A Fox News host and her husband questioned Disney’s motives for replacing Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear.
“Fox & Friends Weekend” host Rachel Campos-Duffy and her husband, Sean, claimed Disney politics prompted replacing actor Tim Allen for Chris Evans to voice “Toy Story” character Buzz Lightyear in the spinoff “Lightyear.” The Duffys believe the Republican actor was replaced with a more moderate voiceover artist.
Allen was cast as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the 1995 Pixar film “Toy Story” in which Tom Hanks voiced cowboy Woody. The animated story was well-received, grossing a reported $373 million at the box office. The comedian-actor went on to provide Buzz Lightyear’s voice for 17 sequels and related short films after “Toy Story’s” commercial success.
He has achieved regular success as an actor in movies such as “Santa Clause” and the TV series “Home Improvement” that aired for eight years. Given his long run of cinematic success, a number of Pixar fans were surprised to learn Allen was not the voice of the main character in “Lightyear.”
Disney executives claim they replaced Allen because the Buzz character in the spinoff “Lightyear” is different than the toy voiced by Allen.
“Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy,” explained producer Galyn Susman. “We weren’t making a Toy Story movie. We’re making Buzz Lightyear’s movie.”
“And so first and foremost, we just needed a different person playing that Lightyear, separate from the toy.”
Director Angus MacLane added a similar reason for Evans playing “Lightyear,” according to the Consequence Film report. “This time,” he said, “Lightyear is a little more well-rounded. Technically he’s a bit smarter because he’s not comic relief. He has to be funny, but not too goofy. And that’s why we went with Chris.”
Allen echoed the reasons provided by Disney executives in a Deadline interview published Thursday.
“It’s a wonderful story,” Allen reportedly said. “It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy, and it’s a little…I don’t know. It just has no relationship to Buzz. It’s just no connection. I wish there was a better connection.”
Allen explained he was involved in discussions about the film early on and he thought it would be a fun movie. Pixar leadership changed since Allen gave a voice to Buzz Lightyear, and new brooms tend to sweep clean. He said the new team planning “Lightyear” had not been involved in any of the earlier movies, so that may also explain why they wanted a new voice for the iconic character.
The actor further noted that part of the “Toy Story” magic developed because they’re really buddy films.
“It’s Hanks and I,” Allen said, “There’s really no Toy Story’s Buzz without Woody.”
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