|“||The dummies are, by far, some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created. Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards. Throw in their fixed expressions with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws and they’re nightmare material—in the best way possible.||„|
|~ Producer Mark Nielsen on Benson's creation|
The Bensons are the secondary antagonists of Pixar's 21st feature-length animated film Toy Story 4. They are a group of ventriloquist dummies that reside in the antiques shop. They are commanded by Gabby Gabby.
They were voiced by Steve Purcell, who also voiced The Cleric in Toy Story: That Time Forgot.
At some point in the past, Gabby Gabby befriended the Bensons and with their help took control of the Second Chance antique shop.
During the events of the film, Woody and Forky are spotted by a Benson while they were searching the store for Bo Peep. Gabby Gabby introduces the Benson to them and ordered him to lift the toys into her stroller after she noticed Woody's pull-string. More Bensons soon appeared when Gabby made known her intention to take Woody's voice box for herself and gave chase when Woody and Forky tried to escape. One of the Bensons managed grab Forky before a girl named Harmony entered the shop and took Woody to a nearby playground, leaving Forky held captive by the Bensons.Woody decides to save him with the help of Buzz, Bo (whom he met), Giggle McDimples, Ducky and Bunny and Duke Caboom. However, they fail and no one wants to return except Woody. Then after he argued with Bo and his friends, Woody goes back to get Forky alone. He then encounters Gabby Gabby with the dummies and the doll arranges with Woody to give her his voice box in exchange for Forky. Woody manages to recover Forky and decides to leave the store. But Forky observes Gabby Gabby being rejected by the girl who was her only motivation to get Woody's voice box to play with her. Woody then tells Forky to bring the RV near the carousel while he convinces Gabby to come with them what she accepts. Together, with the help of Bo and her friends they leave the antique shop and the first Benson pushes the stroller with Woody and Gabby Gabby in it. But on leaving, the stroller hits a fairground barrier and falls to the ground. A lady runs to straighten it and discovers Benson inside, which makes her scream in fear. We never see the dummies again and it's unknown if the Benson in the stroller was brought back to the antique shop.
The Bensons all look the same. They wear black suits with black bowties and black shoes. However, one of them does wear a red bowtie instead.
- It's possible that the reason for which the Bensons can't talk is because they are ventriloquist dummies and thus can only talk if a ventriloquist uses them to speak "through" them, aside that there are other toys in the Toy Story universe which can't talk despite not being ventriloquist dummies.
- Despite this, they can briefly be heard making a grunting sound during parts in the film. Also, they can apparently communicate to Gabby Gabby by whispering in her ear, which might explain how she was able to befriend them.
- The idea of a ventriloquist dummy character was inspired by the original concept of Woody, who was originally designed to be a dummy before being changed to a pull-string cowboy doll by the suggestion of the late Bud Luckey.
- They give a striking resemblance to Slappy from the Goosebumps books and related adaptations. Unlike Slappy, who is downright evil, The Bensons, despite their appearances, were not evil and redeemed themselves.
- The fact is that only the red bowtie dummy is named "Benson" in the film.