When many of us think of Toy Story, many of our favorite Disney-Pixar characters come to mind: Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep, and, of course, the always iconic Mr. Potato Head. But Mr. Potato Head would have been an entirely different character if it wasn’t for the amazing work of the actor who voiced him, the late Don Rickles. Because the legendary Rickles died in 2017, many fans were wondering what the team behind Toy Story would do with his character of Mr. Potato Head in the fourth installment in the film series.
Inside the Magic recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Toy Story 4 movie team, and we learned how Disney and Pixar were able to honor Don Rickles’s legacy in the upcoming film.
Director Josh Cooley shared that while Rickles had signed on to voice Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 4 before his passing in 2017, he passed away before he had begun working on the film. His family and agent contacted the Toy Story 4 team and asked because Rickles had voiced Mr. Potato Head for over 25 years if there was any way the team could create a performance of Mr. Potato Head using the recordings they already had of Rickles on the past films.
“We went back through all of the outtakes for all of the films, all the shorts, all the video games, all the ice capades shows, every possible thing, and there was a lot of Don Rickles,” said Cooley. “So it was actually, I wouldn’t say it was easy, but there was a lot to work with. So I’m very, very, very honored that he’s in this film.”
“It’s an honor to all of us,” said Producer Mark Nielson of Rickles being a part of Toy Story 4. “He’s such a big part of these movies, and every time you see a Potato Head toy, you hear his voice in your head. So the idea of doing this without him was one we didn’t want to consider, and the editorial team did a great job.”
As long-time Toy Story fans, we’re overjoyed to learn that Rickles will live on and be permanently credited in Toy Story 4. We can’t imagine any film in the Toy Story series without him, and we’re so excited to see him brought to life once more as the voice of Mr. Potato Head. You can catch Mr. Potato Head, the rest of the returnees in the Toy Story gang, and the all-new character Forky when the film hits theaters on June 24.
Which character are you most excited to see return to the big screen when “Toy Story 4” hits theaters? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t miss our other article from the same interview and stay tuned to Inside the Magic as we share more insights from the creative team behind Toy Story 4 coming to theatres June 21.