The plot of Pixar’s latest entry in the Toy Story saga continued pushing the toys further and further out of their comfort zone, leading to Toy Story 4’s ending that sees the children’s playthings abandon that very descriptor. That may seem like the door is closed for the future of Pixar’s iconic franchise, despite whatever Tom Hanks may say about potential follow-ups. Hanks may have teased a different direction for the franchise, but only after Toy Story 4 gave fans a fitting end for some dolls and dinosaurs that have been working their plastic off to please kids for the last 24 years. However, a newly released alternate ending for the film shows just how differently the franchise could have settled, had the plot’s self-affirming childlessness been jettisoned at the last second.
The original ending of the film sees Woody and Bo Peep permanently reunite, leaving Bonnie, Buzz, and their previous lives behind to forge a new life with a new purpose. Basically, they helped their children as much as they could — and now it’s time to live for themselves. A sweet ending to a long-running franchise about friendship, love, loyalty, and service. But what if it was completely different?
That’s what the first special feature from Toy Story 4’s digital release asks, as Entertainment Weekly showed off a storyboarded alternate ending that looked at the plot of the movie preceding it, and decided, “Nah, let’s get back to square one.”
Take a look:
Yes, in this version, Bo Peep tosses out all talk of autonomy and goes after Harmony. This is where she belongs and who she belongs with. So she hugs Woody goodbye and heads out, leaving Woody to ... go back to Bonnie? What?
In all likelihood, major changes to the script at large would’ve had to be in effect for this ending to make any emotional or logical sense. It seems like this ending exists in a version of the story where a potential Toy Story 5 required the same reality left by the ending of Toy Story 3, as a sequel makes far more sense with Woody still existing at the heart of the group as its protagonist than with him and Peep on the road together. It’s even weirder hearing the temporary voices coming out of the characters too, like the Pixar universe has a full-scale Bizzaro version.
Fans can peruse these bonus features (and consider alternate universes) themselves when Toy Story 4 has its digital release Oct. 1 and its physical Blu-ray release Oct. 8.