Marvel fans will recognize her from young Hope in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Horror fans will recognize her from Outcast, and this weekend, Madeleine McGraw will be heard by movie-goers everywhere as the voice of Young Bonnie in Pixar’s Toy Story 4.
For the fourth installment, Bonnie (McGraw) heads off to pre-school, and during a crafts project, Bonnie makes herself a toy. A spork named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). A new adventure arises for the toys, Forky and Bonnie when her family go on a roadtrip and Forky decides to run away. It’s a movie filled with tears and laughter and heartmelting joy. I caught up with McGraw days before the film opens to learn about her experience of voicing Bonnie.
What has the whole Toy Story 4 journey been like for you, especially with the premiere last week?
It’s been amazing. It’s so mind-blowing. Most people don’t even get to be there. I’m super grateful.
This isn’t the first time you’ve been the voice of a Pixar cartoon; you previously did Cars. What was it like this time with Bonnie and how did that happen?
I auditioned for it in my mom’s bedroom. We heard a few weeks later, and I got the callback. I went in for that and a month later, we heard that I booked it. Once I heard that I started screaming and running around my dining room table.
Oh wow. How old were you when you did the voice of Bonnie because I know they took years for the movie to be made?
I started when I was five and now I’m ten.
The key part for Bonnie is going to pre-school and making Forky. What did they tell you? Did you have to make one?
They just had me pretend. I love to make things with my little sister, and we actually made a Robot out of tin foil and we play with it a ton. I was thinking about that when I had to pretend.
Did you fall in love with Forky the first time you met him?
Yes. Definitely. He’s so funny
What was it like doing the voice? You’re in the studio and not doing it with other actors.
I was alone. Sadly, I didn’t get to see the others when I was recording, but I saw them at the premiere. When you’re recording, you use your hands and your body. When you’re jumping, you can actually jump, but you don’t want to make too much noise.
Did you have a lot of lines or did they give you freedom with the lines?
Both. If there was something that I couldn’t quite get right, then Josh Cooley would let me make up my own words or lines and he was really nice about it.
When was the first time you saw the completed?
It was amazing. I cried so much. I got to see clips of it while I was recording, but I saw it for the first time at the premiere and it was so good. I loved it. It was super funny.
Do you have a favorite scene that you love?
I love when Woody is (SPOILER REMOVED) It’s heartbreaking, but you’re also happy for him.
I loved that. So many people were crying.
Did you get to make your own Forky after?
I did. At the premiere, there was a craft table, and I got to make one. When I went home, I made one out of a spoon and then I made one out of a knife.
Do you remember the first time you ever saw Toy Story?
I was three or four, and I was driving from San Jose to LA and I had all three in the car. I watched them all and I loved them. I think my second favorite is Toy Story 3.
Did you get to go to Pixar Studios?
I went up to their studios in Emeryville and before I recorded they took me to this whole secret room with a storyboard for the whole of Toy Story 4. I got to see the looks of how they were going to make Bo Peep. It was so cool. It was like this secret room. It was so magical.
I wanted to stay.
I loved Gabby Gabby and the storyline there. It was so good.
Me too. I loved that story with her a lot.
I can’t wait to see it again and take my friends.
I’m going to take my friends too. I’m so excited.
Toy Story 4 opens June 21