Believe me when I say that Annie Potts, who voices Bo Peep in the popular Toy Story franchise, is an absolute doll! I adore her, and she could not have been nicer in the interview room. She listened intently to our questions, and even made eye contact with all of us. Bo was always one of my favorite toys, so I was thrilled to see her return for Toy Story 4.
I could not wait to ask Annie all about her time as Bo – and if she was just as excited as me that she was back.
Stepping Back In To Bo’s Knickers
Bo Peep was not in Toy Story 3 at all. Well, they mentioned her very briefly (like one line) and then moved on. My heart broke because I adored her. AND her relationship with Woody. But she is BACK in Toy Story 4 – and in a big way.
Not only do we finally see what happened to Bo and how she left Andy’s house – we learn a lot about where she has been. She probably has more on screen time than most of the other characters – and I loved it. We asked Annie what it was like to step back in to the recording room with Pixar as Bo Peep.
“It felt great. They’re the most wonderful people to work for. They are as smart and kind and inventive as their films would suggest that they are. It’s about the best working environment you can imagine. Their excitement about coming back. As I became more aware of the size and possibilities of Bo’s role in this, [I thought] it’s too much.”
“Then all the way to the studio to screen the film, I was [preparing myself]– you’re gonna be the first Actor to completely screwed up a Pixar Movie. Just accept it now before you go in. So I watched through my fingers. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t screw it up. I think they’re too good to have let that happen. But it’s a big responsibility.
Fun Fact: The filmmakers pointed out in our Toy Story 4 interview that Annie Potts even noticed that the way Bo speaks has changed a little bit, after what she has been though. She did mention that she knew Toy Story 4 Director Josh Cooley was terrified to take up the mantle, but he did a fabulous job!
She Was Almost Never Bo Peep
Admittedly, I was nervous to ask THE Annie Potts a question. I was sitting directly in front of her. She is stunning, and has such a presence in the room. Somehow I managed to get my question out – what was her reaction to getting the call to come back as Bo Peep. Her initial response? “When Pixar calls, you say yes!”
Annie went on to explain just how she started working with Pixar – and how she almost missed out on voicing Bo Peep! I was shocked to hear this, and honestly cannot imagine Toy Story without her as the voice of Bo – especially after having seen the fourth one.
“When the first one came to me, my Agent called me and said ‘Annie, they want to do a voice in the first ever completely computer animated feature length film.‘ And I was like I don’t even understand what you just said and I am busy. I had a Toddler, I had a Teenager and I was doing a series. I was like Nah. ‘Well they’ve sent you a disc, you know, just take a look at it.‘”
I can very much relate to the fact that Annie was busy. With two kids and working – I might have said the same thing. Especially since this technology was still so new at the time. However, I am extremely thankful for her son, and that she ended up voicing Bo. I honesty cannot picture Bo without Annie’s voice attached!
“So I totally forgot about it. They called me back a couple of weeks later and told me they’d love to have an answer. I was like I’ll get to it – and forgot about it again. Meanwhile, they sent me another disc so I have boxes piling up on my kitchen counter. I came home one afternoon. My youngest son had opened one of the boxes. I came in the door and he was on me like white on rice.“
“He said, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy you got to come. He popped in the disc (he’d been watching them all day). I watched one and a half of them and went ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, Mommy’s got to go make a call.‘ I said, Oh I hope the offer still is there because I would very much like to be a part of anything these people have to do.
What Annie Thought About Bo’s New Look
Bo Peep plays a major role in Toy Story 4, as I alluded to above. I personally love how powerful and independent she has become, and how life has changed her. Which is easily seen in her new look. We asked Annie when she saw Bo’s new look, and what she thought of it.
“Pretty early on actually. I thought it was great. I was very pleased. She’s very sassy, ripped off her skirt, uses it as a cape. Even though this isn’t a Superhero movie, her super powers are her heart and her courage. I think that’s the greatest Super powers of all.”
She went on to talk about the importance of Bo’s role, and what it is like to have helped make Bo who she is.
“About 6 months ago I started to understand how big the role was. Sometimes there would be 6 months lag time before I came back again. I’ve been working on this for over 4 years so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I saw it. And I was knocked out when I saw what they had created. There was a whole Team Bo, and they were in touch of defining everything about her. How she might move, how she would move her eyes, what she would think. That kind of care and consideration… It would be nice to take complete credit for who she is but I’m so thrilled to just have been her voice. It’s pretty nice.”
Bo Peep’s Message to Everyone
Bo is extremely independent now, clearly. She isn’t going to sit on a shelf waiting for life to pass her by. She is going to go out, and take what she wants. When asked what message Annie thinks Bo has for young girls – she let us know what message Bo has for EVERYONE (and yes, I teared up).
“I have the privilege of presenting those qualities that are so admirable and inspiring. She’s been knocked around quite a bit and she’s just kept on going – and in a cheerful inventive way. I mean, this girl drives a Skunk Mobile. No one is going to screw with her. I think it’s fantastic for young women and young boys to see this. It’s like yes, this is what a woman is and to young girls, this is what a woman can be, and is. I’m just thrilled to voice those qualities. It is such a privilege when you’re giving positive messages, especially to children.”
Later in the interview, she touched on this again, and it really hit my heart hard. I have two young daughters and some of the things that I see happening in this world – if I am being totally honest – it scares me. But Annie sure made me smile when she said this.
“She’s feminine but nobody’s fool. I think little girls are empowered by that and I think the world is moving that way. Bo gives it a nice shove in that direction.“
Bo Peep and Giggle McDimples
I absolutely loved Bo Peep and Giggle McDimples BFF status throughout the movie. Honestly, there were moments where I thought of my best friend, knowing that she is the one I tell everything to. And if I started to bring up someone I had a past with, she would look out for me. Exactly like Giggle does in Toy Story 4.
When asked about the special relationship these two have, I couldn’t help but think of a handful of friends who mean the world to me.
“What all our best friends do to us. The one you tell your troubles to. It’s a metaphor for your Bestie who’s always right there to hear the best and the worst of what’s going on with you. She’s adorable too, this Ally Maki who’s playing [Giggle]. She’s about that big too.”
"It's a metaphor for your Bestie who's always right there to hear the best and the worst of what's going on with you. She's adorable too, this @AllyMaki who's playing that. She's about that big too." – #AnniePotts on #BoPeep & #GiggleMcDimples BFF status #ToyStory4 pic.twitter.com/nyOZiZ1jdY
— Mama's Geeky – Tessa Smith (@MamasGeeky) June 21, 2019
I Disney Bounded as Giggle McDimples for our Toy Story 4 screening – and totally fell in love with her character in the film. She had me giggling (of course), but she is also strong and independent – just like Bo!
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I just screened #ToyStory4 and WOW! Many people (myself included) were unsure we needed a fourth movie in this franchise. I can now say with complete confidence that we NEEDED this story. I have never cried so hard at a #ToyStory movie (and if you saw me after Tot Story 3 you know that says a lot). The paths all of these characters have taken is simply incredible. I love every single new character – especially Giggles McDimples! See Toy Story 4 in theaters June 21st (more than once). . . . . #Pixar #Disney #DisneyIG #PixarIG #PixarFan #PixarLife #DisneyWorld #GiggleMcDimples #toystorybounding #Disneybounding #MamasGeeky
25 Years of Toy Story
In case I haven’t made you teary enough during this interview, let me try that one more time. We were discussing the meaning of Toy Story as a whole. How it has been around for nearly 25 years now, and it still means just as much to many of us, if not more. Just wait until you see Toy Story 4, and you will truly understand. We asked Annie how things have changed for her, and in her life, in the last 25 years.
“25 years ago? I had a little one and I was about to give birth at the premiere of the first one. My oldest son is now married. I think they’ll be starting a family soon. It makes me feel so good to think that in the not too distant future, maybe my Granddaughter will be holding a doll whose string she can always pull and my voice will be there with her.”
“Josh sent me a picture not long ago – he had worked late and he came home and his daughter was already asleep. But there was a night light in her room and she had her old Whoopie with her, the tattered thing, and then Bo Peep under the other arm. That just thrilled me to think that, especially with the old thing in place there, she was hanging onto that – but she found something new and she’s so strong and positive.”
If you are skeptical about a fourth movie, trust me when I say, we needed Toy Story 4!
Toy Story 4 is in theaters NOW!
About Toy Story 4
Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy.
But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior.
As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.
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