I’m really thankful for Tim Allen’s round of interviews right now, leading up to the new-network premiere of his sitcom Last Man Standing. Today another one surfaced – this time from radio station Majic 95.5 – where he shared probably the most Toy Story 4 information we’ve gotten in quite some time.
Let’s move on to ‘Toy Story 4’. Where are you going to take this? Is Andy a dad at this point?
I can’t tell you. If they don’t – we’re just doing the first pass; I’ve done my first full script read with character voice in there, and picture. And Buzz is involved in a huge adventure, with Woody and Bo Peep, and other characters that you may have seen and you may have not – wondered what happened to them. There’s two new – a bunch of new characters, a bunch of great new characters. It is a tremendous effort. I’m telling you, ‘Toy Story 4’ is wonderful. It’s wonderful, and funny, and expansive, and emotional. I’m telling you, get excited; if you like Toy Story, Pixar and Disney have done a tremendous job.
So when you’re doing your part as Buzz Lightyear, you don’t really even know what you’re working against? You’re just delivering your voice as you’re interpreting it on a piece of paper?
Doing them is a difficult task. Animation is a very strange animal, because all of us do our stuff by ourselves. You read against someone else between two windows. It’s a specific discipline, and you don’t know what you’re really doing – save the new ones; the new ones are getting very different. I’m starting to see the movie already done. And they’re not done – they’re scratch tracks, they call them, or I call them. It’s not the finished product, but it sure looks good. When I first did Toy Story – the first one – it was real primitive, like stick drawings you’re talking to. This one is almost done – no, it’s just a preliminary track – well, it sure looks good. I look back at it, and I said the fact that Buzz Lightyear has this land – albeit my statue isn’t as big as Hanks’, and Woody’s all of a sudden – I go down to open up Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World, and said, why is Hanks’ statue so much bigger than mine? I’m constantly making jokes about that. But overall the fact that Hanks and I have become buddies because of this, and love this movie. But to see it part of – I grew up on Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and in some alternate universe, Woody and Buzz are at that level; they’ve become those iconic parts of an American icon, which is Walt Disney.
The information he shares corroborates Annie Potts’ remarks and confirms that Bo Peep does play a large role in the story. I am intrigued that he says that Buzz and Woody go on this adventure with Bo, which makes me hope that we will see the toys not only find her, but work together to bring her home with them to Bonnie’s. And although I have found proof that Joan Cusack has been in the studio recording for Jessie, I really hope we’ll see her get just as large a role in the film as Woody, Bo, and Buzz have. It’s fun to hear about the new characters, but I know, at least for me, I can’t wait to see what the main gang is going to be up to!
It’s also interesting to learn how much the recording and animation process has evolved over the years, even perhaps since Toy Story 3 eight years ago. While I know that typically the cast doesn’t get to see the whole film until the premiere, it sounds like they may be getting more of a sneak peek this time around. And the fact that Allen praises what he’s seen so highly is very encouraging, in light of all the doubts (not mine!) that have been so loudly broadcast about this new sequel.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I just love how much Tim Allen truly enjoys being Buzz, and being a part of Toy Story. His enthusiasm for and enjoyment of the whole process – and the franchise’s place in popular culture – is evident, no matter how challenging recording for animation may be. I look forward to hearing more from him, and the rest of the voice cast and filmmakers, in the coming months!
Image © Disney/Pixar and Disney Parks.