Actress Ally Maki is featured in Disney/Pixar’s just-released “Toy Story 4” as a new character, Giggle McDimples.
Giggle McDimples is a miniature plastic doll from the 1980s. As a toy, Officer Giggle McDimples is head of Pet Patrol for Mini-opolis, overseeing search and rescue. But out in the world, Giggle is the best friend of Bo Peep (Annie Potts). Small enough to perch on Bo’s shoulder, Giggle is Bo’s confidant, supporter and advisor.
Director Josh Cooley says, “Giggle is Bo’s Jiminy Cricket — we’re able to get insight on Bo through their relationship together. Giggle is definitely the smallest toy in the ‘Toy Story’ universe. She’s been stepped on, vacuumed up, and probably put up a kid’s nose in her time. Giggle McDimples literally pops on the screen because of Ally’s personality and infectious energy. Nobody can laugh like Ally Maki.”
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen return as Woody and Buzz Lightyear, who were introduced in the original “Toy Story” movie — the first computer-animated feature — in 1995. Other returning cast members include Joan Cusack as Jessie, Bonnie Hunt as Dolly, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Wallace Shawn as Rex, John Ratzenburger as Hamm, and the late Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head.
New voices in “Toy Story 4” include Tony Hale as Forky, Keegan-Michael Key as Ducky, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Jordan Peele as Bunny, and Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom.
Maki was born in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 14 to pursue an acting and singing career. She quickly landed an agent and a recording deal with Columbia Records, where she sang and played keyboards in an all-girl pop/rock band called The Valli Girls.
She soon realized that her passion was more acting and shifted focus, guesting on Damon Wayan’s ABC series “My Wife and Kids,” and NBC’S “ER.” Maki is known for her series regular role as Dawn on ABC Family’s “10 Things I Hate About You” (TV Guide Award nominee for Favorite Ensemble) and as the androgynous Dr. Haru Tanaka on “Bones.”
Maki played Jess Kato in the TBS show “Wrecked,” a comedic take on “Lost,” and Mina Hess on Freeform’s Marvel series “Cloak & Dagger.”
Her other TV credits include “Robot Chicken,” “Dear White People,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “New Girl,” “NCIS,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Franklin & Bash,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”
In the 2013 film “Geography Club,” a ShoWest Award nominee for Best Ensemble, she played Min, a lesbian who is a part of a secret club for other closeted teens.
Maki told CineMovie that Pixar found her on YouTube and thought she’d be perfect to voice the tiny policewoman. Despite her high-profile role on “Wrecked,” it was a random video, with no views, of her and her dog that got her noticed. When Maki was first contacted by Pixar, she thought someone was pranking her.
“People are definitely freaking out, especially my family,” Maki told Collider. “They knew, but I really downplayed it a lot because, as an actor, you just never know. I had so much PTSD because, when I was 14, I had told my whole family that I was in an episode of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and then, I ended up basically getting cut down to a fraction of a second …
“So, when I told everyone, I was like, ‘I guess I’m in it. I’m not sure.’ So then, when they all came to the premiere, everyone was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is actually real. It’s not just one line. You’re actually a character and a toy in the universe.’”
The first Asian American cast member to join the “Toy Story” franchise, Maki has been working hard to ensure diversity is being recognized in Hollywood. She recently participated in the Diversity Speaks panel during the L.A. Film Festival along with other well-known Asian American actors in the industry. She also has partnered to support Girls Inc. and wants to help empower young women.
To see a video of Maki discussing her role as Giggle McDimples, click here.