Proving that Marvel’s superhero flicks aren’t the only films that give moviegoers an incentive to stay in their seats until the credits are over, Toy Story 4 boasts five credits scenes: four that appear throughout the credits, and one that appears at the very end.
That may seem like a lot. But three of the scenes are brief and connected to one another (Pixar easily could’ve combined them all into one scene), and the final scene is really just a callback to an earlier scene in the film.
And post-credits scenes aren’t new to the Toy Story franchise.
At the end of 1999’s Toy Story 2, there was a credits scene that featured production bloopers. And 2010’s Toy Story 3 included a credits scene that briefly revealed what life was like at Sunnyside Daycare after the toys removed Lotso from power and Barbie and Ken instituted a fairer policy that improved the quality of all life for all the toys:
Toy Story 4’s credits scenes are more similar to the one from Toy Story 3, as they offer a look at what life is like for the toys after the life-altering events of the movie. Here’s what happens in each of the five scenes, and what they tell us about the toys’ future.
Toy Story 4 has 3 mid-credits scenes dedicated to Woody’s new life
The main conflict in Toy Story 4 is that Woody has to either come to the realization that Bonnie doesn’t love him anymore and it’s okay to let Bonnie go, or continue his toy life as a toy that Bonnie doesn’t really care about. He chooses the former option, which includes sharing his future toy life with Bo Peep and the gang the pair has assembled in the movie.
Toy Story 4 dedicates three of its mid-credits scenes to this development, showing how Woody, Bo, and their friends have rigged a carnival game to help the prizes, who are toys, find new kids to take them home.
In the first scene, we learn that Woody and Bo furtively knock down the game’s targets down for the kids, ensuring they’ll win prizes. The second scene builds on this scheme, showing how the gang have seen to it that all the prizes have found new homes. Woody, Bo, and the team are more concerned with finding their fellow prizes new homes than finding kids of their own. Woody’s new purpose in life is bringing happiness to his fellow toys.
And the third scene is a dark fantasy from Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele)’s point of view about becoming giant laser-shooting toys and wreaking havoc at the carnival — a callback to Bunny and Ducky’s murder/smothering fantasies from earlier in the film.
The scenes, when stitched together, show us Woody’s possible future in which he connects toys and kids and brings happiness to their lives and his. It also feels like a way to help Toy Story fans say goodbye to Woody, by showing that he will still have a happy life post-Bonnie.
Toy Story 4’s has one mid-credits scene that gives Forky a friend
Toy Story 4’s other mid-credits scene takes us into the future and gives us a glimpse of what’s happening with Bonnie’s other toys who aren’t part of Woody and Bo’s circle. We see Jessie return from Bonnie’s first day of first grade, and she has another new character in tow (the scene mirrors the movie’s scene where Woody accompanies Bonnie to school, and brings home Forky).
It turns out Bonnie has created another “toy” — this time out of what appears to be a plastic knife (one of my colleagues thought it was a popsicle stick). Forky falls in love, but the new toy is barely sentient, like Forky was at the beginning of the movie, and all she can say is “trash.”
The implicit idea behind Forky’s new friend is that Forky will teach it how to be a real toy instead of a trash-loving piece of trash, since Forky went through the exact same experience. And perhaps in a future Toy Story movie or spinoff (that might not include Woody), we’ll see what life is like for Forky and his new pal.
Toy Story 4’s end-credits scene gives some closure to a particular Combat Carl
Toy Story 4’s final credits scene happens after the credits finish rolling, and it’s a sweet callback to one of the film’s jokes. It’s just a cute moment, one that doesn’t contain any obvious hints about the future of the franchise or its characters. Specifically, the scene is a spin on the familiar Pixar intro.
As we’ve seen in at the start of several Pixar films, it has traditionally involved a lamp stomping out the letter “I” in the Pixar logo, and then replacing it:
Toy Story 4’s final end-credits scene is a replication of that intro, with Duke Caboom taking the place of the lamp and taking a spot in the Pixar logo. Then, the Combat Carl (a G.I. Joe-like action figure) who Woody left hanging for a high-five earlier in the movie shows up, and Duke gives him the missing high five. Combat Carl finally finds happiness and closure!
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