Pixar's mission in the entertainment industry is seemingly to A) entertain children and B) prompt adults to reexamine all of their life decisions through a cascade of tears. Judging by its most recent trailer, the upcoming Toy Story 4 is no exception. The movie looks like a goddamn minefield of existential dilemmas. First of all, there's the character Forky, the spork turned homemade toy who raised a lot of universe-shattering questions when he was first unveiled.
The new trailer confirms a lot of those concerns, with Forky insisting that he's meant to be used for "soup, salad, maybe chili." The disturbing implication is that all inanimate objects possess some form of self-awareness, and are just a pair of googly eyes away from full sentience. Worse still, Forky hates his newly given life and dives out a window, shouting, "Freedom!" Yup, four movies in, the Toy Story series is giving us toys attempting suicide.
Forky doesn't die, but ends up in a small town with Woody. There they encounter Bo Peep, now living in an antique shop. Bo tries to persuade Woody to let go of his life as a toy, arguing, "Who needs a kid's room when you can have all of this?"
Which kind of makes the whole thing seem like an allegory for ... well, death. Woody has to decide whether to shed his life's pursuit in favor of the easy living of this purgatorial town. Plus, this whole journey is kick-started by Forky's death wish, forcing Woody to grapple with a similar dilemma. Wouldn't it be easier to just give up being a toy? He remarks that he doesn't remember helping children being "this hard."
How does it wrap up? We'll have to wait and see. But if Pixar keeps layering on the pathos, we can probably look forward to Lightning McQueen battling whatever the car equivalent of an opioid addiction is.
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