Inspiration is powerful – you develop a connection with something and it drives you and influences your work. Many creatives often point to characters or moments in Pixar films as a source of inspiration for them. Still, the filmmakers who made those films were also inspired by other pieces of art. Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley is one of those filmmakers, and for his film, he points to Indiana Jones as a major inspiration.
In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (May 3rd/May 10th issue), which features a Summer Movie Preview, there is a brief section highlighting Toy Story 4. Cooley explains how Indiana Jones and Marion’s relationship is similar to Woody and Bo Peep’s:
“Because they’ve known each other such a long time, the relationship that Indiana Jones had with Marion is something I had in mind with Woody and Bo,” says Cooley, who’s eager to showcase the pair’s clashing approaches to adventuring”
A bit further down in the paragraph, Cooley adds:
“Woody flies by the seat of his pants sometimes—actually, most of the time—and immediately jumps off emotion into action,” says the director. “Bo has that same energy, but at the same time she’s always four steps ahead of everybody else.”
It looks like Cooley is exploring the different perspectives of Woody and Bo Peep and this will likely be a key element to their character arcs in the film.
Earlier in the EW article, Annie Potts, who voiced Bo Peep in Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and is returning to voice the character in Toy Story 4, likens Bo to Mad Max, referring to her as Mad Maxine. Fascinating. Sometimes when you watch films, you are clearly able to point out classic films that may have served as an inspiration for those working on the films. This is why “What inspired you?” is a common go-to question when interviews are conducted. We all have our own inspirations and we love to hear about others’. I am looking forward to seeing other homages in the film.
Toy Story 4 is headed to a theater near you on June 21st.