A lot of characters have come and gone since the Toy Story franchise got started and there have been some very interesting individuals added into the mix since that time. But Duke Caboom seems to be one that has touched a lot of people in a big way. It likely has to do with the fact that he’s voiced by none other than Keanu Reeves, an actor that’s been blazing a trail through Hollywood for a while now and is considered to be one of the greatest in the business at this time. The John Wick actor took on the role of Duke Caboom without much prompting as it seems as though the character might have reminded of himself a bit, though the time and effort he put into Caboom is something that goes above and beyond since as you might guess a lot of characters in Toy Story were meant to be secondary and not all that present compared to the main stars.
Here are a few things about Duke Caboom you might not have known.
10. His role in Toy Story 4 was originally supposed to be much smaller.
This role wasn’t meant to be as big as it became, but upon signing Keanu Reeves to the movie it would appear that those in charge were falling all over themselves to make this role perfect, which of course meant lengthening and reshaping it a bit.
9. There’s more of Keanu Reeves in the character than people think.
L.D. Nolan of CBR writes that the character was meant to be a stuntman of course and be someone that was completely fictional, but being that Keanu is a motorcycle aficionado and helped to co-found a customized motorcycle business it does seem as though he might have had a little more influence in Duke’s creation than people realize.
8. Keanu might have actually inspired some of the poses for the character.
It sounds as though when he was making the various noises and voicing the character that he was also going through the poses, which could explain where the director managed to get all the various poses for Duke to start with.
7. Duke could be a bit of a crybaby at times.
The unfortunate part about Duke is that he has a massive inferiority complex since he knows that he can’t do the things that his commercials made it seem that he could, and this disappointed his kid, who didn’t play with him any longer because of it.
6. Like many toys, Duke can’t perform the stunts that were a part of his advertising.
A lot of the toys come to the realization that they aren’t real and can’t perform the functions that their ads talk about, but while a lot of them move on a few of them tend to fall into a huge pit of depression and lose their confidence. Duke tends to mask this with his personality but it does come out a couple of times during the movie that he’s not as confident as he seems to be.
5. This is a gimme, but he was inspired by real-life stuntman Evel Knievel.
Obviously the costume is more Canadian-inspired than Evel’s American garb, but if you didn’t know already his character was inspired a great deal by the famed stuntman, though a lot of who he became was inspired by Keanu.
4. Duke made his first appearance in The Incredibles 2.
This is one of the hidden Easter eggs in the Incredibles 2 when it’s seen that Duke Caboom is actually laying in the crib at one point, inert and seemingly just another toy. One has to wonder then if there’s any connection to Toy Story at this point, or if it’s just a fun Easter egg to introduce a toy that would eventually be making another appearance. It would appear to be the latter since it’s already been established that the number of films under this company are not as connected as people like to think.
3. His action character is for sale with Forky on Amazon.
The pair are being sold on Amazon at this time as a set, but it’s also possible to purchase them individually it would seem. The price isn’t too bad and the idea that Duke has become this popular is kind of amusing.
2. This is apparently Keanu’s second Disney role.
It would appear that back in 1986 he had another role in a Disney movie and hasn’t come back until now. But given that it was a hit Keanu has actually stated that he would be up for another go at a project like this.
1. The character was originally intended as a gag.
For a character that was supposed to be a temporary joke Duke definitely seemed to defy expectations since he’s become one of the more notable characters in the movie.
In a story about toys you’ve got to expect the wildest of the bunch every now and then.
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