Toy Story 4 surprised us all earlier this summer by somehow providing an even more satisfying (possible) conclusion to the Pixar Animation franchise. The movie gave Woody (Tom Hanks) a proper send-off after following him for four adventures that significantly changed him along the way. But it almost gave Woody’s companion Bo Peep (Annie Potts) a much worse ending than what we saw, and it makes us wonder how it would have changed the rest of the film’s conclusion.
Toy Story 4 Alternate Ending
In the Toy Story 4 alternate ending storyboard sequence above (originally from Entertainment Weekly), Bo Peep and Woody are celebrating getting all the toys back where they belong, as well as finding a child who will love Gabby Gabby. In the midst of their touching celebration, suddenly Bo Peep sees the little girl Harmony, the one who wasn’t interested in taking Gabby Gabby home earlier. With no explanation whatsoever, Bo Peep suddenly realizes that Harmony is the one kid who has convinced her to stop living life on the road. She wants to be played with again. Woody realizes what this means for their relationship, since the two will have to say goodbye yet again. And that’s it.
This ending totally betrays the entire life lesson that Woody is supposed to learn by the end of this movie. Unless the rest of the movie is also changed in order to allow this ending to make more sense, this alternate ending is terrible. On top of that, this leaves Woody completely out in the wind. Would he still have left the rest of the toys behind if Bo Peep had found another kid to go off with? Would he have just headed back to Bonnie’s RV and spent more time with Buzz Lightyear and his friends? Or would he have tried to go off with Bo Peep and Harmony somehow? We have no idea!
Speaking of Harmony, this feels like such a tacked on “happy” ending for Bo Peep, almost akin to deciding that a female character in a movie suddenly needs a romantic interest in order to give her life meaning. Bo Peep doesn’t need a kid to make her happy, and that’s the point. She doesn’t even have a connection with Harmony in the movie. And while there’s a chance that any scene that would have set up that ending was also deleted when they chose not to go with this one, it still upsets the beauty of the movie’s ending for both Woody and Bo Peep.
Director Josh Cooley says this ending came close to becoming a reality, and whoever ultimately decided to change it deserves a raise at Pixar. That ending would have completely ruined any goodwill established by the rest of the movie, and we would have been left with a sequel that felt just as unnecessary as we initially thought it would be.
This alternate ending and much more will be available when Toy Story 4 hits digital on October 1 and Blu-ray on October 8.
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