To say the ending of Toy Story 4 is a tear-jerker would be a vast understatement. Released earlier this year, the final film in the Toy Story franchise sees Woody realizing that you sometimes have to move on in life, and leaving Buzz, Jessie, and the rest of his toy family behind in Bonnie's room to spend his days with Bo out on the road. However, as we learned when the special features from Toy Story 4's Blu-ray began arriving online, there was an alternate ending that took things in a vastly different direction.
In the alternate ending, Bo ends up realizing she needs to be with a kid, just like Woody, and she bids goodbye to him at the carnival, disappearing from his life once again. It's a touching scene but goes against basically everything else the movie has to say. Speaking to director Josh Cooley ahead of the film's home release, we asked him to give us the story behind that alternate ending, and how the creative team found their way to the final version.
"So the very first version of the ending was that everybody including Bo went back to Bonnie's house. And so it kind of reset at the very end," Cooley told us. "It was an adventure, but Woody learned nothing, and there was no emotion to that ending besides the fact that they were together. So we thought, 'Well let's try something different and see what would happen if Bo rediscovered her love for kids in a way.' And then we kind of had like a Casablanca ending where it's like they have duties to do, but they still love each other. And so that also had issues as well. It didn't quite feel like Bo, just kind of reset. And Woody reset. So there were issues with it."
That ending didn't really bring a close to Woody's story in any way, which was kind of the point of the entire movie. So Cooley and his team went back to the drawing board a couple of times. He eventually had the idea to keep Bo and Woody together, and that's when the final version of Toy Story 4 actually started to take shape.
"But yeah, the build up before was a completely different, that wasn't even Harmony. That was a different child, even. And then I had this thought of like, what if Woody didn't go back? And when I thought about it, and even when I pitched it to the producers, I started getting verklempt, and almost tearing up as I was pitching the very end of it. And that really hit me. The idea of him staying with the love of his life, and the world opening up to him and everything that just emotionally felt powerful to me, especially saying goodbye to Buzz and everything. So then that felt like a completion of his arc, to me. So we went down that route."
What did you think of the Toy Story 4 ending? Let us know in the comments!
Toy Story 4 will be available on Digital HD 10/1 and 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD 10/8.