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Tim Allen Breaks Silence On Lightyear And Shares What He Really Thinks About The Toy Story Spinoff

We all know Buzz Lighter as the lovable space ranger who teams up with Woody in their many Toy Story adventures, but what exactly inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy line? Well, you can find out now, as the Buzz Lightyear solo film called Lightyear is out, but it stars Marvel actor Chris Evans as the title character. A Buzz Lightyear movie without Tim Allen? If you’re curious how the Santa Clause actor feels about that, he has decided to break his silence on the subject. 

Lightyear is all about the space ranger who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy line. So it’s understandable why Pixar decided to go for a different voice actor for the role of the young test pilot. As for how Tim Allen feels about that decision, he said to ExtraTV that while he would have loved to have taken part in a standalone Buzz Lightyear story, he knew Lightyear would have nothing to do with the Toy Story movies:

I've stayed out of this, because it has nothing to do with [the original films]. We talked about [a standalone story] many years ago. It came up in one of the sessions. I said, 'What a fun movie that would be.' We spoke about it. But the brass that did the first four movies is not this. It's a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies.

After watching the record-breaking trailer for Lightyear, you can’t help but hear how similar Chris Evans’ voice sounds to Tim Allen’s. With the same level of integrity and strength the Home Improvement actor brought out in his voice when playing Buzz Lightyear, it seems that the MCU star does a great job in honoring that, and they weren’t easy shoes to fill. Having to say the iconic “To infinity and beyond” line was a challenge for Evans in making sure he was not saying it as an imitation. Luckily, a toy of his well-known Captain America character helped Evans prep for the role of Buzz Lightyear. As his younger brother provided the voice of the MCU action figure, he got an idea for how the voice should sound like. I would say his preparation paid off well.

Tim Allen continued to talk about the expectations he originally had for a Buzz Lightyear spinoff, as well as his understanding that this film has no connection to the Buzz we know:

I thought it was a live-action. When they said they were doing it live-action, that's what I thought to mean real humans, and not an animated thing. And really, as Hanks and I [have said], there's really no Buzz without Woody, so I'm not sure what with the idea. I'm a plot guy. If this was done in 1997, it would seem 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.

While it doesn’t appear that Tim Allen has any hard feelings towards Pixar for choosing a different voice for Buzz, the opposite can be said for The Middle’s Patricia Heaton, who had a more brutal response. She felt like it was a huge mistake for Pixar to go with a different voice actor than the man who originated the Buzz Lightyear role. After Lightyear director Angus MacLane explained his re-casting reasoning as wanting a more serious and less “goofy” voice for the story he wanted to tell, Heaton still felt that Hollywood was wrong in taking away “the one element that makes us want to see [the film].” 

Even though Tim Allen won’t be coming back as Buzz Lightyear anytime soon, there’s no reason to feel bad for him, as he has plenty of projects coming up. He’ll be back in the shop with his Home Improvement co-star Richard Karn and DYIer April Wilkerson for History Channel’s More Power, where this trio will put a number of tools to the test. The 69-year-old actor will also be reprising his role of Scott Calvin a.k.a. Santa Claus, in The Santa Clauses, a miniseries that will be available to watch with a Disney+ subscription. If you’re curious to see how Chris Evans does as Buzz Lightyear, you can soar into space as you catch Lightyear in theaters now.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.