Warning: the following post lays out the major beats from the first 17 minutes of Toy Story 4. If you'd consider what happens in the first 17 minutes of a movie "spoilery", well, you probably don't want to read this post.
Shortly after showing off a brand-new sequence from Avengers: Endgame, today's Disney panel at CinemaCon unveiled another surprise: the first 17 minutes from Pixar's Toy Story 4, headed to theaters this June. That's a fairly considerable amount of footage to share, leading one to believe that Disney/Pixar are feeling very confident in the sequel they've made.
The film opens with a flashback: Andy's house, nine years ago. A storm is raging outside, and somehow or another RC (the one that's a remote-controlled car) has been left outside in the rain, where he is now in danger of being washed away by rising waters. The toys band together in classic Toy Story fashion to get him back inside, via a complicated plan involving Slinky Dog, the Barrel of Monkeys, and three Barbie dolls catapulting Bo Peep up onto a window ledge in Andy's sister's room. Just as Woody and the gang are headed back inside with the now-saved RC, Andy's parents enter and snatch Bo Peep off the dresser, throwing her in a box.
A man has arrived in a car, and through overheard dialogue we learn that he's collecting up some of Molly's unwanted toys to take home to his own kid. Woody overhears this, as well, and immediately heads back outside to try and stop Bo Peep from being...well, toynapped. The man returns to his car with the box, realizes he's forgotten something, and when he heads back to the front porch Woody opens the box, telling Bo Peep and her sheep that he's come to rescue them. Interestingly, Bo Peep tells Woody she doesn't want to be saved, saying something to the effect of, "It's time to move on to a different kid." Woody's shook to hear this, but lets her go.
The film's title appears onscreen, and then a brief montage ensues: Andy playing in the backyard with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, the years flying by as he monkeys around with them in the backyard. Eventually we arrive at the scene that ended Toy Story 3, with Andy handing over Woody to a new little girl, Cindy, and now we're back in the present day. It's Cindy's orientation day for kindergarten, and Woody hides away in her backpack in order to accompany her on what he believes will be a very stressful day. Upon arriving at kindergarten, Cindy is tasked with an arts and crafts project, and another little kid throws half of her supplies in the trash (dick). Woody sneaks over and rescues some of the supplies from the trash - a pipe cleaner, a spork, a popsicle stick, some googly eyes - and puts them back on Cindy's table. In short order, she creates a new toy named Forky, who looks like this:
Once orientation is over, Cindy places Forky in her backpack alongside Woody and heads home. It's here that Woody discovers that Forky is alive, a fact which shocks both Woody and Forky. After arriving back in Cindy's bedroom, Woody introduces Forky to the rest of the toys, all of whom have many questions about this neurotic fork who (at first, anyway) can only talk about his desire to return to the trash. This is where the footage ended.
Some notes: this footage was shot through with moments of real melancholy (Cindy getting her supplies tossed in the trash, Bo Peep announcing her willingness to move on to another household) and something that felt a little dangerous (the scene where RC is almost drowning in a stream of water seemed scary, though I'd be hard-pressed to explain why after just one viewing). What's up with the flashback that opens the film? Where is Bo Peep now? How will Forky adapt to his new life as...well, as a "living" thing? How's he ever gonna keep those eyes glued on? I was somewhat ambivalent about the whole idea of a fourth Toy Story movie, but I'll admit this footage got me very curious to find out where this is all going.
Got any theories? Sound off below, and be aware that Toy Story 4 hits theaters on June 21st.