Warning: This post contains spoilers for Toy Story 4.
It turns out that Tim Allen was more invested in the process of creating Toy Story 4 than you probably thought.
According to CinemaBlend, Tom Hanks previously admitted to showing up when he was needed for the film, while Tim actually read the script ahead of time and ended up being one of the deciding factors when it came to the movie’s ending.
At a press conference before the film’s release, producer Jonas Rivera said Tim’s reaction to the ending was the reason they decided to go ahead with it.
Jonas told Tim, “You know, Tim, we never told you this, but we actually used your reaction a little bit as inspiration. When we met and recorded and walked you through the ending, your reaction was like our first [clue], because we realized we were throwing the ball pretty far with that ending.
“We were pretty hesitant, even at Pixar, we were going ‘should we do this?’ When we read it and we were talking to you and we saw him kind of recoil back like, ‘OK,’ we could tell it hit you. If we could get Tim Allen, like our Buzz Lightyear himself, to sort of sit back and ponder it, maybe we have something there.”
The team at Pixar went through various drafts of the script before deciding on the ending that got Tim’s stamp of approval.
At another press conference, Jonas once again said that Tim reading the script helped them realise they had the right tone.
“You didn’t know it, but you gave us the first kind of receipt that that might be the right story math.”
During the film we see Bonnie is outgrowing Woody and then, later on, Bo Peep is introduced back into the story.
It’s a comment from Buzz Lightyear that helps Woody decide what his future will be, and it’s one of the saddest things to happen in the Toy Story movies – he must decide whether to stay with his kid, or choose the love of his life. Both would have devastating consequences.
Tim recounted how he felt when reading the script and it’s clear that he was very emotional about the whole thing.
“As I’ve said many times, I read through it and then the end kind of was mercurial. Then I read it and it was so bold. I wrestle with loss in my family, loss in my life – I was a philosophy major in college – and losing and gaining, it’s like the sadness.
“Number 4 was like a daughter getting married. There’s great sadness because she’s leaving, but great sadness because she’s also gaining. That’s what this is about.
“I told Tom the same thing — he hadn’t read it. I finished it and I had a real tough time. But I have a lot of other baggage about losing things and how this whole world is. The beginning is emotional! And they trick you with this emotion thing at the beginning to get sucked into it. And then Kaboom is so funny. Everybody new is so wonderful to watch. Why do I even show up though?”
Buzz is in fewer main scenes than any other Toy Story film, but is very important to the film’s ending. Plus, it wouldn’t be Toy Story without Buzz!