Despite dying in 2017 at the age of 90, Don Rickles returns as the voice of Mr Potato Head in Toy Story 4. But is it right?

After a whopping nine years since Toy Story 3 left us tearing up as Andy and Woody parted ways, we have a new Toy Story heading to cinemas today.

Toy Story 4 sees Woody and Buzz team up once again in a valiant effort to save a toy in need. All our favourite characters are set to return including one Mr Potato Head.

However, Don Rickles – the voice behind Mr Potato Head in the whole Toy Story series – died in 2017. So is it right that Pixar and Disney have used the same actor in Toy Story 4?

How has Don Rickles been brought back for Toy Story 4?

While bringing a character back to life in the same manner as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One require a copious amount of work, reviving a voice actor is far less complex.

For the voice of Mr Potato Head in Toy Story 4, Pixar have used old lines of dialogue that Don Rickles recorded before his death in 2017 and repurposed them in order to give the iconic character a voice in the new film.

It’s a similar method to that used for Star Wars: Episode IX which will see Carrie Fisher return as Princess Leia despite her untimely and tragic death in 2016.  

However, is it right to use an actor’s work even after they’ve passed away?

Is it right Don Rickles has been brought back?

Ever since Marlon Brando was brought back to life in 2005’s Superman Returns, and there are probably earlier examples still, the topic of bringing dead actors back to life has always been a hotly debated subject. 

The topic roared back into the public domain when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revived Peter Cushing in CGI form for the role of Grand Moff Tarkin in 2016 and when Galaxy gave Audrey Hepburn the CGI treatment for one of their adverts.

One of these uses is far more acceptable than the other. No bonus points for guessing which.

For the most part, the CGI appearance of Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One was widely accepted as the use of his Peter Cushing’s likeness in the film was approved by the late actor’s estate and was used in good taste in the film as it was true to the character and the story they were telling. 

Pixar’s use of Don Rickles’ voice in Toy Story 4 definitely falls into the same category as Rogue One’s Tarkin as it’s staying true to the character Rickles played on three previous occasions and unlike the Galaxy Hepburn ad, isn’t trying to flog you chocolate.

In the meantime, Toy Story 4 hits cinemas worldwide today, and we’re certainly super-excited to see it. 


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