Slinky Dog (better known as Slinky or by his nickname Slink) is one of the supporting characters in the Disney•Pixar Toy Story series. He is a wooden toy dachshund who speaks with a graveled Southern accent. He is extremely loyal to Woody and is often the first to side with him.
The earliest draft of Toy Story featured a slinky caterpillar who had never seen a child before. He is rescued from a toy collector and joins the main protagonists on their adventure before ending up at a kindergarten in the end. During rewrites, the character was changed to a dog, most likely to be more appealing.
Slinky was originally depicted as a long-suffering, abused right hand of Woody, and was also one of the most unpopular toys among Andy's collection. According to Woody, the only reason Slinky wasn't hauled off to Goodwill, much less is actually played with by Andy, was because of Woody. Eventually, after Woody not only attempted murder against Buzz Lightyear, as well as being severely insulted by Woody when he hesitantly spoke up against what Woody did, he turned against his former master by telling the other toys to throw him out the window just as he had done to Buzz. This concept, as well as Slinky's overall demeanor, was changed after the infamous Black Friday viewing of the film that resulted in it receiving an extensive redo.
Slinky acts very much so like an actual dog. He is nice, playful, likes to be pet, growls or barks at something he doesn't like, hides when afraid, and is very loyal to Woody. Woody is shown to reciprocate his feelings and is often seen petting him, comforting him, and playing checkers with him. This sometimes leads to him looking like a kiss-up towards Woody (something the toys make fun of, especially in the original film). Due to his older-looking appearance, he is seen to be very relaxed and calm but admits in the third film, "I might be old, but I still got a spring in my stiff!".
In the first film, Slinky is first seen coming out from under Andy's bed. He likes playing checkers with Woody. He is also one of the toys who believes it was an accident when Woody knocks Buzz out the window. He is not happy about Woody's disappearance. He catches the lights when Woody calls them from the window of Sid's room until a grumpy Mr. Potato Head snatches them as he tells the other toys as to if they have forgotten of what he did to Buzz. When he and the other toys see Buzz's severed arm, Slinky looks devastated at what his friend seems to have done, and is convinced to now side with Mr. Potato Head after all. Woody desperately pleads with him to help, but all he can do is very sadly close the curtains of Andy's window, despite that Andy already misses Woody.
He is also guilty when he sees Woody was telling the truth after Mr. Potato Head ordered for him to be tossed overboard. He and the other toys make amends and assist Buzz, Woody, and RC to make it to the moving van. He uses his stretching ability in an attempt to pull them into the van, but when RC's batteries rapidly drain, he becomes stretched to the breaking point. He loses his grip on Woody and gets sprung back into the moving van without them. He appears to be badly damaged, and the toys try and comfort him while he laments he should have held on longer. He looks ecstatic when Woody uses the rocket strapped to Buzz to return to them. His slink has been fixed at the end of the film when the toys have been settled in Andy's new room.
In the second film, when Woody is looking for his hat to go to Cowboy Camp with Andy, it is Slinky finds the hat. The bad news is that he got it from Buster, Andy's dog. After Al McWhiggin steals Woody, Slinky goes on the mission led by Buzz to rescue their valuable friend. The rescue squad uses Slinky's coil as a bungee cord to jump from Andy's house. Slinky also has to use two traffic cones (one on his head, another on his tail) when crossing the street due to his unique size and structure. At Al's Toy Barn, while searching in Al's office with a newer Buzz Lightyear action figure that the toys mistake for Andy's, Slinky encounters two Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots on Al's desk and asks them if they have seen "a cowboy doll with a bad arm" (referring to Woody), only to indirectly cause the two robots to fight. As Al enters the office, the New Buzz orders the toys to stow away in Al's bag, then they arrive at an apartment that houses Al's Penthouse.
After entering the apartment through an air vent, they climb up an elevator shaft and arrive at the topmost floor with help from a rising elevator. When the toys break into the penthouse, Slinky and Bullseye have a growling match that Jessie tries to stop, but Slinky uses his coil to tie up Jessie and Bullseye. He then orders his allies to grab Woody and escape, but they are stopped by Andy's Buzz, who proves that he is the one that the toys recognize, to Slinky's relief. Slinky feels disappointed when Woody intends to stay with his Roundup gang to be put in a museum, and takes a possibly one last look at Woody before he leaves with the others, but brightens up when Woody declares that he is coming with them. After Al packs up Woody and the Roundup collection into his case and leaves the penthouse, the toys jump onto the elevator, and Buzz opens the emergency hatch on the elevator and uses Slinky to fish Woody out. Just as Slinky opens the case and grabs Woody's hands, the elevator reaches the lobby and Al steps out, causing Slinky to become stretched out, but Stinky Pete grabs Woody and pulls him back into the case, making Slinky accidentally release Woody and rebound. After the toys leave the apartment, they hijack a Pizza Planet delivery truck, and Slinky controls the pedals of the truck to chase Al to Tri-County International Airport. At the airport, Slinky follows Buzz, but his hind legs become stuck to one of the luggage handles and is unable to follow Buzz as he becomes overstretched again. However, he is able to rejoin with the other toys as they stun Stinky Pete with flash cameras and finally capture him.
After the toys return home, Slinky is seen standing with Buster at the door, interpreting that Buster wants to get out of the room. Finally, Slinky is among an audience of toys who gather around to watch a fixed Wheezy sing "You've Got a Friend in Me."
In the third film, Slinky's voice gets a little deeper, and his eyebrows are slightly trimmer. He is first seen in the home videos Andy's mom recorded of Andy playing with his toys. He is then shown to be one of the few toys still owned by Andy. He goes to Sunnyside Daycare with the others when they think that Andy no longer wants them and are put out on the sidewalk by Andy's mother (who is much older than she was in the previous films) as trash. Slinky is still very loyal to his friends but is heartbroken when he believes he and the other toys are thrown out by Andy. At Sunnyside, Slinky, Hamm, and Barbie shake hands with Stretch. Later, Slinky is seen being tangled up constantly by the young children, and is easily dispatched by Lotso and his gang, and imprisoned. Slinky is seen to be the happiest toy to see Woody return and assists him in getting rid of the Monkey toy who monitors the security cameras. While the Monkey is overpowering Woody, Slinky grabs a piece of scotch tape, and the two succeed in taping up the Monkey. After reaching the dumpster, Slinky, being old but still has a spring in his step, manages to stretch himself across the open dumpster to the closed one so the toys can climb across to safety. Just as the toys are about to execute their leap to freedom, Lotso and his henchmen stop them, and Lotso kicks Slinky's paws, causing him to return to the chute.
After the toys end up at the Tri-County Landfill, and are pushed onto a garbage conveyor belt, Slinky is the first to be sucked up by a magnetic ceiling due to the metal slinky in his body. After the toys clear the shredders, they are left to die in an incinerator due to Lotso's betrayal, forcing Slinky to hold hands with Woody and Hamm when Buzz and the other toys held hands with one another, but are saved by the Aliens commandeering a giant claw at the last moment. Once outside the furnace, Slinky is the most vocal about wanting to get back at Lotso for leaving them to die, along with Hamm. But Woody tells Hamm and Slinky to forget it because Lotso isn't worth it.
When the toys return home, they use Slinky as a bungee cord to jump back up to the roof (the similar way Buzz's rescue party have done in the previous film when leaving). He tells Woody to have fun at college with Andy as he says his supposedly last farewell to his loyal friend. In the end, he and the other toys are eventually donated to Bonnie Anderson, a little girl who has taken Woody home earlier in the film.
During the end credits, when Dolly shows the toys the drawing Bonnie has made for each toy, Slinky says his catchphrase "Golly bob-howdy!" as he sees the one made of him (however, he doesn't say the catchphrase during the main events of the movie).
Finally, Slinky is last seen watching Buzz and Jessie perform a pasodoble to "Hay Un Amigo En Mi," the Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me."
Slinky returned once more in the latest installment, though like many of the other toys, he has a much smaller role compared to the previous installments. He first appears nine years prior to the third and fourth film in a flashback. During a rainstorm, Andy runs into his room and drops off his toys as he heads downstairs for dinner. Suddenly, Woody and the others rise up in a panic since Andy accidentally left RC in the rain. After Woody and Jessie fail to find him outside through the window on Andy's desk, Slinky proclaims that RC is done for. Woody jumps to the floor and tells Buzz, Jessie, and Slinky to follow him to Molly's room while the rest stay put. After crossing the hallway and narrowly avoiding Molly, Woody ushers the trio to cross the hallway as he climbs up Molly's dresser to find his girlfriend, Bo, and her sheep. After explaining the situation, her sheep raise the blinds and the group finds RC struggling to keep afloat in a gutter. Buzz asks how should they reach him, to which Woody and Bo immediately think of "Operation Pull Toy". Woody asks for Slinky who immediately agrees to assist. After the Barbies help launch Jessie up to the lock of the window to unlock it, the toys open it and Jessie shines a flashlight onto RC. Woody then grabs onto Slinky and jumps into the rain. The two begin struggling to reach him, as Slinky runs out of coils and cannot stretch any further. He even bites down on Woody's pull-string so he can stretch out further, but the cowboy can still not reach the racecar. Bo witnesses this, and before Slinky or Woody can snap, they suddenly grab RC, as Bo uses the Barrel of Monkeys (with the assistance of her hook) as extra rope, much to the relief of Woody. He pulls the racecar out of the gutter, but a car suddenly pulls into the driveway and the headlights gleam towards the trio as they are pulled back. Slinky and Woody bump into the side of the house as they are lifted up back into Molly's window. A mysterious man runs into the house as Bo, Buzz, and Jessie bring in RC. Bo looks out the window and smiles at Woody, but the moment is suddenly interrupted when someone enters Molly's room. Woody climbs up Slinky's coils to see what's going on but both he and the top part of Slinky are shut out by Mrs. Davis as she closes the door. Woody is left to watch Bo, her sheep, and the lamp they're attached to put into a box to be sold to the mysterious man, as Molly doesn't want it anymore. As they leave, Jessie and Buzz leap up, open the window, and pull in Slinky, only to find Woody gone. It can be assumed Slinky was saddened by Bo's departure. He is then seen throughout the You've Got a Friend in Me sequence, being played with by Bonnie.
Nine years later and two years after the third film, Slinky now lives with the rest of Andy's toys with Bonnie being their new owner. He is seen along with the rest of the group sitting in the closet as they wait for Bonnie to finish her breakfast. The toys are cramped and annoyed with each other, with Slinky politely telling someone to move over. Woody tries to comfort his friends, including telling Slinky to "sit" and be a "good boy ". Dolly asks Woody if she needs to be worried about the older toys, but Woody reassures that they're veterans and will hang in there. She then orders the cowboy to keep them calm until she gets the word. Slinky is seen being talked to and pet by Mrs. Potato Head as Woody nervously paces back and forth. Bonnie soon arrives and decides to play "town", casting Slinky as the "ice cream man". Slinky, along with a majority of the other toys, is played with more prominently than Woody, who Bonnie neglects. Woody watches in sadness through the closet shudders along with Bonnie's baby toys as Bonnie plays with the other toys. Soon, Bonnie's father arrives and tells Bonnie to get ready for kindergarten orientation, much to her disdain. As he comforts her that they're going to see her teacher and classmates, Bonnie asks if she can bring a toy (namely Jessie) along with her, but Mr. Anderson says toys aren't allowed in school. As the two leave the room, the toys begin to rise up when Dolly tells everyone to freeze since Bonnie always forgets something and could be back any minute. Slinky takes this to a literal degree and uncomfortably freezes in the middle of walking. Much to Dolly's disagreement, Woody decides to sneak into Bonnie's backpack to keep an eye on her after seeing her hide under her bed and cry. At kindergarten orientation, Woody secretly helps Bonnie create Forky, a spork who sporadically comes to life.
Bonnie returns home later that afternoon and drops off her backpack in her room. As Woody crawls out of the backpack, he's scolded by the other toys for disobeying the rules. But Woody alleviates the situation by saying not only did Bonnie have a good day in class and they're going on a road trip, but Bonnie made "a friend" in class. Like the others, Slinky assumes Bonnie made a regular friend in class and shortly chats with the others about how of course Bonnie's already making friends. But Woody soon corrects them and says she literally made a new friend and slowly opens the backpack to reveal the timid Forky, shocking the gang. As he introduces the spork to the toys, Slinky says his signature phrase, "Golly-bob-howdy!". Woody introduces the gang as Forky's friends and the gang all say hello to him, but this only causes Forky to scream, tip over. and try and run for the trash. After Woody discusses how important Forky is to Bonnie and they all have to make sure nothing happens to him, Jessie points behind him to show the spork throwing himself into Bonnie's trash bin. The gang circle around the bin as Woody struggles to fish him out, but Woody reassures them he'll keep an eye on him during the road trip. Suddenly, Bonnie rushes into the room, which causes the gang to collapse as she grabs her backpack and throws herself onto her bed. She begins to look for Forky, but Woody quickly throws him onto the bed and Bonnie happily pets him. She doesn't notice, however, as she's taking out supplies from her backpack, Forky keeps jumping into the trash, only for Woody to throw him back onto the bed.
The next night, after a day on the road trip, the toys begin to sleep on the RV floor as Bonnie passes out with a still resistant Forky in her hand. Woody gets distracted by Buzz (who believes his inner-voice is his voicebox), and the two don't notice Forky slipping out of Bonnie's hand. As they look around the sleeping toys, they eventually find Forky climbing onto a bed and loudly proclaiming that he is not a toy. As the others wake up, they watch as the spork throws himself out the window. In a panic, Woody tells the others he'll meet them at the RV park in the morning with Forky and jumps out the window.
The next morning, Slinky asks Rex if he sees any signs of Woody, but Rex tells him he doesn't see him. Mrs. Potato Head shushes both of them as the gang watches a sleeping Bonnie snuggling with a spoon the toys snuck in her hand as a substitute for Forky. As Bonnie soon begins to wake up, the toys collapse as they see Bonnie begin to hyperventilate that she can't find Forky. She is carried out by her parents (who heard the commotion) and carry her outside so they can look for him. Buzz tells the gang that Woody was right and they all should've been safeguarding the utensil, but the toys soon begin to pester Buzz on what should they do since Woody still isn't back yet. Buzz, listening to his voicebox (which says "It's a secret mission in uncharted space, let's go!"), says he has to go, to which Slinky asks where is he going and why along with the other confused toys. Buzz (once again listening to his voicebox saying, "No time to explain! Attack!") says there's no time to explain and quickly rushes out the window, leaving the confused toys to take care of Bonnie.
By that afternoon, Bonnie is still distraught over losing Forky, and her parents sympathetically tell her they'll look outside on more time, but they have to leave. As they walk out, Jessie and Dolly (overhearing all of it) alert the other toys the family is about to leave, causing them all to panic. As they struggle to think up of a plan, Jessie jumps out the window. As they later look outside to see what all the commotion is, they find Jessie back with a coy smile on her face. Dolly asks her what did she do, but Jessie pulls up a nail she has and tells them, "We're not going anywhere if you get my point!", much to the relief of the other toys.
However, Mr. Anderson finally fixes the tire by the time night falls, and Woody, Buzz, and Forky are Still not back. As they look through the window, they are startled by Buzz climbing through the window. He tells them that Woody and Forky must be extracted from the Antique Store. But they all soon collapse as the Anderons climb into the RV. Buzz quietly reassures that Bonnie will soon notice that she left her backpack at the Antique Store and they'll head back in there. But Bonnie doesn't notice and the RV begins to drive off. This causes Buzz to use his voicebox and his "inner voice" once again to think of a plan. Mrs. Anderson believes Buzz to be broke and throws him in a drawer when Buzz quickly yells out to Bonnie (in a way to sound like one of his phrases): "Your backpack is at the Antique Store. Let's go!" The plan works, and the RV turns around to return to the Antique Store.
After Bonnie returns with her backpack (and Forky inside it), Woody tells the spork to have the toys meet him at the carousel at the carnival so he can help Gabby Gabby. On the RV, Forky (upside down in a sleeping Bonnie's hand) explains it to the gang who hides under the table. As they struggle to think of a plan, Jessie overhears the GPS and suddenly has an idea. Buzz is put on top of the RV and tells where to go through Mrs. Potato Head's ear. Mrs. Potato Head repeats the directions to Trixie, who impersonates the GPS and tells Mr. Anderson where to go. Rex, Hamm, and Slinky sit on top of the table and Slinky points out the carousel in the distance. When the plan begins to fail, Jessie shoves Buttercup under Mr. Anderson's seat and begins pulling the gas pedal so they can go faster. As Mrs. Potato Head and Trixie pull and mess with the cables (which causes the lights and machines on the RV to malfunction), the RV begins to be followed by numerous police cars.
After arriving at the carousel, the Andersons step out of the car to deal with the police. As the toys look out the window to see the commotion, Buzz pops open the opening to the ceiling and tells everyone to get to the awning of the RV while he assigns Forky to lock the Andersons out of the RV. As the gang opens up the awning and is led by Buzz, the older toys are shocked to see their old friend, Bo Peep. Woody, who wants to be a lost toy with Bo, gives Jessie his sheriff badge, which causes her to tearfully embrace him and causes the older toys to give him a final group hug. As Woody pets Slinky, he notices Buzz and the two have one final embrace. Forky soon arrives and he also shares a hug with the cowboy. As the gang watches, Buzz suddenly asks if Forky's here, who's watching the doors. The RV begins to start and drive off, causing the toys to go in separate directions. Bonnie's toys jump onto the bed in the RV, but Bonnie doesn't notice and just smiles at them from her booster seat. The gang then watch as Woody and Bo look at them from the top of the carousel.
One year later, Bonnie quickly drops off her backpack from first-grade orientation. Jessie emerges from the bag and is barraged with questions by the toys. Jessie tells them that Bonnie had a great day in first grade, and even made yet another literal friend in class. She introduces Karen Beverly, a plastic knife. The toys back up as Forky becomes lovestruck and introduces himself.
In Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog is the main feature of the Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin ride, a Himalaya style spinner ride in which guests are seated in Slinky's coils. The Walt Disney World version of Toy Story Land features him in Slinky Dog Dash, a rollercoaster using him as the ride vehicle.
- He had larger eyebrows in the first two films. However, his eyebrows are quite trim in the third and fourth film.
- Slinky is made of wood with articulating legs and head, unlike the real life toy which is made of plastic and stands completely still.
- At one point in Toy Story 2, Slinky says, "I may not be a smart dog, but I know what roadkill is." This is a reference to the quote, "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is," from the 1994 film Forrest Gump, which starred Tom Hanks, the voice of Woody, as the main character.
- Slinky Dog is based on Slinky, a pull toy by James Industries, which was popular in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. With the permission of James Industries, Slinky Dog was partially redesigned for the film by Pixar artist Bud Luckey to make him more appealing as an animated character.
- In the first two films, Slinky was voiced by the late Jim Varney, who died shortly after Toy Story 2 was released worldwide due to lung cancer in 2000. In the third film, Blake Clark lent his voice to Slinky. Prior to Varney's death, he had been good friends with Clark. This makes Slinky the only character so far who has been recast in the franchise.
- Slinky Dog doesn't physically appear in Kingdom Hearts III, but he was mentioned by Rex as one of Andy's toys to be taken by the Heartless and Organization XIII.
- His catchphrase "Golly bob-howdy!" is a tribute to Jim Varney's most popular character, Ernest P. Worrell.
- Originally, Slinky Dog was intended to be one of Andy's more unpopular toys and the least played with, with Woody effectively being the only reason Slinky was not hauled off to goodwill, with Woody pointing this out when demanding that Slinky force the other toys off the bed after throwing Buzz out of the window. This backstory, however, was cut out after the scene in question nearly resulted in Toy Story being shut down on Black Friday.
- In the blooper reel for Toy Story 2, it's "revealed" he's played by two "different actors" one for each end. His bottom end speaks in noises that sound like Luxo Jr.
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