Forky Asks A Question is one of the debut original series for Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service. The show follows Forky (Tony Hale), the stand out character from Toy Story 4, as he attempts to understand the world around him. In Toy Story 4, Forky was constructed of trash by Bonnie and because of it experiences quite a few existential crises in regards to his new status as a toy. When it was announced that Forky was getting his own spin-off series I was extremely excited, especially considering how much I related to the character when watching the film.
However, while the first episode of Forky Asks A Question, “What is Money?” is not bad, it is only about three minutes long and Disney+ has made the bizarre decision to release the episodes of its original shows in a weekly format. This includes Forky Asks A Question, a show that as I previously stated, features episodes that are three minutes long with an intro of 15 seconds and credits that take up around 57 seconds. So, the meat of the show is around two minutes.
The show starts with Forky, of course, asking a question and stating he was made from trash only two days ago, so he has “a lot of questions.” While the timeline of Toy Story 4 doesn’t necessarily matter, it is a strange choice to make the show happen prior to its ending especially considering the growth Forky experienced within the movie. That being said, it is unclear how accurate that statement is. In the ridiculously short episode, Forky speaks to Ham (John Ratzenberger) about what is money. Ham’s answer is more or less the Webster Dictionary definition plus a few interesting tidbits about the minting process of the currency in the United States. The interaction between the two characters, while funny, does not have the Pixar magic that made me fall in love with Forky in Toy Story 4. This is mostly because the humor relies on slapstick comedy as opposed to clever dialogue.
The best of the series is Episode 9, where we get to see a less popular character opposite the quickly beloved Forky. In it, Forky’s dynamic with both the Peas in a Pod and Mr. Spell is delightful. The Peas, for the most part, find Forky funny and are not turned off by his quizzical nature. On the other hand, Mr. Spell is not a character I usually care about from the Toy Story franchise but his inclusion here makes me want to see more of him interacting with Forky and other characters. There is so much potential with the character. Usually seeing unknown or less popular Toy Story characters in these episodes leave a sour taste in my mouth but “What is Reading?” completely defies that expectation.
Overall, Forky Asks A Question is disappointing because it is so short. Educational programming does not need to be three minutes to succeed and considering the level of intricacies within Ham’s definition, I am not sure who this show is for. Forky is more or less there for slapstick comedy but his role detracts from the lesson Ham is teaching. I can’t imagine children picking up much information on money in this setting. At the end of the day, considering the episode only features two toys and one setting, Forky Asks A Question feels like any easy way to boost Disney+’s offerings without putting in a whole lot of effort.
Episode one of Forky Asks A Question, “What is Money?” is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes dropping weekly.
Forky Asks A Question
Overall, Forky Asks A Question is disappointing because it is so short. Educational programming does not need to be three minutes to succeed and considering the level of intricacies within Ham’s definition, I am not sure who this show is for.