Fans Speculate Why Tim Allen Was Canceled as Buzz Lightyear

The new Lightyear (2022) teaser trailer was released this week and sent Disney and Pixar fans into a frenzy.

Toy Story (1995) fans can’t wait to go to infinity and beyond and explore the origins of the astronaut that inspired the children’s toy seen in four Toy Story movies, multiple television specials, and Disney Park attractions.

To many, however, Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear and the only voice for everyone’s favorite space cadet, much like actor Tom Hanks with Sheriff Woody. With the reveal of Marvel’s Chris Evans taking over the Lightyear casting from Allen, fans are now speculating why Tim Allen isn’t voicing Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s upcoming 2022 movie.

buzz lightyear
Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

Lightyear is pitched as a backstory to the Buzz Lightyear toy we see in Toy Story 1-4. Chris Evans, known for playing Captain America in the MCU, is taking over the famous role that Allen has had for over 25 years (yes, Toy Story came out 26 years ago!)

Tim Allen is widely known for voicing Buzz Lightyear in all four Toy Story movies, as well as Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause franchise, and became a household name through television shows such as Home Improvement. 

Now, Disney and Pixar fans are wondering why Tim Allen was not brought back as the voice of the fictional Space Ranger.

Toy Story 3
Credit: Pixar

Pixar fans began to speculate that Tim Allen was maybe fired by Pixar for this Toy Story spin-off, releasing June 17, 2022. There are no reports, however, of Pixar and Allen having any disputes, nor has Allen spoken out on Chris Evans being the voice for the real astronaut in Lightyear.

Evans — who is best known for playing Captain America/Steve Rogers in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe — is joining the Toy Story franchise for the first time in this animated role. He shared a heartfelt post on Twitter after the trailer was released:

I’m covered in goosebumps. And will be every time I watch this trailer. Or hear a Bowie song. Or have any thought whatsoever between now and July cause nothing has ever made me feel more joy and gratitude than knowing I’m a part of this and it’s basically always on my mind

There has been both backlash and support online from fans reacting to the recasting. Some wonder if his voice is now “too old” for the popular Toy Story character, others believe politics to be involved, while some fans love the fresh take on the Lightyear story.

Allen was the subject of controversy because of his conservative views, while his show Last Man Standing was canceled by ABC in May 2017. Fans remarked at the time that the cancellation had to do with his conservative viewpoint, and believe Disney is distancing itself from those.

One fan, Kayla, wrote on Twitter in disbelief at the recasting of Buzz Lightyear’s voice:

Hold the phone… there’s a Buzz Lightyear movie coming out and @ofctimallen isn’t Buzz?!?! “There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.”

While another Twitter user supported the debate that Tim Allen isn’t back voicing Buzz because of it being a different version of the character:

I haven’t read the articles debating on why Tim Allen isn’t the lead voice in #Lightyear but I have a theory on why that’s the case: the movie is about the guy who INSPIRED #BuzzLightyear

And Its The Boo Show noted the current debate regarding politics and Tim Allen’s views differing to those of Chris Evans’:

Pixar released the first trailer for “LIGHTYEAR” with Chris Evans voicing Buzz instead of Tim Allen. There’s a debate whether Tim’s conservative politics is why he was recast. It’s weird he’s not there, but I don’t think it’s because of his politics.

Mr. Blue Sky commented on Tim Allen’s age, and how he may be “too old” now to play the young astronaut:

Why are people just forgetting the most obvious reason Tim Allen can’t play a young astronaut whether toy or real person? He’s old. He wasn’t too old when Toy Story came out, he’s too old now.

Jeff Edwards had a comedic solution for Disney and Pixar to add to the end of the new Lightyear movie:

I think I have a solution to this whole kerfuffle: put in a post-credit scene where the real Buzz Lightyear (@ChrisEvans) has has several prototypes of his toy, and have them voiced by several people, including Tim Allen. Yes? No? Not sure?

The movie will not feature the animated adventures of Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Little Bo-Peep (Annie Potts), and Rex (Wallace Shawn), but instead, follow the story behind the real Buzz Lightyear.

One synopsis of Lightyear reads:

Lightyear is a sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) — the hero who inspired the toy. The film reveals how a young test pilot became the Space Ranger that we all know him to be today.

Watch the new teaser trailer below:

What do you think about the recasting of Buzz Lightyear? Let us know in the comments. 

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