"We couldn't have picked a better person to voice our villain than Christina Hendricks," director Josh Cooley told EW. "It's perfect. She can play such sweet innocence and kindness, and then at the flip of a switch, she can go just so cold and terrifying. It's so much fun."
Like Woody (Tom Hanks) — who encounters the antique shop-dwelling Gabby when looking for lost toy Bo Peep (Annie Potts) — Gabby is a pull string doll from the 1950s, and the two toys' first encounter is one of Cooley's favorite scenes.
"I've always loved The Twilight Zone and that Talking Tina-type of thing. We've never seen creepy, old dolls like that in Toy Story, and this was an opportunity to do that," Cooley said.
"Gabby has been in this antique store for 60-plus years. Gabby is a perfect toy except for the fact that she's got one thing broken about her that's been keeping her from being purchased and loved forever."
Gabby's defect is a flaky voice box, and because of it, the doll "has never known the love of a child or been able to fulfill her destiny to love one back," Hendricks previously told PEOPLE.
The catchphrases Gabby emits are more family-friendly Chucky than Teddy Ruxpin, and things turn dangerous for Woody when the talking sheriff's doll — whose voice box is in working order — winds up in the antique shop during a road trip detour with newly made toy Forky (Tony Hale), who believes he's "trash."
Naturally, Gabby commands an army of voiceless ventriloquist dummies, who rely on their leader to speak on their behalf.
"She can just tell her henchmen of ventriloquist dummies to do her bidding for her, and they do," Cooley said. "She's like the Godfather, where she doesn't really have to do much to do a lot."
Toy Story 4 opens June 21.