Pixar-Forgotten/Minor Characters #3: Mr. Konishi

konishi

Sigh…I really regret doing this Forgotten/Minor Characters project with Pixar films, not because it’s a task I find boring. On the contrary, it’s wonderful to re-watch these Pixar films as I’m personally a Disney fan, hence the Disney movies are the ones that I’ve seen over and over multiple times whereas most Pixar films I’ve only seen once or twice.

No, the reason I regret doing this project with the Pixar films is that it’s so hard finding forgotten/minor characters in these films. Pixar has mastered a way of creating a plethora of characters in their films while still making each character distinct, unique, and above all, memorable. This is an admirable quality except when you’re doing a project like this. But, that’s the way the cookie crumbles and the show must go on and (insert any other figure of speech/idiom/phrase that you deem fit).

Anyway, the year is 1999 and the Pixar film is Pixar’s first sequel, Toy Story 2. Produced and released due to the success of the original, this film continues the story of our beloved toys with a bit of an opposite plot than the first one. This time, Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks again, is the one whom Buzz and the others have to rescue. Woody has been stolen by a toy store owner/toy collector, Al, voiced by Wayne Knight, who recognizes that Woody is an antique toy worth a bajillion dollars enough money to keep him satisfied for life.

"I'll never have to own a toy store again. I could now afford to NOT own a toy store. MUAHAHAA!!!!"
“I’ll never have to own a toy store again. I could now afford to NOT own a toy store. MUAHAHAA!!!!”

Woody’s not the only toy that Al is planning to sell. Besides being just an antique, Woody is also part of a collection of cowboy-related toys that includes a yodeling cowgirl toy named Jessie, voiced by Joan Cusack, a mute horse named Bullseye,

But if they were owned by Sid Phillips, I'm sure Jessie would've been mute and Bullseye would be yelling, "Yeehaw!" in a girly voice.
But if they were owned by Sid Phillips, I’m sure Jessie would’ve been mute and Bullseye would be yelling, “Yeehaw!” in a girly voice.

and a prospector named Stinky Pete, voiced by Kelsey Grammer.

Stinky Pete stays in his box...which is proably suicide as his name implies his stinky nature.
Stinky Pete stays in his box…which is probably a horrible place to live in as his name implies his stinky nature.

Together, they are worth a fortune and it’s up to Buzz, Hamm, Slinky Dog, Rex, and Mr. Potato Head (voiced again by Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger,  Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, and Don Rickles, respectively) to save Woody before Al carries through with the transaction.

Now, where does our forgotten/minor character come in? Well, Mr. Konishi is the Japanese owner of an international toy museum and is the one to whom Al’s planning to sell Woody, Jessie, and Stinky Pete. He’s not seen or heard, which is always a good trait for a character to be forgotten/minor.

Al talks with Mr. Konishi via phone often and it’s apparent from what we hear of the conversation that Mr. Konishi is EXTREMELY interested in purchasing these antique toys and willing to pay Al any amount he desires.

A flip-phone and a fax machine...this movie is quite dated!
A flip-phone and a fax machine…this movie is quite dated!

SPOILER ALERT:

At the end of the film, Woody, Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete get out of Al’s luggage before the flight takes off. So, when Al goes to Japan and realizes that his toys are missing, I think we all know how he’d react. But, what interests me more is how did Mr. Konishi react?

"We do not talk of how Mr. Konishi reacted."
“We do not talk of how Mr. Konishi reacted.”

I mean, when Al arrives at Mr. Konishi’s office (presumably) and opens his luggage to reveal its emptiness, does Mr. Konishi get mad that his time is wasted? Or does he feel sorry for Al since Al is really the one who’s time has been wasted? I mean, Al had to book a flight to Japan and travel for hours just to find that the deal of his life has been sabotaged.

"Poor, little, conniving, toy thief and seller, the sympathy is yours!"
“Poor, little, conniving, toy thief and seller, the sympathy is yours!”

Or maybe, Al finds out that his suitcase is empty when he’s at the Japanese airport and doesn’t bother going to meet Mr. Konishi. If that’s the case, how does Mr. Konishi react? Is he still waiting patiently for Al to show up at his door? Is he repetitively calling Al on his cellphone so much so that he’s a nuisance? Does he just not care and hope to find someone else in the world who has other Woody toys?

"Eh, you win some, you lose some. Now to collect the rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection that features the turtles as sanitation workers."
“Eh, you win some, you lose some. Now to collect the rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection that features the turtles as sanitation workers.”

The point of the matter is, we don’t know what happened in Japan. But, we sure would like to!

"What happens in the Japan stays in the Japan!"
“What happens in the Japan stays in the Japan!”

Wrapping up, here’s to our forgotten/minor Japanese friend enemy stranger, Mr. Konishi!

Konishi says, Konichiwa! (Come on, you all were making that joke already!)
Konishi says, Konichiwa! (Come on, you all were making that joke already!)
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13 thoughts on “Pixar-Forgotten/Minor Characters #3: Mr. Konishi”

  1. I always got the feeling in the movie that Mr. Konishi would have yelled at Al if he showed up without the toys. I dunno if it was just the snippets of the phone calls we got or my imagination, but I always pictured a belligerent Japanese businessman

  2. Great post. I honestly think that this film is better than the firs tone (which is cliched, and the typical story), as this one stepped out of the box more. You would think that with Toy Story, it would be easy to choose a forgotten film because of all the toys. I don’t think they should have made their third film a sequel to its first one, but hey, it worked for them. Pixar never felt the same to me after Cars was released.

    1. I think on the one hand, it is worse, because there is so much filler in it (the whole “you are my father” thing is funny but leads to nowhere). The built up in it is kind of a mess. On the other hand the actual main story IS better than the one in Toy story, way better. Jesse is a wonderful character, and the whole “is it better to be a toy or to be safe forever as part of a exhibit” question is way more interesting than Woody’s angst feast in the first movie.

  3. Sorry to hear that this is a difficult task, but seriously, Mark, I think this is an awesome idea! I love the idea of forgotten characters, especially in such a well-known Pixar film. I never wondered about that character until now. Now I’m wondering about him! Haha. Mission accomplished.

  4. I love it! I think it is a brilliant movie. I always thought it was better than the first but on this watch I don’t know. It is funnier but the first is a more relatable story. We’ve all been in the spot of feeling replaced and jealous. This one is more of an adventure for the characters and it is brilliant. Oh well, who cares which one is better. They are both great.

    When you say forgotten you mean it! I might have gone with a toy like Weezy because he is only in it is so briefly but actually is very important to the whole plot. But the toy museum is also important to the story too so it works.

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