It’s been almost a decade since Toy Story 3 was released, but fans remember it like it was yesterday. The daycare center, the furnace, Andy driving off to college, the toys finding a new home – it was a perfect ending to their story. But then Pixar decided to continue that story with a fourth movie, because they were convinced they had an idea that was good enough.
The plot of the fourquel will revolve around Woody’s relationship with Bo Peep, which went on the backburner for the third one. So, ahead of Toy Story 4’s release this summer, here are 10 things we know so far about Bo Peep.
10 The whole movie is about her relationship with Woody
According to reports, the plot of Toy Story 4 will revolve around Woody and Bo Peep’s relationship. Since Bo Peep was absent from the third movie, with one vague reference made to her by Buzz as he comforted Woody (about her absence), this one will see Woody and Buzz go on an incredible journey to track her down and bring her home to the gang.
It won’t follow on from the third movie, but will instead be a standalone piece. The movie has also been described as falling into the romantic comedy genre, which will be an interesting change of pace for the franchise.
9 Annie Potts is reprising her role as Bo Peep
Although Don Rickles sadly won’t return to the role of Mr. Potato Head, due to his recent passing, Annie Potts is back to play the role of Bo Peep in Toy Story 4. It’s a good thing, too, because if she hadn’t agreed to return to the role, they would’ve had to get someone else, which would’ve sounded weird.
Potts is best known for playing Janine Melnitz, the receptionist, in the Ghostbusters franchise (she also had a cameo appearance in the 2016 all-female reboot), while she currently plays Meemaw in The Big Bang Theory spin-off/prequel Young Sheldon, currently in its second season.
8 She has a new look
As revealed by leaked artwork and a teaser trailer, Bo Peep has been completely redesigned with a whole new look. Of course, she used to have that big, billowing pink dress, but she doesn’t anymore. Instead, she has a cool new sleeveless pale blue jumpsuit.
Perhaps the color blue and losing the dress in favor of pants are intended as a visual indication that Bo Peep’s character is moving away from her previously feminine identity and more towards a more masculine role, independent of the trappings of stereotypes. In this case, the redesign wouldn’t just be giving the character a new look – it could mean a completely new characterization.
7 But she still has a crook
Despite Bo Peep’s new look, she still has the crook that she’s always carried. It’s one of the character’s defining traits, but it has also been criticized as “outdated and cruel.” PETA even issued a statement to Pixar asking them to remove it from the film: “Given that she was designed to have a ‘modern’ look, why hasn’t she ‘lost’ that outdated and cruel crook? You may not know that these ‘shepherd’s crooks,’ are used solely to hook a sheep’s neck and force these gentle animals to move. That isn’t something that a progressive Bo Peep would countenance in 2019! A ‘badass’ Bo Peep would likely bop the shearers, not the sheep.”
6 She’s changed with age
Since Bo Peep is made of porcelain and not plastic like a lot of the other toys, she has been faded and chipped over the years. This imagery has been used by the animators to age the character, and make her feel like a new, changed person after years of being missing. And that’s not the only thing that’s changed.
After years of living on the road without ever settling down anywhere for too long, Bo Peep has become an “adventure-seeking free spirit.” It seems as though this movie will finally develop her into a fully fleshed character, outside of her relationship with Woody.
5 There might be a love triangle
George Stephanopoulos recently asked Annie Potts, “When we last saw [Bo Peep], she was trying to choose between Woody and Buzz. Caught in a little bit of a love triangle. Does she choose?” It was an odd question, since he’s completely wrong about the plot of Toy Story 2.
There was never any choice to be made as Woody and Bo Peep have always been in love, while Buzz has been infatuated with Jessie ever since she joined the group. The whole thing became even more confusing when Annie Potts reacted as though this was actually the case and said her character had “made a choice now.” She added, “I can only reveal so much.” So, maybe there actually is a love triangle after all.
4 She was left out of Toy Story 3 so she could have a huge role in Toy Story 4
A lot of fans were disappointed when Bo Peep was left out of Toy Story 3. But that was just to prime her for a larger role in Toy Story 4. Annie Potts explained, “[Getting left out of Toy Story 3] hurt my feelings a little bit. But John [Lasseter, Pixar’s former chief creative officer who was cut from the company after facing various sexual misconduct allegations] explained to me the reason was because they were saving me for 4.”
Potts added, on the topic of her role in the fourth movie, “I have a big part! I’m thrilled!” So, it seems as though her role in this one is on par with Woody and Buzz, if not bigger. This is Bo Peep’s movie, which is what makes it stand out from the other sequels and feel more like a standalone movie than a continuation. Either way, the people at Pixar are bound to know what they’re doing and it’s very exciting.
3 Most of her part was rewritten
Annie Potts’ work on Toy Story 4 was unexpectedly extended after Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, the movie’s original writers, left the project and the Pixar people significantly rewrote it. Potts explained, “[Toy Story 4] was supposed to come out this year , and then they threw out three quarters of it and rewrote. Usually, it takes – from start to finish – two years. But because they threw most of it in the bin and started over, [my time on the project has] been extended a little bit. I’ve done a lot of work on it.”
Potts even feared she’d been cut from the film or that the film itself had been called off altogether at one point: “I didn’t hear from them in a year and a half.”
2 She will inspire fans
If the Toy Story franchise is known for one thing, it’s inspiring its fans. When Woody and Buzz put aside their differences and become best friends, or when Woody can’t bring himself to let Lotso die against his best judgment, or when the toys finally let Andy go and accept their new life with Bonnie, we feel inspired.
Well, Toy Story 4 will be no different, it seems. Annie Potts says she’s been inspired by Bo Peep’s role in the movie, and the audience will, too: “[Bo Peep] is modern, independent, capable, and confident. Bo is written and conceived to be inspiring as she has weathered life’s ups and downs with grace. I aspire to that.”
1 She’s gone through a huge emotional journey
According to Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley, when we catch up with Bo Peep in this movie, we find that she has gone on a tremendous emotional journey off-screen: “Bo’s taken control of her own destiny. While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can’t believe that they’ve found each other again.”
So, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. Between when we last saw her and now, she’s gone through a hugely transformative experience and become totally independent.