'Lightyear': Why Tim Allen Isn't the Voice of Buzz in the Toy Story Spin-Off

Both Tim Allen and Tom Hanks have addressed the casting choice for Pixar's Lightyear.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read
Buzz Lightyear in a spaceship

Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear in the latest Pixar flick.


Both Tim Allen and Tom Hanks have weighed in on the casting choice behind the latest  Pixar  movie.

Lightyear sees Chris Evans voice the character Buzz Lightyear, the human version of action figure gifted to Andy in the Toy Story series. In the Toy Story universe, Lightyear is the movie that inspired Andy to be gifted the space adventuring figurine.

Tim Allen voiced the toy version of Buzz in the four Toy Story movies, the latest being Toy Story 4 in 2019. Why didn't he reprise his role for Lightyear? The actor explained in an interview with Extra, published Thursday on YouTube.

"Literally, the short answer is, I've stayed out of this because it has nothing to do -- as I've said a long time ago, we talked about this many years ago, it came up in one of the sessions. I said what a fun movie that would be and that was, we spoke about it all. But the brass that did the first four movies is not ... This is a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies and they're, as I said, I thought it was live-action. When they said they were doing a live-action, that it would mean real humans, not an animated thing."

Allen continued, "Really, [Woody voice Tom] Hanks and I, well, there's really no Toy Story Buzz without Woody ... I'm a plot guy. This was done in 1997, it seemed to be a big adventure story and, as I see, it's not a big adventure story. It's a wonderful story, it just doesn't seem to have any connection to the toy."

"It has no relationship to Buzz ... It's just no connection, I wish there was a better connection to it."

Hanks, the voice of Woody, weighed in on the casting decision in June.

"How about that? I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen, and then they didn't let Tim Allen do it. I don't understand that," he told CinemaBlend.

He continued: "Here's the thing: I want to go back in the theater with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That's what I want to do and, going to see a movie with [Allen] -- I'm looking forward to that."

Lightyear exclusively hit cinemas on June 17. Lightyear underperformed at the box office, making $51 million domestically in its opening weekend, instead of an expected $70 million to $85 million. While its reviews have been lukewarm, it still earned a 76% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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