|“|| Chunk: What do you expect from a girl's toy?|
Ken: I'M NOT A GIRL'S TOY! I'M NOT! Why do you guys keep saying that?!
|~ Ken getting taunted by Chunk and the rest of Lotso's gang, who call him a girl's toy due to him falling in love with Barbie|
He was voiced by Michael Keaton, who also played Chick Hicks in Cars, Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming, Betelgeuse in Beetlejuice, Carter Hayes in Pacific Heights, Raymond Sellars in the 2014 RoboCop, and V.A. Vandevere in the 2019 live action remake of Disney's Dumbo.
Ken first appears wearing light blue pleated and cuffed shorts, and a tucked-in leopard-print shirt with short sleeves. His accessories include matching ascot, sensible loafers and a fashion-forward gold belt. He lives in Ken's Dreamhouse, a big yellow doll house with three stories, a large wardrobe room, and an elevator.
Originally, Barbie breaks up with Ken when she finds him, Lotso, and a reset Buzz locking up her friends. Stimulated, Ken orders her locked up as well. However, as part of a plan to escape, she pretends to forgive Ken, gaining access to his dream house. Barbie then ties Ken hostage to try to get him to reveal how to reset Buzz back to normal. As a provocation, she rips his clothing apart. Ken reveals the truth after she begins to sabotage his Nehru jacket. By the end of the film, his love for Barbie makes him rebel against Lotso. Lotso tells Ken "there are 100,000,000 others just like her", but Ken insists that for him, there is no one else like her, redeeming himself in the process.
During the end credits, Barbie and Ken are seen greeting new toys at Sunnyside as Barbie becomes his girlfriend again and they both take charge of the Sunnyside toys as the new leaders. He resembles a real doll from 1988 called Animal Lovin' Ken. Due to being called a "girl's toy," it's often joked about his femininity: such as his large selection and obsession with clothes, him wearing Barbie's scarf, his rather feminine boxer-shorts, Bookworm not being suspicious seeing who he believed being Ken (who was really Barbie disguised in a spacesuit outfit) in high heels, as well as at the end Buzz believing Barbie wrote them the fancy note, only to discover Ken's signature at the end. Ken appears as the protagonist of the theatrical short, Hawaiian Vacation, used for the release of Cars 2.
Ken is one of the toys from Sunnyside Daycare. He appears to be Lotso's 2nd in command, but is considered a weakling and constantly teased by the other toys. At the same time, he is at first as ruthless as his friends as shown when he turns on Barbie after she broke up with him.
Ken loves fashion, dance and bright colors just as much as his girlfriend Barbie. He resents being called a "girl's toy," as a human male might have with their masculinity being put into question. He also rather dislikes attention being drawn to the fact that he's essentially an accessory to Barbie.
Despite his loyalty to Lotso, Ken ends up reforming off screen and is one of the people who convinces the others to turn against Lotso. This shows that despite his ruthless nature, Ken did not feel comfortable with his employer's message, or ended up reforming because of Barbie's influence. This is proven when he ends up running Sunnyside along with her at the end.
Toy Story 3
Ken is first introduced when his master, Lotso tells him that Andy's toys have arrived. Shortly afterwards, Ken catches sight of Molly Davis's old Barbie doll and falls in love with her. Little do Barbie and Andy's toys know that Ken is allied to Lotso as one of his henchmen. Ken then shows his Dream House to the toys and expresses his desire to share it with someone else, making Barbie more lovestruck.
Later that evening, when Buzz exits the Caterpillar Room to go ask Lotso to transfer them to the Butterfly Room where the older kids are located, he spots Ken spending some more time with Barbie, declaring love for each other, before he is taken away by Chunk and Twitch so they can go gambling in their vending machine hideout. Following them into the Vending Machine, Buzz spies on Ken and the other Sunnyside toys at the top of the machine, but is thrown onto the gambling table by Big Baby. Ken then orders his cohorts to capture him and take him to the library. Buzz demands Ken to let him see Lotso, but Ken refuses, telling Buzz that he has no right to see Lotso.
After Buzz is restrained to a Time-Out Chair by Lotso's henchmen, Ken whistles for Bookworm to give Lotso the Buzz Lightyear instruction manual so that Lotso and his henchmen can reset Buzz. With Buzz being reset to his demo mode and brainwashed to become one of Lotso's helpers, Ken and the rest of Lotso's gang have Buzz capture Andy's toys and lock them up in their cells in the Caterpillar Room. Barbie (who is supposed to wait at Ken's Dream House) goes to the Caterpillar Room to find Ken, but catches sight of him doing wicked deeds to Buzz and her friends, causing her to become angry with him and subsequently break up with him (she snatches her scarf away), and Ken has her locked up as well.
The next night, Ken and Buzz take roll call to make sure that all the toys are there. Seeing that Mr. Potato Head isn't in his cell and trying to run away without being seen, the two go off with Big Baby to bring him back, but Mr. Potato Head attempts to stand up to Ken and kicks him in the shin, prompting Ken to have Big Baby imprison Mr. Potato Head back in the sandbox. When Ken returns to the Caterpillar Room, Barbie calls out to him and begs him to let her be with him in his Dream House in the Butterfly Room. As Barbie begins sobbing, Ken gives in to Barbie's plea and makes her promise to do what he says. At Ken's Dream House, Barbie is awestruck at Ken's vast collection of clothes, but Ken bitterly says how no one appreciates clothes, only for Barbie to sweet-talk him into modeling a few outfits for her. This brightens up Ken, and he shows off his various outfits to Barbie, to which she applauds.
As Ken finally shows off his martial arts moves in his Kung Fu Fighting outfit, he sees that Barbie is gone. Suddenly, she tackles Ken from behind his clothes rack, taking him by surprise. Barbie demands Ken to tell her what Lotso has done to Buzz and how to get Buzz back to normal. Seeing that it's a ploy by Barbie, Ken defiantly refuses, but decides to let her try. Later, Ken is in nothing but his underwear and tied up to a paddle ball board by Barbie, who interrogates him by tearing his outfits in half one by one. At first, Ken tries to keep his cool as much as he can, but when she brings out his Nehru jacket, he begs her not to rip it. As Barbie starts to rip the jacket apart, Ken, not wanting to see it being sabotaged, mentions about the instruction manual. Falling over in the paddle to which he is tied to, Ken confesses to Barbie that Lotso has switched Buzz to demo mode as he starts bawling, ashamed. When Barbie demands Ken to tell her where the manual is, Ken directs her to Bookworm.
Much later, as Lotso and his henchmen corner Andy's toys at a dumpster outside the daycare grounds, Lotso orders Stretch to push Barbie and Andy's toys into the dumpster, but then Ken appears and begs Lotso not to dispose them. Lotso senses Ken's love for Barbie and mocks him, thrusting his face into Ken's as he states that there are a hundred million Barbie dolls everywhere, but Ken turns to Barbie, smiling, and simply says not to him, having realized Barbie is smarter and more complex than he has initially seemed through her understanding of civics, and wins back her affections. Angered by Ken's act of defection, Lotso grabs Ken and throws him across the dumpster to make him join her.
Woody then catches Ken and pulls him up to the chute with help from the other toys. Barbie then runs over and hugs Ken, making him astonished to realize he has won her back, then Ken speaks up in support of Barbie's view of authority and address Lotso's gang, telling them what Lotso has done to Sunnyside and all the toys in the daycare and how things at the daycare can be improved to make things fair for everyone. After Big Baby throws Lotso into the dumpster and slams its lid shut, Ken helps Barbie and the other toys escape the daycare, but the toys end up being loaded into a garbage truck. When Barbie wants to save her friends, Ken holds her back from risking her life, not wanting to lose her again.
Barbie and Ken later reconcile and mend their relationship, become Girlfriend and Boyfriend once again. Together, the two revolutionize Sunnyside, turning the daycare into a true toy paradise for all toys, and become its new leaders.
In the end credits, when a box containing an Emperor Zurg action figure arrives at the Butterfly Room, a decorated dump truck pulls up in front of the newcomers. On the truck is Barbie presenting them a paper that reads: "Welcome to Sunnyside! -- Now cool and groovy!" and Ken rips the paper in half to present himself and to greet them in a more enthusiastic manner with Barbie at his side. Later, he and Barbie are seen under the shelf with Twitch in the Caterpillar Room, with Barbie as a cheerleader and Ken as a referee, as Chunk returns from handling a rough playtime with the toddlers. Ken watches as Twitch reaches his hand out for Chunk to tag him and substitutes for Chunk as Chunk joins Barbie and Ken under the shelf.
While the Sunnyside toys have a "beach party" at the sandbox, Ken, while sunbathing, spots Sarge and his two last paratroopers parachuting down into the playground, and he and Barbie walk over to greet them. Ken salutes the soldiers as Barbie directs them to the sandbox, inviting them to join the party. That night, during a disco that is held at the Butterfly Room, Ken greets the toys in attendance until he reaches his Dream House, where he sees Barbie coming down in his elevator. Ken is awestruck to see Barbie wearing sparkling dress as the two walk toward each other, then Ken sheds his clothes to reveal his equally sparkling tuxedo and trousers. They are joined by Big Baby, wearing sparkling diapers, who walks over to the two and hugs them in his arms as he happily spins the couple around in the spotlight.
The next day, the toys that have formerly belonged to Andy and now living at Bonnie's house as her new toys receive a message informing them that Sunnyside has become sunny once again. They read the message, thinking that Barbie has written it (as remarked by Buzz about the fancy handwriting), only to find Ken's signature at the end, much to their surprise, but the signature may imply that Ken is, at least, now on friendly terms with Bonnie's toys.
Ken is now one of the protagonists in his and Bonnie Anderson's new Barbie doll's own short film. As Bonnie's toys get ready for a week of relaxation, Ken and Barbie unexpectedly reveal themselves as they unzip Bonnie's backpack and step out into the room. Thinking they have landed in Hawaii, they unload their supplies.
As Ken takes a picture of Barbie in "Hawaii," Woody calls to the pair, and Ken is elated to see Woody and the other toys and reveals that the two have stowed away in Bonnie's backpack. Thinking that Bonnie's toys are also in Hawaii, Ken asks them how they have arrived, only for Woody to reveal that Ken and Barbie are in Bonnie's bedroom, making Ken dismayed that the vacation plans for him and Barbie have been disrupted. After realizing he has missed their "flight" to Hawaii, Ken sinks back into Bonnie's backpack in depression.
Later, Barbie calls for Ken to come out, and when Ken opens the backpack, he is greeted by Jessie's enthusiastic "ALOHA!" then finds himself standing in "paradise" with Barbie. Woody and his friends recreate "Hawaii" for the couple, such as deep-sea diving, guided nature walk, and an entertaining dinner. After their various adventures in "Hawaii," Ken and Barbie share their first kiss in the snow at sunrise, as Woody and his friends watch through a window, but then the two fall into a snow, prompting the toys to come to their rescue by digging them out and releasing them from a block of ice.
- According to Mattel Toy line History, Ken's full name is Kenneth Sean Carson.
- In the movie, Ken wears 21 different outfits.
- Ken is based on a real toy from the Barbie toyline back in in 1988 called Animal Lovin’ Ken.
- When Buzz gets caught spying on Lotso's gang, Ken says "Take him to the liberry!" (a mispronunciation of library), which was an intentional ad-lib by Michael Keaton. Lee Unkrich found it so funny that he kept it in.
- Ken gets offended whenever people call him a girl's toy (also happens in his promo and his interview), similar to Francis from A Bug's Life when he is mistaken for a girl.
- It is likely Ken became a servant of Lotso out of sheer fear of what he could do to him. That said, him being his former second in command indicates that he must have been more ruthless at some point.
- Although Barbie returned in Toy Story 4, director Josh Cooley has announced that Ken will not make a comeback as well, stating that Ken is still running Sunnyside and the toys wouldn't be going there.