“Bo’s taken control of her own destiny.”
In the original Toy Story film, Bo Peep was little more than Woody’s love interest. The blonde-haired, pink-bonneted porcelain shepherdess displayed flashes of a personality – she was witty, and very loyal to Woody – but was nonetheless very much a supporting part.
But in the forthcoming Toy Story 4, Bo Peep is taking centre stage for the first time. In a sign that the beloved Pixar/Disney franchise wants its latest film to reflect the zeitgeist, Bo Peep is being promoted into a leading role – and she will be a very different doll to the passive flirt we saw in the first Toy Story film.
The new Bo Peep will be a much tougher, more independent character, who has become chipped and faded in the years she’s been apart from Woody. (She’s even ditched her voluminous pink gown in favour of practical blue dungarees.) And when she is reunited with her long-lost cowboy lover under unlikely circumstances, she realises they no longer have much in common.
“Bo’s strength and sarcasm always belied her delicate porcelain exterior, and it turns out she’s an adventure-seeking free spirit who feels right at home on the road,” said Pixar in a statement.
Annie Potts, who voiced Bo Peep in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, will reprise her role in Toy Story 4.
“She is modern, independent, capable and confident,” said Potts of her character. “Bo is written and conceived to be inspiring as she has weathered life’s ups and downs with grace. I aspire to that.”
Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley explained that Bo Peep has had very different life experiences to Woody – and this time, she won’t wait around for him to save her.
“Bo’s taken control of her own destiny,” he said. “While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world.”
Toy Story 4 will follow Woody and Buzz Lightyear (Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, of course) as they try to convince new character Forky – a spork that has been made into a toy – that he’s not a piece of rubbish.
When Bonnie (the girl who adopted Woody at the end of Toy Story 3) takes the gang on a road trip, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour – and that’s when his path crosses with Bo Peep’s once more.
As well as old favourites Hanks, Allen and Potts, Toy Story 4’s cast will also include some new voices. Parks and Recreation star Keegan-Michael Key and Get Out director Jordan Peele will play new toys Ducky and Bunny, while Keanu Reeves is set to appear in an as-yet-unconfirmed role.
Toy Story 4 will hit UK cinemas on 21 June 2019. See you at the popcorn counter.