Bo Peep stood out in the original Toy Story as the only feminine toy in Andy’s room, but a lot of viewers forget that she wasn’t one of Andy’s toys, belonging to his sister Molly. She was barely in Toy Story 2 and completely absent in Toy Story 3. In the prologue to Toy Story 4, fans got to see the day Bo Peep moved out, but a new Disney+ exclusive short film called Lamp Life connects some of the dots from those missing years.
The short begins with Bo Peep and Giggle McDimples reflecting on their adventures before Woody came back into Bo Peep’s life. Through a series of comedic vignettes and voice over narration from Bo Peep herself (Annie Potts), we see Bo’s next home and a quick montage of other temporary living conditions leading up to life in the antique store. Many of these become quick gags that go by so fast you might need a second viewing to appreciate them all.
As the title suggests, much of the conflict comes from the fact that while Bo Peep and her sheep feel like toys, they’re actually pieces of a nursery lamp. Toy Story 4 reminds us that Bo is made of porcelain, with the doll having a few mended broken limbs. Lamp Life avoids any moments where a piece of Bo Peep breaks, save for her staff, which receives its bandage wrap during the short.
Lamp Life doesn’t seek to add any new layers to Bo Peep’s story, simply providing some vignettes from her missing years. Perhaps the most disappointing moment comes from the scenes in the antique shop where Gabby Gabby and her dummy minions make a brief cameo. It misses an opportunity to expand on the other toys she befriended while there, such as Duke Caboom and the rest of the pinball gang.
Disappointment aside, Bo Peep is still an inspiring character. Through numerous undesirable situations, she keeps her spirits high and eventually seizes life by the collar when she sets a plan to break out of the antique store with Giggles McDimples. As for their escape, the small shop surprisingly has some maximum security practices in place.
What I expected from Lamp Life and what it delivers are two very different things. I was hoping for an exciting story that included the tale behind Bo Peep’s broken limbs. Instead, Lamp Life is a tame and overall unexciting series of vignettes that don’t live up to the character’s larger than life personality. But if nothing else, it has a few funny moments that will make you smile.
I give Lamp Life 3 out of 5 Pink Luxo lamps.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.