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  • Writer's pictureStar Williams

On Toy Story 4’s Identity Politics: One Non-Binary Perspective

Hi folks! It's been a while since I blogged here, and I'm hoping you're all well, during this strange time. Heads up: you’ll find Toy Story 4 plot spoilers throughout this article, which you can find in full at Thrive Global.

“I am not a toy!” Forky tells Woody in Toy Story 4. “I’m a spork! I was made for soup, salad, maybe chili, and then the trash. I’m litter.” For this reason, Forky keeps trying to throw himself away, because he finds trash “comforting.”

Woody, the cowboy toy of Toy Story, tries to save Forky from this. Forky, who is made by his owner, Bonnie, from a spork and popsicle sticks, has Bonnie’s name written on his feet. This, thinks Woody, makes Forky a toy, for sure.

Cowboy-splaining ensues.

I love Toy Story 4 with a passion. I see it as Disney expanding, trying to be more inclusive, to go deeper—and not least in terms of identity. As a pansexual, non-binary person with a trans family member, I initially came to the U.S. as a British immigrant. No wonder identity is central to my life and work—including my work as a fiction writer, screenwriter, and content writer.

In Toy Story 4, Woody makes a very human mistake. He tries to define Forky based on what Woody sees as Forky’s purpose. Being created to be played with, he thinks, makes Forky a toy. Forky, however, defines himself as both trash and a spork at the start of the film, which, of course, was his previous purpose. He refuses to let Woody define him differently. . . .


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