Toy Story 4 already had a stacked cast, from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen obviously reprising Woody and Buzz Lightyear, respectively, to newcomers like Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks jumping in as new toys the main characters meet during their latest adventure. But with less than two weeks to go until Toy Story 4 hits theaters, it’s been revealed that comedy icons Mel Brooks, Betty White, Carl Reiner and Carol Burnett will also be lending their talents to the latest Pixar movie.
So how are these legends participating in Toy Story 4? Well, as it most often the case with this franchise, they’ll be voicing toys, specifically ones belonging to Bonnie, just like Woody, Buzz and the gang. However, in the case of this quartet, while they were Bonnie’s favorite toys when she was a baby, as the girl’s gotten older, they’ve fallen out of favor, which is what’s happened to Woody at the start of the movie.
These already sound like worthwhile characters to bring in, but what makes them even better is their punny names. Mel Brooks is voicing a blue elephant named Melephant Brooks, Betty White is voicing an orange tiger named Bitey White, Carl Reiner is voicing a pink rhino named Carl Reineroceros and Carol Burnett is voicing a green chair named Chairol Burnett. All these toys also have a “natural personality” fitting the actor voicing them.
They’ve done their job and are just kind of waiting around for what happens next. And now that Woody's in there, they're accepting him into their circle and he's already pushing against that. Sometimes toys fall in and out of favor. I look at my own kid and stuff that was the favorite toy yesterday is now in the closet. We wanted to show that Woody's new life in this bedroom is not exactly what he thought it was going to be.
Josh Cooley also mentioned that he recorded Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s lines while the two longtime friends were together in Reiner’s living room, which the director described as “so surreal and so awesome.” He added that Brooks and Reiner did an excellent job riffing off each other, and Brooks humorously reminded Cooley that he’s directed films too.
Toy Story 3 explored people outgrowing their toys with Andy having left his playthings in the toy chest years earlier and him going to college marking his first steps into adulthood. Now, through Mel Brooks, Betty White, Carl Reiner and Carol Burnett’s characters, Toy Story 4 offers a look at the toys we leave behind even as we’re still young and our tastes change.
Since it looks like Toy Story 4 could be the last film entry in this franchise, it’s great to hear that all four of these comedy talents were able to lend their voices to it, though we’ll have to wait and see how much screen time they have. It’s also worth mentioning that Mel Brooks was good friends with Don Rickles, who passed away in 2017, but will still be heard as Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 4 thanks to archival audio.
Toy Story 4 opens on June 14, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. Don’t forget to also visit our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies come out later this year.