The Movie Report What's the Buzz

Tim Allen Reflects on Emotional ‘Toy Story 4’ Journey

Tim Allen

Tim Allen is returning to theaters to voice the iconic Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 4.

Allen opened up about his emotional journey with the franchise in an interview with Us Weekly.

The Last Man Standing star talked about Bonnie Hunt and Keanu Reeves joining the original cast. “Keanu’s really funny. He’s almost like Buzz — he’s oblivious to how his bravado is getting in his way,” Allen said.

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Allen spoke about his character, saying, “I kind of wish I was innocent like Buzz, I wish I could look at things that simply.”

Allen was asked why he thinks Buzz and Woody still resonate today. He responded, “They’ve kind of become Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck of a certain generation. I really take a large leap by saying that we’re that iconic, but it does feel that way. They’re immortal; they’re toys — they don’t have a life span.”

The voice cast of Toy Story 4 (L-R) Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Ally Maki, Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Tim Allen and Tony Hale. Credit: Art Strieber

“There’s a very short scene that both Hanks and I had trouble with, because I thought there was more pages. It ends, and I got choked up. I literally had a hard time saying it. He did too. We both had the same reaction,” Allen said about his friendship with Tom Hanks.

He continued, “Twenty-five or so years of friendship between Woody and Buzz has morphed into a very close friendships with Hanks and I. It’s just peculiar as life imitates art.”

Allen discussed the theme of the fourth installment. “It’s a very different Pixar movie. It’s not somber, but very reflective, layered. I put too much into it because I’m involved in it. I’m too close to it. I literally had a tough time watching it, because it brought up some of my own personal stuff about loss, change, moving on.”

The actor continued, “It’s heartwarming. A little tough, but essentially pays off. All the stories to me are human in nature – it’s masking human stuff with animated characters. This is even more of that, and has deeper themes about how we treat each other, and what’s worth something and isn’t worth something.”

Allen was asked if this would be the last film of the franchise. He said, “I can’t give that away. There’s very little to suggest that this isn’t, at the very least, [part of] a much bigger world. It reminds me of the Avengers movies — there are not only offshoots of characters that have simultaneous stories, but the world itself got much bigger. … My sense is it’s done. My creative side says, at the same time things end, there’s a new beginning. I would find it difficult not to just continue.”

Toy Story 4 hits the big screen Friday, June 21.

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