Bob Peterson Interview: ‘Forky Asks a Question’ creator
An Emmy for Forky? Pixar’s Bob Peterson might turn that into a reality thanks to “Forky Asks a Question,” which is nominated for Best Short Form Animated Program at the Emmys this year. The creator, director and writer first started working on the Disney+ series in the months leading up to the release of “Toy Story 4,” following very positive internal test screenings for Forky. “I sat down and wrote five little spec scripts that I pitched to Pixar and Disney+ and part of that process was figuring out what questions would Forky ask and then who would he ask them to,” says Peterson in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “I drove it a lot by who I wanted from the Toy Story universe to interact with this goofy utensil.” Watch the video interview above.
The episode submitted to Emmy voters is “What Is Love,” which finds Forky trying to navigate love connections between Chairol Burnett, Melephant Brooks, Carl Reineroceros, and Bitey White, voiced by — you guessed it — Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Betty White. Peterson was admittedly anxious about working with show business legends but was able to squeeze in some recording time with them during the production of “Toy Story 4.” “The first thing I did was think about how I could use them in ‘Forky Asks a Question’ and because they are seniors, they would know something about life, so I thought what about love as their thing?” explains Peterson. “Once I got over my terrified nerves of being right next to these legends, it was just so much fun.”
There are many aspects to Forky that make him fun to write for, but Peterson particularly likes how unpredictable he can be. “I also like the fact that he has just been born and there’s a little bit of us feeling for that, feeling for the idea that he doesn’t know anything in the world,” explains the creator. “Everything’s new, so the smallest of words could set him off and go in a different direction.” The 10-episode series concluded in January and Peterson indicates we won’t see new episodes anytime soon. However, Peterson’s voice will be heard on the new Disney+ series “Monsters at Work,” a spinoff of “Monsters, Inc.” where he will reprise his role as the raspy-voiced Roz. Peterson won’t say much about the series, though he teases, “The main character is going on an interesting journey from just becoming part of Monsters, Inc. and then taking left and right turns once he’s there, adding, “I’m enjoying what I’m seeing.”