7. Voices From The Past – And Future
Given Pixar’s reputation, it’s not tough for them to attract pretty much whoever they want to voice their characters these days.
But the company has always been more about finding the right voice than shoving some big name celebrity up on the marquee in the hopes of covering up a lacklustre story with famous voices.
And since this is a Toy Story adventure, there are fewer new slots to fill.
Almost all the original gang are back, from Hanks and Allen to Wallace Shawn as Rex, Joan Cusack as Jessie, John Ratzenberger (because what’s a Pixar film without him?) as Hamm, Don Rickles and Estelle Getty as the Potato Head pair, R Lee Ermey as Sarge, the commander of the plastic soldier men, Annie Potts as Bo Peep and even John Morris.
Who he? He voiced young Andy and was brought back in to perform the college-aged version of his character.
The only original cast member who doesn’t look to be returning has an excuse – Jim Varney, who voiced Slinky Dog, died in 2000 and with Pixar’s Ouija board technology not quite up to scratch, they’ve had to find a replacement.
Luckily, as Unkrich has recently announced, they found the perfect new Slinky. Blake Clark, an old friend Varney’s who happens to sound spookily like him, is taking over.
And there are new characters too. At Comic-Con, Lasseter and Unkrich revealed that not only would Timothy Dalton show up as a thesping-inclined hedgehog named Mr Pricklepants, but Barbie (again voiced by TS2’s Jodie Benson) would see her boyfriend Ken show up.
Apparently, Ken will have some, er, issues, related to his distinct lack of genitalia, not to mention a serious attitude problem given his time spent in his girlfriend’s more famous plastic shadow.
Ken will be played by Michael Keaton who, according to Tim Allen, has done a great job. “I can't tell you where it fits in, but it's genuinely one of the funniest things I've seen - what Keaton does with Ken. It's absolutely hysterical, absolutely hysterical. What I respond to is how they somehow fit emotion in this that will just really affect people. It's just wonderful.”
You know, we don’t doubt it. We were already pumped to see the thing – and then we got a look at the new trailer...