'Lightyear' Director Explains Why Tim Allen Didn't Do Buzz's Voice

Kori Williams - Author
By

Jun. 13 2022, Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

Throughout the many Toy Story movies, Buzz Lightyear has always been voiced by actor Tim Allen. But when the trailer for Lightyear was released in October of 2021, something was different.

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Although Buzz doesn't say much in the trailer, careful listeners will notice that they're actually hearing Chris Evans' voice. What's the cause of the change? Did Tim tell the franchise goodbye, or did something else take place? As much as we love us some Chris Evans, we do have questions.

Now that we are coming close to the release date for the Buzz Lightyear origin story, we're learning more about the decisions behind the film's cast.

Why did Disney replace Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear?

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lightyear's director Angus MacLane said that the change in actors was made because of the differences between this movie and the Toy Story franchise. "Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief," Angus said.

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He continued: "In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undercut the drama." Angus went on to say that Chris has the "gravitas and that movie-star quality" that superhero Buzz needed to make Lightyear stand out from Tim's version of the same character.

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In addition, Chris Evans himself posted on Twitter about taking on the role of Buzz in Dec. 2020. "And just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy," the tweet said. "This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on."

Because of the wording in this tweet, it's clear that Tim isn't being replaced. It's very possible that if Buzz (the toy) makes an appearance in an upcoming Toy Story project, Tim would come back to voice our favorite space ranger.

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'Lightyear' features a big milestone for LGBTQ+ representation.

According to the Vanity Fair article, Lightyear will be the first Pixar movie to feature a same-sex kiss. Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) is Buzz's commander and best friend. She is seen kissing her wife in the film.

"It’s incredible, and a real hats off to Disney and Pixar for having that kiss be a part of this story," Uzo said in the same interview.

"The kiss is a greeting and a gesture of love that is tender. It does establish who they are as people, but it is not the singular identifier for who either of them are. Seeing a loving gay couple in a meaningful way is important for everybody."

At first, the kiss was cut from the movie, but LGBTQ+ employees spoke out about cutting it out, it was put back in the movie.

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That kind of representation is particularly important now, Florida's so-called 'Don't Say Gay" bill remains a talking point. Disney's CEO Bob Chapek spoke out about the bill in a memo to staff back in March. In it, he said, "I want to be crystal clear: I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities. And, we are committed to creating a more inclusive company — and world."

Unfortunately for Bob, many Pixar employees didn't believe him. They spoke out about the memo and wrote their own letter which claimed that Pixar and Disney had been trying to erase all LGBTQ+ representation in their movies for years.

You can watch Lightyear in theaters on June 17, 2022.

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