Jessie (Toy Story)
|Toy Story character|
Jessie in a promotional image of Toy Story 3
|First appearance||Toy Story 2 (1999)|
|Created by||John Lasseter
|Voiced by||Joan Cusack (films, Toy Story Toons, Toy Story of Terror!, Toy Story That Time Forgot, video games, merchandise, attractions, yodeling voice Toy Story 3 onwards)
Mary Kay Bergman (yodeling voice; Toy Story 2)
Sarah McLachlan (singing voice)
Kathryn Cressida (Disney Infinity series)
|Nickname(s)||Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl
Princess of the Prairie
|Species||Humanoid pull-string doll|
|Significant other(s)||Buzz Lightyear|
|Place of origin||Woody's Roundup|
Jessie The Yodeling Cowgirl, or simply Jessie, is a fictional character from the films Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. At Christmas in 1999, the Wall Street Journal called Jessie toys among the hottest of the season. In the movie, she is a very rare toy modeled after a character on the fictional television show Woody's Roundup, where the characters included Sheriff Woody, Jessie, Stinky Pete the Prospector and Bullseye, Woody's horse. Her hair is formed in a ponytail braid tied with a bow. Jessie the doll has a character very similar to the one portrayed on the television show. She is excitable, brave, and very athletic. The doll, however, carries a great deal of sadness, as she was abandoned by her original owner, which left her somewhat distrustful. Years of being in storage have made her somewhat withdrawn, and noticeably afraid of the dark, to the extent of hyperventilating whenever she is inside dark enclosed spaces, or even at just the thought of being abandoned.
But she longs to again be a source of joy to a child, and this wish comes true at the end of Toy Story 2 when Andy accepted her (and Bullseye) into his toy collection. In Toy Story 3, while she still displays signs of the fear of the dark, storage, and being abandoned in the beginning when she and the toys mistakenly believe that they are being thrown away by Andy, throughout the rest of the film, she appears to be more loyal, confident and helpful to others, in the process developing a romantic relationship with Buzz Lightyear.
Jessie is voiced by Joan Cusack in all the films, while Mary Kay Bergman voiced her yodels and "Woody's Roundup" TV-show voice in Toy Story 2. Bergman died just before Toy Story 2 was released, so the film was dedicated to her. Her singing voice is supplied by Sarah McLachlan (Jessie's song in Toy Story 2, "When She Loved Me", is sung by McLachlan rather than Cusack or Bergman).
In October 2000, Jessie received the Patsy Montana Entertainer Award from the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. She is also portrayed by Devon Dawson live on stage as a guest with Riders in the Sky in their concert and plays the guitar.
Jessie is the namesake of version 8 of the Debian operating system. The code names of Debian releases are names of characters from the Toy Story films. This naming tradition came because Bruce Perens was involved in the early development of Debian while working at Pixar.
Toy Story 2
When Jessie is introduced, she tackles Woody with excitement about finally meeting a Woody doll. She is happy that she and the other toys are finally going to come out of storage and go to the toy museum in Japan that they are destined for.
It is Jessie who introduced Woody to the facts about the character on which he is based. She shows him a large array of merchandise based on "Woody's Roundup" and Stinky Pete explains how the show was canceled after the launch of Sputnik and the resulting interest in the Space Race and science fiction, diminishing the popularity of westerns.
When Woody indicates that he has no intention of going to Japan, she becomes bitter, and Woody comes to suspect her of attempting to sabotage his escape, including waking Al to prevent Woody from recovering his damaged arm. After Woody is fixed, he learns Jessie's tragic back story about her previous owner by way of her song, "When She Loved Me". Woody tells Jessie that, if only she knew his owner, Andy, she might understand why he wants to return to his home. He attempts to explain his bond with his owner to her, but she interrupts him, guessing that Woody's going to say that Andy's a "real special kid" and that Woody feels like he's alive when Andy's playing with him because, even though he's not moving, that's how Andy sees him. Woody, shocked by the accuracy of her statement, asks how she knows that about him. She says simply: "Emily was just the same. She was my whole world." As the song begins to play, the audience sees that Jessie once had an owner who loved her as much as Andy loves Woody. The flashback shows Emily, her horse-loving young owner, happily playing, laughing, and cuddling with Jessie. The two are clearly inseparable, with Emily even bringing her toy along with her on car rides. Emily's childhood bedroom is designed with a Wild West-equestrian theme of sorts, with figures of horses, toy guitars, cowhide and plaid patterns, and horseshoes decorating the room. Various Jessie memorabilia, like lunchboxes, alarm clocks, and picture frames, also are present in the room; Emily even dresses in plaid shirts, denim shorts, cowgirl boots, and a replica of Jessie's signature cowgirl hat. However, the audience sees that, as the girl grows older into her adolescence, she begins to forget more and more about her childhood interests and begins to explore things like make-up, nail polish, and vinyl records. Jessie, who once always had a spot on the center of Emily's bed, has now fallen through a crevice and lies underneath it, forgotten. While Emily has once loved playing pretend with her toys, now — as the audience sees from Jessie's point of view beneath the bed — she prefers inviting her friends over, painting each other's nails, listening to music. Jessie lies on the ground, ignored and unhappy, until one day, Emily finds her under the bed for the first time in several years. She takes the toy along with her to share a day on a car trip, like they did when Emily was a child. Jessie finally feels loved and happy once more, as if things will go back to the way they were. The car comes to a stop, however, and their relaxing day together is put to an end when Emily places Jessie in a donations box on the side of the road, to be given away to charity. The shocked Jessie looks on as her owner drives away and leaves her, and the song draws to a close. Jessie then states, "You never forget kids like Emily or Andy, but they forget you." Woody, realizing he could easily suffer the same fate with Andy, then chooses to stay, which Jessie finds absolutely thrilling, especially when he begins to anticipate his journey to Japan in excitement.
Ultimately, it is Stinky Pete that is revealed as the attempted saboteur when Woody finally decides to take Jessie and Bullseye with him back to Andy's room. Because of Stinky Pete's sabotage, Al packs the roundup gang into the case and heads for the airport. There, Buzz Lightyear and the toys free Woody and gets rid of the vile Stinky Pete by stuffing him into a backpack belonging to a little girl who loves to decorate her toys. Despite this, Jessie still remains trapped as the case gets loaded into the luggage transporter, while Bullseye manages to escape in time. Buzz and Woody mount Bullseye and chase after the luggage transporter, which Woody climbs onto.
Woody follows the case into the plane's cargo hold and frees Jessie from inside. When Woody offers to take Jessie to Andy's home with him, she is rather uncertain at first, but eagerly accepts when she learns from Woody that Andy has a baby sister named Molly. However, the two toys become trapped in the cargo hold, but Woody locates another escape hatch. Using his pull-string, Woody and Jessie swing down from the plane and land on Bullseye right behind Buzz just before the plane takes off. At the very end of the film, when Andy returns from camp after the toys return home, he is pleased to have the new toys added into his collection, calling Jessie "Bazooka Jane," and Buzz seems to have developed a romantic interest in her, nervously complimenting her hair.
Touched and amused by this comment, Jessie, in return, describes Buzz as "the sweetest space toy she has ever met." Then, Andy's dog, Buster, has to go outside...and Jessie finds the toy racetrack, and rides on top of a toy car, yodeling, to the door. Buzz is impressed by this to the point where his wings suddenly pop open. Shortly after, she and Buzz are seen together with Woody and Bo Peep as they watch Wheezy sing "You've Got a Friend in Me."
Toy Story 3
In Toy Story 3, after Andy seemingly throws them away, it is Jessie who convinces the other toys to be given to Sunnyside Daycare, refusing to relive the trauma she felt when she was given away by Emily. She fails to realize that Andy intended to put them in the attic and that his mother threw them out by accident, and stubbornly refuses to listen to Woody when he tries to clear up the misunderstanding, arguing that Andy has moved on and that they must do the same.
Jessie is thrilled to learn that the children at Sunnyside are replaced with new children when they grow older, meaning the toys can never be outgrown. She tries to persuade Woody to join the others in beginning their lives anew at the daycare, but Woody reluctantly calls her and the other toys selfish and leaves to return to Andy alone, leaving Jessie hurt and saddened. Shortly after, she and the other toys discover they have been placed in a room with very young children, who roughly yet innocently abuse them, as Jessie gets her hair painted green.
Afterward, Mrs. Potato Head sees Andy searching for his missing toys through her eye that was left in his room, allowing Jessie and the others to realize that they were wrong about Andy. They decide to return home, but are instead imprisoned in the daycare by Lotso, who had also reset Buzz into thinking he is a space ranger again and turned him against them. All the toys have left for company is Woody's hat, which was left behind during his escape. Fearing Lotso had killed Woody, Jessie is left in her cell feeling incredibly guilty.
Following another rough play date with the young children, Andy's toys are reunited with Woody, who had a change of heart and returned to rescue his friends. Jessie apologizes for not listening to Woody, who apologizes in return for leaving. The toys carry out their plan to break out of Sunnyside but matters are further complicated when they accidentally reset Buzz into a Spanish version of his deluded self. Jessie is initially uncomfortable with this change, but is quickly won over by his Spanish lover charms. It is also only through this that Buzz finally notices Jessie's deep romantic feelings for him.
When the toys get stuck in a garbage truck along with Lotso, Jessie is heroically rescued from being buried in trash by Buzz, who is then nearly crushed by a falling television set. Jessie despairs over Buzz's apparent death, but he soon emerges unscathed and with his normal personality restored by the hit. She passionately kisses him on the cheek over and over, happy to see that he is alive and to say thanks for saving her. The toys are then dumped in a landfill and are nearly killed by a trash incinerator because of Lotso's selfishness. However, the Squeeze Toy Aliens rescue them all using a crane. Once they are safe outside the incinerator, Jessie and Buzz's mutual looks indicate the clear understanding of their feelings for each other. While Lotso gets strapped to the grille of a garbage truck as punishment for his deeds, the toys return home to Andy and prepare to be stored in the attic; with Woody's intervention, though, they are instead given to Bonnie, a girl who took Woody to her home while he was away. Andy plays with his toys one last time, giving her the closure to lovingly see her old owner off to college. Jessie quickly adapts to her new life as one of Bonnie's toys and, at one point, decides to take advantage of Buzz's Spanish side so they can dance together to "Hay Un Amigo En Mí" (a Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me").
Toy Story 4
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In Toy Story of Terror, Jessie is forced to confront her nyctophobia and claustrophobia in this half-hour story which features the rest of Bonnie's toys looking for a disappeared Mr. Potato Head. True to classic tropes in thriller and horror narratives, each member of the search party vanishes one at time as they are hunted by an unseen stalker, with Jessie as the sole surviving "final girl".
She returns in Toy Story That Time Forgot
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In Toy Story Midway Mania, Jessie and her friends are featured in the interactive dark ride at Disney California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Woody and Jessie are featured in Big Thunder Ranch's outdoor stage and dining area, and Woody's Roundup Village's meet and greet area. They can also be found in the Splash Mountain courtyard in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom. Woody and Jessie are featured in the North America Room of It's a Small World.
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Jessie is depicted as being hyper, hearty, energetic, and outgoing, and noticeably more free-spirited and loose than the orderly and calm Woody. She is slightly tomboyish and her character in the television series 'Woody's Roundup' that spawned merchandising such as dolls like Woody and herself is portrayed as being equally bubbly, rambunctious, and adventurous, aided by woodland creatures represented by obvious string puppets. She's also a talented yodeler.
Despite Jessie's extreme cheerfulness and sunny personality, she is scarred by a bleak and slightly depressing and melancholy background, where she was outgrown and abandoned by her owner Emily over time. She spent years afterward as a collector's item owned by Al packaged in a dark cardboard box along with Stinky Pete and Bull's-Eye, and was permanently scarred with claustrophobia and nyctophobia as a result, thrusting herself into horrible panic attacks when in confined spaces or faced with the threat of being stored away again. For years, she also was marked with a strong sense of feeling unloved, which she masked with her extreme playfulness, which was pacified after having been adopted by Andy: however, she still appears to be haunted by her lonely past at certain times, such as in the third film of the franchise when Andy was preparing for college; in this film, she says "I should have seen this coming! It's Emily all over again!".
She has green eyes, red "yarn" hair with a braided ponytail, fair "plastic" skin, rosy cheeks, pink lips, auburn eyebrows and a small nose. She also has a yellow ribbon that tied to the bottom of her ponytailed hair, white long-sleeved western-style shirt with both yellow blouse and cuffs that have red doodles, blue jeans, a pair of white chaps with cow spots all over, brown "plastic" boots, matching "plastic" belt with gold "plastic" buckle, crimson "plastic" cowgirl hat, and a pull string on her back with a white loop attached to it.
Woody and Jessie share a sibling-like relationship. Since meeting each other in Al's penthouse, the two share a close bond. The two are shown to have pretty heated arguments from time to time, mostly where Andy is concerned, as he's fiercely loyal and she's more reluctant to trust due to her past, but deeply care for each other.
Both Bullseye and Jessie bonded in Woody's Roundup. Since then the two have been inseparable. The two are almost never seen without the other being close behind.
Her relationship with Buzz was only hinted at the end of Toy Story 2 when Buzz became instantly infatuated with her looks and her adventurous personality. In Toy Story 3, their relationship hadn't evolved much since Toy Story 2, but it's shown that Jessie is fond of Buzz, and he is protective of her. After their "Operation: Playtime" plan failed, Buzz gives an exceptionally sad look to Jessie as she climbs out of the box, and he also gives her sympathetic looks when she has panic attacks and when they argue about going to Sunnyside. Before getting taken to Sunnyside, Buzz is shown being a little more concerned over Jessie when she goes into a panic attack and says "We're being abandoned!". Even later, in the demo mode which he is put in by Lotso and his henchmen, he remains attracted to Jessie, calling her a "temptress" with "bewitching good looks." Then again, after being reset into Spanish Mode, Buzz is still shown to be attracted to her, and openly expresses this, calling her (in Spanish) "my desert flower", dancing around her and asking her to join him in his adventures exploring the galaxy, shielding her from Mr. Potato Head when he saw him as a threat, getting jealous when she hugged Woody, showing an obvious desire to impress her, and saving her from not only being pinned under the trash, but from being crushed by a falling TV set. Jessie first shows signs of strong feelings for Buzz during this rescue and when he is first thought to have perished after the TV set falls on him, she is clearly in despair. She even kisses him on the cheek when Buzz woke up. But it is actually during the incinerator scene when they truly realize their feelings for each other, Buzz and Jessie being the first to hold hands, and after the group is rescued, only Buzz and Jessie continue to be holding hands after the claw delivers them all to safety. At the end of Toy Story 3, the two have finally sealed their relationship, with Jessie taking the initiative for the two to dance an exciting paso doble which ends the movie.
Disney heavily promoted Jessie following the release of Toy Story 2, as she gave them a character that they could market to girls, something the original film did not really provide. Among the items released were:
- Several 10" and 12" fashion-style dolls
- Several plush and rag doll-type dolls
- Action figures in the Toy Story 2 and Toy Story and Beyond lines.
- Wallets, purses and other accessories for girls
- Nightlights and other bedroom accessories
- Costumes and dress-up sets
- High-end sculptures and collectibles