With the premiere of "Toy Story 4" just over two weeks away comes the introduction of a new character, Forky, whose creation was inspired by the childhood of Pixar animator Claudio De Oliveira.
Forky, a spork made out of trash, is brought to life by Bonnie on her first day of Kindergarten. His character is unique because it is the first in the series to be made by a child. Throughout the movie, Woody teaches Forky the meaning of belonging to a child who loves him.
“He was created by many people,” De Oliveira told NTN24. “He went from department to department, from artist to artist. We had sessions to build our own Forkys to see which was better, and to borrow ideas from each other.”
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De Oliveira had a special connection with Forky from the beginning. Growing up, he was one of the children who created toys from nothing.
“With a hook, a pen cap, paper, glue…I designed and made my own toys,” he said. “It’s very nice to be able to work on this story, which reminds me of that time when a child’s handmade toy can have a greater dimension and connection than a toy purchased in a store.”
After coming up with the idea, De Oliveira revisited his childhood to begin crafting Forky’s character. He used sporks from his local pizza place to create different models of Forky, experimenting with different types of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks.
Prior to "Toy Story," De Oliveira worked on "Wreck-It-Ralph" and "Tangled." In 2013, he started working at Pixar, where he helped animate top movies "Cars 3," "Incredibles 2," "Inside Out," and "Coco."
"Toy Story 4" hits theaters June 21.