It’s been nine years since Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and their toy friends were in theatres. Now the crew returns in TOY STORY 4, coming to AMC on June 21. We’ve watched these characters grow up along with Pixar and the entire CG animation industry — but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a little refresher.
Where were Buzz and Woody when TOY STORY 3 ended? Who’s their owner, what new friends are with them, and whatever happened to Bo Peep, anyway? We’ll answer all of these questions and more as we tell you everything you need to remember before TOY STORY 4.
The Bonnie Situation
TOY STORY 3 was an emotional roller coaster that featured the toys’ original owner, Andy, finally heading off to college. As he cleans out his childhood room, Andy plans to keep Woody and bags up the rest of his toys — the ones that remain, anyway — to put in the attic. A mix-up leads to the bag being trashed, however, which sets up an adventure at Sunnyside Day Care.
The toys confront a hostile band of donated dolls, led by the not-as-cuddly-as-he-looks Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear (Ned Beatty) and are nearly incinerated. All of those adventures underline the danger they face as their owner grows up — but the day is saved, and the group is passed on to the young Bonnie, a student at Sunnyside. (Emily Hahn voiced Bonnie in TOY STORY 3; Madeleine McGraw plays her in the new movie.)
Bo Peep Is Lost
So TOY STORY 4 begins with all of the toys safely in Bonnie’s care. What about Bo Peep, though? The character, voiced by Annie Potts, was an important part of the first two movies. She and Woody even almost seemed to have a thing going. But Bo Peep basically disappeared from the movies, with only a stray line in TOY STORY 3, referencing toys that had been lost or given away, to explain her absence.
If you want to know what happened to Bo, TOY STORY 4 has your back. The film begins with a bit of backstory that explains precisely how the porcelain doll slipped away from Andy’s household — which sets up a conflict deep within Woody. The cowboy doll has to reconcile his personal desires with responsibility to his kid.
Don’t Forget Your Tissues
Those are the big, bold strokes that will prep you for TOY STORY 4, but one additional point is more important than any other: Bring some tissues. The previous film already hit emotional highs in the series (and lows, if we’re being honest), as it dealt with the pains of growing up and moving on and even touched on death.
We’ve seen the first 20 minutes of TOY STORY 4, and even that segment generated more feelings than some entire movies. Even the actors struggled to maintain composure while making it. In 2018, Tom Hanks said the ending really pushed him:
The way you record TOY STORY, you’re in a room with the team that has created it. When I went in for my last day of recording, I wanted to have my back to them, because usually you’re facing them, so you can look right up and you can talk about it. But I didn’t want to see them and I wanted to pretend they couldn’t see me. When I realized what they were going for, I realized, ‘Oh, this is a moment in history.’
Want to know more about the new adventure? Check out our complete guide to the movie!
TOY STORY 4 comes to AMC on June 21.