Pixar has a history of planting cameos by characters from one movie or franchise into another. For example, Jessie from Toy Story 2 and Nemo from Finding Nemo appear in Monsters, Inc., and there are Buzz Lightyear tires in Cars. Heck, even the Pet Collector from The Good Dinosaur crops up in Inside Out. That playful tradition continues with Toy Story 4, which introduces Keanu Reeves as Canadian stuntman action figure Duke Caboom. Well, formally introduces him -- because, as it turns out, he actually made his debut last year, in Incredibles 2.
The clever Easter egg in the 2018 animated blockbuster was spotted by eagle-eyed Jon Negroni, author of The Pixar Theory.
Duke can be spotted in the Incredibles 2 scene in which Violet and Dash yell at Bob for not telling them that Jack-Jack has powers. In the shot, you can see a mustachioed action figure clad in a white-and-red costume, lying next to the wooden blocks in Jack-Jack's crib.
Although Negroni's tweet solidified the link between Duke and Incredibles 2, YouTuber and Disney theorist Seamus Gorman proposed in October 2018 that Jack-Jack's action figure was an Easter egg for Toy Story 4. However, was convinced that sweet Duke Caboom would be the villain. As Gorman rationalized in his video, "Every Pixar movie contains an Easter egg referencing the next one," and Toy Story 4 immediately follows the release of Incredibles 2.
"Are there any particular Easter eggs that we should be looking out for?" Gorman asked during a round-table interview with the directors and producers Incredibles 2. "The thing is, is because nobody's seen Toy Story 4 yet, 'cause we haven't made it, finished it, they won't know what from Toy Story 4 is in Incredibles 2 until they see Toy Story 4," Brad Bird replied. "There's an appearance by Doug in Ratatouille; so what? Nobody knew it at the time because nobody knew what Doug looked like."
"It's a scheme," added John Walker, "It's a scheme to make you go back to the movies."
After watching Toy Story 4 we know Duke Caboom isn't a villain, as Gorman originally theorized. Instead, his character is a Canadian motorcycle stuntman from the 1970s, based on Evil Knievel. Duke ended up in the Antiques Store after being sold in a yard sale along with Betty, and his only wish is to be able to perform the same stunts that appeared on his TV commercial. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and never gives up practicing his crazy yoga poses, and proves invaluable in helping Woody and Betty to escape Gabby Gabby, making him the nicest Canadian ambassador ever produced by Pixar.
Directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jeff Pidgeon, Blake Clark, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Tony Hale.