Patricia Heaton Responds (Again) After Director Explains Why Tim Allen's Not In Lightyear

There are a number of reasons experts could suggest as to why Pixar’s latest, Lightyear, struggled to make a dent at the weekend box office. Families might be willing to wait until an animated movie reaches Disney+ where they can watch it at their leisure. And some audience members might still have been confused over what Lightyear actually WAS, with the director having to explain why crucial elements of the Toy Story franchise weren’t part of this story… including original voice actor, Tim Allen. Sitcom veteran Patricia Heaton made headlines recently when she vocally complained that Pixar blew it by not getting Allen to return for the movie. Now that the movie is underperforming at the box office, Heaton is back on social media, telling her followers:

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This was posted on Twitter in a follow up to Patricia Heaton wondering why Chris Evans is voicing Buzz Lightyear in the new film Lightyear, and not Home Improvement star Tim Allen, as the actor has done for decades. As we pointed out in our Lightyear review, the movie succeeds because it found a clever way into the Toy Story mythology, delivering to Pixar fans the movie that young Andy watched as a child that made him want to own a Buzz Lightyear toy in the first place. It’s basically Pixar’s excuse to make their own sci-fi adventure movie, with an ending that set up potential sequels. Based on the movie’s performance with audiences, those sequels are unlikely to happen.

Patricia Heaton isn’t alone in this confusion. Tim Allen has been synonymous with Buzz Lightyear, to the point where Lightyear star Chris Evans spoke about the importance of doing the line “To infinity and beyond” justice because of how famous Allen made it. That line delivery is definitely one of the best Buzz Lightyear moments in the Toy Story franchise, so the new movie had to explain why it mattered. We certainly made a big deal when it finally showed up in a Lightyear trailer.

But Heaton has to understand that Lightyear was attempting to do something different, and not just roll out yet another Toy Story movie… particularly after Toy Story 4 missed the mark with many audience members. No offense, Forky, but Toy Story had a perfect trilogy, and extending the story – even in Lightyear – appears to not be sitting well with fans. Or, maybe moviegoers just would rather see dinosaurs in 3D, or Tom Cruise reviving his classic Top Gun character in a spectacular sequel. 

Let’s see what else Patricia Heaton has to say about Tim Allen not being in Lightyear as the summer movie season rolls on. In the meantime, make sure that your Disney+ subscription is up to date, so you can watch (or revisit) Lightyear once it lands on the streaming service. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.