Tony Hale is looking forward to returning to his role of Forky — and he’ll have some very familiar faces alongside him!
On Friday, Disney announced at its D23 Expo convention that Pixar would be releasing a collection of shorts on their new streaming platform, Disney+, called Forky Asks A Question, centered around Hale’s Toy Story 4 character.
Following the exciting news, Hale, 48, spoke with PEOPLE about his new project and revealed why he has so much fun with the role, as well as what fans can expect in the upcoming shorts — and spoiler alert: Forky will be reunited with several of his Toy Story pals!
“It’s super fun,” he tells PEOPLE of playing the beloved spork. “Forky is a character who thinks he’s trash and Woody comes along and is like, ‘You’re not trash, you have a greater purpose, you’re meant for more.’ And his world just opens up, and he just has a ton of questions.”
“The short centers on a lot of those questions — What is money? What is a friend? What is the internet?” he continues. “A lot of the Disney characters come in — Trixie, Mr. Potato Head, Ham, amongst many others — and it’s just this really beautiful, simple, funny format to ask these general questions.”
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When it came to Toy Story 4, Hale explained that Pixar approached him about the project nearly three years ago, but that he, along with the other actors, never knew what was in store for the characters.
“I think all the actors have said this: we never really knew the full story,” he shares. “They would just hand us pages, I never got to read the full script. I just had pieces and never knew how Forky’s story was gonna go. It wasn’t until I saw the movie maybe a month and a half before it came out that I really kinda saw Forky’s part in the world, and it was pretty exciting.”
As he watched Forky’s story develop, Hale said he grew incredibly fond of the animated spork.
“What I love about him is not only is he made simply, he sees the world very simply,” he explains. “He doesn’t have the preconceived notions that everybody else has.”
“My favorite is when all the toys are dropping to the ground when a human walks in and he’s like, ‘Why are you guys hitting the ground? This makes no sense to me!’” Hale recalls. “I love that simplicity.”
But Hale isn’t the only one who has fallen in love with Forky.
The actor admitted that he also enjoys seeing the joy that Forky brings to his friends’ children when he sends them personalized messages from the talking toy.
“What’s really fun is when my friends will email me and say their kid ‘loves Toy Story, he’s a big Forky fan,’” he recalls. “I always send a message — say his name is Adam — ‘Hey Adam, this is Forky. It’s really nice to meet you. I’m curious, have you seen a trash can around here ’cause I can’t find it but I hope to meet you soon!’”
“And then they send a video of them playing it to and they’re like, ‘What? Forky!’” he adds with a laugh. “That’s really fun to do!”
Disney+ will be available to stream on November 12.