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The best Toy Story characters from Woody to Lotso

These are the best Toy Story characters, from across the Pixar movies, various spin-offs, and beyond in the joyful animated franchise.

Best Toy Story characters

What are the best Toy Story characters? The beloved franchise has been running for nearly 30 years now, and in that time, we’ve had four fantastic instalments plus a range of short specials and spin-offs. These range from Woody and Buzz’s misadventures, to stories about their in-universe inspirations.

The Toy Story movies are funny, exciting, and surprisingly emotional to for animated movies about a bunch of talking toys. The Toy Story franchise has not only given us some of the best Pixar movies ever made, but some of them (namely the first and third instalment) have a genuine shout to be included in the conversation with the best movies of all time, period.

A large part of the mass appeal of these kids movies is down to the amazing array of Toy Story characters that we’ve come to know and love through the years, and here’s the best of them all.

What are the best Toy Story characters?

  • Woody
  • Rex
  • Mr Potato Head
  • Slinky
  • Lotso
  • Forky
  • Al McWhiggin
  • Sid Phillips
  • Hamm
  • The Aliens

The best Toy Story characters: Tom Hanks as Woody in Toy Story


Let’s face it, Woody is the indisputable king of Toy Story. He’s the rootin’ tootin’ cowboy who acts as the loyal and brave leader of the whole toy tribe, and he’s such a charming character, there’s no wonder the other toys adore him.

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Despite his rogue ways in the first movie, where he plots to do away with his new rival, we forgive Woody because he learns from his mistakes, and always comes out the hero. Without Woody, there would be no Toy Story, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

The best Toy Story characters: Wallace Shawn as Rex in Toy Story


Potentially the funniest character of them all is Rex, the cowardly dinosaur who loves video games and watching movies. We love how Rex is basically the antithesis of what we have come to expect from a T-Rex.

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Far from being scary, his insecurities are so endearing, and he’s also a lot cooler than he realises. Rex just wants to be with his buddies, and will always push through his fears to help out his friends when they need him the most.

The best Toy Story characters: Don Rickles as Mr Potato Head in Toy Story

Mr Potato Head

More like mister miserable, am I right? Mr Potato Head is so sardonic and cynical, but wouldn’t you be, if you had a spud for a head and had people shoving your spare parts in your butt?

Seeing him become a father figure to the little green aliens is also a lovely character development for the grouchy garden vegetable with legs, and proves he does have a heart somewhere in there.

The best Toy Story characters: Jim Varney as Slinky in Toy Story


Man’s best friend becomes Sheriff’s best friend, and Slinky is loyal to the end. He never gives up on his friends and is always there to help when anyone is in need, often acting very literally as the lifeline they need thanks to his stretchy metal body.

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He’s a simple dog, who just wants a peaceful life with his pals, but he’s always the first to dive into the adventure when called upon. We can’t think of anyone we’d rather have by our side!

The best Toy Story characters: Ned Beatty as Lotso in Toy Story 3


Don’t be fooled by this big, pink, fluffy fella! Lotso may look cuddly, but he’s a real mean bear once you get to know him. He’s the tyrannical mastermind behind the Sunnyside day-care centre who terrorises our favourite toys in Toy Story 3.

Even when the toys offer him a chance at redemption and call on him for help, he throws it back in their face and proves he is beyond saving. Luckily he meets a fate fit for a truly evil teddy and will spend the rest of his days tied to the front of a garbage truck!

The best Toy Story characters: Tony Hale as Forky in Toy Story 4


Poor old Forky may think he’s trash, but we certainly don’t agree. The little, plastic cutlery companion goes through quite the journey of existential discovery, and it’s a joy to watch as he learns the value of friendship, happiness, and finds his own purpose in life.

Although we kinda feel like Toy Story 4 didn’t really need to be made after the perfect ending to its predecessor, we are happy that we got to meet Forky nonetheless. He’s stupid, sure, but he’s so precious, too and should be protected at all costs.

The best Toy Story characters: Wayne Knight as Al McWhiggin in Toy Story 2

Al McWhiggin

The dastardly owner of Al’s Toy Barn proves to be quite the nemesis in Toy Story 2, where he kidnaps Woody and tries to sell him to a collector in Japan. The rest of the franchise could have been very different if he got his way!

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Despite his nefarious ways, we have to admit Al does provide us with some iconic moments; from his rather impressive chicken costume, to his comically short commute to work, and of course, he sanctions the most satisfying animated scene of all time when Woody gets a makeover.

The best Toy Story characters: Erik von Detten as Sid Phillips in Toy Story

Sid Phillips

The villains in the Toy Story franchise are generally pretty great, and Sid started it all off with his menacing ways back in the original ‘90s movie. Those creepy experimental toys under his bed will haunt us for life!

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Sid is the epitome of a despicable school bully, and would probably would have ended up being a serial killer if it wasn’t for the toys spooking him into hopefully changing his ways!

The best Toy Story characters: John Ratzenberger as Hamm in Toy Story


When he’s not being Evil Doctor Pork-Chops, Hamm is pretty similar to Mr Potato Head in that he’s one of the more cynical, realist members of the group of toys. Hamm always sees the negative in a situation, so it’s all the more funny when he gets dragged into the action anyway.

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He delivers many a joke that’s more suitable for adult audiences, which makes these movies a great experience for parents and children alike. Plus, his voice is great, thanks to the talents of legendary voice actor John Ratzenberger.

The best Toy Story characters: Jeff Pidgeon as The Aliens in Toy Story

The Aliens

The avid worshippers of “The Claw” and adopted Potato Head children are so simple and affectionate that you can’t help but love them. Seeing them evolve over time from amusement arcade fodder, to genuine heroes, is such a sweet journey to follow.

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They may not have much in the way of brains, but never forget these little green guys walked so that the Minions could run. You’re welcome, Gru!

The best Toy Story characters: Joan Cusack as Jessie in Toy Story 2


Jessie is the perfect counterpart to Woody’s stern and sometimes overly serious cowboy persona. Wild and free, Jessie loves nothing more than running around with her trusty steed Bullseye. She’s not afraid to put the other toys in their place and easily fits into the family.

But perhaps the most endearing thing about this feisty cowgirl is her backstory. After being left behind by her now-grown kid, Jessie has deep-rooted trust issues that she’s forced to get through in order to move on with her new life. Oh, and the montage of her remembering her beloved owner had us all in tears both then and now. Powerful stuff.

There we go, those are the best Toy Story characters! If you want to dive into some more beloved franchises, check out our lists of the best Star Wars characters and the best anime characters, or if you want some fresh thrills, check out our guide to all the new movies coming out.