Toy Story has touched the lives of so many people and part of the charm of the franchise has to do with one toy, in particular. Buzz Lightyear became so popular that he got his own cartoon show, ride at The Magic Kingdom, and even some video games.
Most people know about Buzz’s journey from an oblivious toy who thought he was a Space Ranger to the down-to-Earth leader of Andy’s, or Molly’s, toys. But do you know what happened behind the scenes for Buzz to get there? Because there are some bizarre Buzz facts.
10. He Was Supposed To Be Tinny
If it wasn’t for Tin Toy, there wouldn’t be a Pixar, let alone a Toy Story. Most people are familiar with the short film that kicked off Pixar’s film career, but not many people know that Toy Story was supposed to be a sequel to Tin Toy.
Eventually, after some time in development, the producers realized how hard it is to imagine a tin toy as a child’s favorite new toy. With that in mind, they ditched Tinny and turned their eyes to the toys that all the kids were playing with at the time for inspiration.
9. His Original Name
During the early development of Toy Story, Buzz went through several iterations before Pixar settled on the one everyone is familiar with. Not only did his design evolve drastically from what was initially conceived, but his name did as well.
Among the names that Pixar considered for their new character was Lunar Larry, which would probably not have been as memorable as Buzz Lightyear. Ultimately, the people working on the film turned to the history of space travel for the name, naming Buzz Lightyear after astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
8. They Originally Wanted Jim Carrey
No one could have done a better job voicing Buzz Lightyear than Tim Allen, however, in another universe, he would have never seen the inside of the recording booth. In the mid-90s, Jim Carrey was a hot commodity, having become famous for films like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber, so getting him involved with your project was a big deal.
Not only was Paul Newman considered to play Woody, but Jim Carrey was also desired for the role of Buzz Lightyear. While he’s known for his eccentric, over-the-top characters, Carrey is a really good actor. It’s just that the role of Buzz Lightyear really isn’t in his wheelhouse, so it’s a good thing that he was out of their price range.
7. Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) Almost Voiced Him
While Jim Carrey didn’t play Buzz because he was too expensive, actor Billy Crystal didn’t play Buzz because…he didn’t want to. Prior to the casting of Tim Allen, When Harry Met Sally actor Billy Crystal to play everyone’s favorite Space Ranger.
In the end, Crystal turned the role down as he felt that he wasn’t right for it. Crystal, later on, regretted this decision, but it ultimately didn’t damage his relationship with Pixar, as he would go on to do the voice of Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc. He also would voice Calcifur in the English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle that was handled by Toy Story director John Lassiter.
6. He Was Supposed To Be Red
Buzz Lightyear’s green and purple color scheme is part of his look, but originally he was going to appear somewhat different. While Pixar was still trying to figure out Buzz’s character, he was not only much shorter than Woody, but he was also red.
This wasn’t a simple concept art phase issue either, Buzz’s red color scheme made it into some early animation tests when he was supposed to be voiced by Billy Crystal. Obviously, it’s kind of a god-send that they changed his color scheme.
5. Woody Almost Pushed Him Out The Window
In the words of Tom Hanks, who voiced Woody in Toy Story, his character was a “very acerbic kind of guy, edgy and unpleasant.” The man to blame for this is Jeffery Katzenberg, who wanted the movie to be edgier to the point that Woody became unlikable.
Pixar showed an early version of the film where Woody pushed Buzz out of a window and was completely unapologetic about it to Disney, and they did not like it. Disney had Pixar shut production down long enough for them to create the version of Toy Story we all know and love.
4. He Was Almost Lost Forever
RM* is a command that wipes out all content on a Linux machine in no time flat. It may sound boring, but because of RM* we almost didn’t have Toy Story 2. In a “Pixar Stories” segment, it was revealed that during production, an unknown staffer ran RM* and nearly destroyed the film.
Thankfully, Galyn Susman, the technical director of the film, had a copy back at her house so that she could work on the film while caring for her kids, and production could continue. Its a really cool story and you should seek out any information on it you can.
3. Jessie Made Tim Allen Cry
Another story told by Tom Hanks involves the first reaction that he and Tim Allen had during the “When Somebody Loved Me” scene detailing Jessie’s origin. For many fans, the scene is a difficult one to not cry to, and apparently, its the same for the film’s cast as well.
According to Hanks, when he and Tim Allen were first shown the scene, they both broke down in tears. It’s hard to blame them, as Sarah McLachlan’s mournful singing and the scenes downbeat nature are overwhelming in terms of sadness.
2. He Was Also Voiced By Patrick Warburton
Despite Patrick Warburton having a very deep voice, there’s just something oddly funny about it, which means he was perfect for a less serious version of Buzz Lightyear. When the cartoon series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was given the green light, Warburton provided the voice of the show’s version of Buzz.
Warburton, then known for playing Elaine’s on again-off again boyfriend Puddy on Seinfeld, actually provided voice work for the movie that kicked off the show. However, his voice was replaced with Tim Allen’s.
1. He Was Originally Recalled
Toy Story 3 took a long time to make, so you can imagine that a lot of ideas ended up being cut from the film. In 2005, it looked like Disney and Pixar were going to split up, so Disney created a new animation team to handle a very different Toy Story 3.
In those plans, Buzz was going to be recalled, leading to him being sent back to Taiwan, and the toys would have traveled there to save Buzz. Needless to say, the plot is basically a redo of Toy Story 2 with Buzz as the focus instead of Woody, but some interesting concept art was shared by the people working on the film.
By Seth Hector