There are a number of new characters that are joining the Toy Story 4 cast, including Ducky and Bunny (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, respectively) and Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). All of those characters seem lovable, right off the bat. Two other characters, though, are a bit creepy on first impression – Gabby Gabby and Benson.
Gabby Gabby is an adorable, talking pull-string doll from the 1950s. But unfortunately for her, a manufacturing defect in her pull-string voice box has left her sounding anything but adorable. She has spent more than 60 years forgotten in the depths of a jam-packed antique store—her only companions are a band of voiceless ventriloquist dummies. Gabby Gabby knows someone will want her if only she can find a working voice box to repair hers.
Gabby Gabby is voiced by Christina Hendricks. “It became obvious right away that Christina was the perfect actress to play Gabby Gabby,” says director Josh Cooley. “She has the ability to sound inviting and friendly, then subtly become cold and terrifying in just a few words. It still gives me chills when I see Gabby’s introduction in the film. Also, Christina told me that she preferred playing with ventriloquist dummies over dolls as a kid. That’s when I knew it was meant to be.”
Then, there is Benson, who is a classic, antique ventriloquist dummy, and Gabby Gabby’s right hand. He leads a small group of ventriloquist dummies that serve as Gabby’s henchmen. With no person to give them a voice, these silent toys patrol the antique store with a looming quietness that is inherently unsettling.
“The dummies are, by far, some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created,” says producer Mark Nielsen. “Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards. Throw in their fixed expressions with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws and they’re nightmare material—in the best way possible.”
A new clip was unveiled this week, where Woody and Forky encounter the creepy new characters for the first time. Watch the clip below:
Toy Story 4 drops in theaters on June 21st.