It was only a few months ago that we saw the Toy Story franchise return to the big screen. Toy Story 4, while arguably unnecessary, still gave audiences a reason to care about what Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang were up to post-Andy, but it also laid the foundation for future films by introducing us to other, newer toys to care about.
Besides Baby Yoda, the most popular character to come from Disney’s catalog in 2019 was Forky, a sentient spork that just won’t stop saying the word, “Trash.” He was – and still is – one of the most talked about characters Disney’s ever created. So it was a no-brainer to give him his own platform, right? That’s exactly what happened. Prior to the launch of Disney+, it was announced that Forky would get his own show consisting of 10 short episodes: Forky Asks A Question. Each new episode would follow the character as he explored a different topic and tried to answer a specific question. Sound familiar? That’s because Jeff Goldblum got the same exact show too.
But unlike Goldblum’s show, Forky’s is less interested in answering the question each episode poses, and more interested in entertaining at all costs. That was my biggest problem with it. Over the course of the series’ 10 episodes, we see Forky mull over the purpose of money, the meaning of love, and even how to read, but he only gets his answer – or some semblance of an answer – sometimes.
For instance, in the episode, “What is Money?”, the importance and value of money is explained thoroughly, and by Ham, the classic piggy bank portrayed by John Ratzenberger in the films. In that episode, you get what you came for and more! In the episode, “What is Love?”, while we don’t get a concrete definition of the emotion, we do get a telenovela that plays out between several toys. So instead of being told what it is, instead, we’re shown just how mad love can drive some.
In other episodes, such as “What is a Leader?” we witness Forky ditch the theme altogether and opt to annoy several toys. In the episode, “What is Cheese?,” one secondary character, fed up with Forky’s antics, takes him on a “journey” to actually try and teach him things. In that episode though, you end up learning about everything else except for cheese.
The format changes drastically throughout the series, and it becomes increasingly frustrating for fans who actually expect to see each promised idea broken down by the toys. Overall, I too felt annoyed because by the end, it all felt like a waste of time. If Disney wanted to do a spin-off, they didn’t have to do it like this, and they certainly could have done it with any other character from the films in the lead.
The bottom line is that I don’t think Forky Asks A Question is for long-time fans of the franchise. While cute, occasionally funny, and entertaining, it’s very clear that this show was meant for the next generation of Toy Story fans. I feel bad for those inheriting these characters and storylines though because this show is proof that this franchise is not what it used to be.
I personally know that Disney can do better, and I hope that, should there be a second season, they do. If they don’t, one of my generation’s greatest treasures could very well end up being another generation’s trash.