Alert: Do Not Read if you have not seen Toy Story 4 and you care about spoilers.
I saw lots of spiritual messages in the film Toy Story 4, and I want to take time to reflect on them in the next few blog posts.
First off, Forky. Bonnie makes Forky at Kindergarten orientation from a spork, some googly-eyes, and pipe cleaners. She needs a friend at that moment, and Forky becomes her most loved toy as well as the motivating force of the whole movie.
Forky identifies himself as trash. He says that he is to be used to eat a fast-food salad or some chili then to be put in the trash. For several hilarious scenes, he keeps trying to trash himself while Woody keeps rescuing him. Woody tries to convince him that he is no longer trash. Forky is now a toy, and his purpose is to “be there” for Bonnie. His purpose is to be loved by his maker and to love her back.
Watching the film, I suddenly saw myself in Forky. As a non-believer, I often said to myself—Life sucks and then you die. I saw life as a pointless string of years in which I would be used by the school system and by my students. They would suck the life out of me, and then I would die and be trashed in a crematorium, just like Forky: a tool, a utensil, made to be used up and then discarded. When Forky sees himself as trash, he exemplifies the hopeless mindset many modern secular people have.
Woody acts as Forky’s eye-opener. He gives Forky a purpose beyond being trashed—to love Bonnie and be there for her. Other characters, like Gabby Gabby, also enlighten Forky, and by the end of the film, Forky embraces his calling to love—not only Bonnie but the other toys, including Mrs. Forky who appears at the end.
The message of Toy Story 4 is that we are all made for love. That is our purpose and our calling. There is no higher purpose in the life of humans or the life of toys. “God don’t make no trash”, and neither does Bonnie.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog about Loyalty. Try to see the film before then, if you haven’t yet.