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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

New Music Express is reporting that with the tragic passing of legendary comedian Don Rickles on April 6th, the role of Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 4 may be in doubt. The film, which had recently been pushed back to 2019 to make room for The Incredibles 2, is still in the process of rewrites which means no one has recorded a word of dialogue for the film. This is not the first time this has happened to a Toy Story production as Jim Varney, who played Slinky Dog, passed away in 2000 shortly after the release of Toy Story 2. His role was recast for Toy Story 3 in 2010 by Blake Clark.

Even before the passing of Mr. Rickles, I questioned why Toy Story 4 was being made. I’ll admit I had the same feeling before Toy Story 3 and that ended up being the best film of the bunch so I have no problem being proven wrong by the good folks at Pixar once again. Toy Story 3 was such a perfect way to end that series that making another one just seems pointless. There is such a high bar they have to leap in order to maintain the quality of the series that they simply may not be able to meet everyone’s expectations.

The Toy Story franchise is special for me. I had a chance to see the original movie in 1995 thanks to the owner of Studio 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan offering me and a group of friends free tickets to see the movie before it’s release. The only reason I went was because it was free. I thought it would be a horrible musical. Boy, was I wrong. Pixar started a trend with that film of making wonderful children’s movies that adults would not feel silly watching. I don’t even think of Pixar movies as kids movies. They’re just good movies. 

While Don Rickles had a distinctive voice, there are plenty of talented voice actors who could fill his shoes as Mr. Potato Head. It worked for Slinky Dog in Toy Story 3 because the actor who replaced him, Blake Clark, was a friend of Jim Varney and was able to bring the spirit of Mr. Varney into the role. Do they even want to add Mr. Potato Head? Toy Story 3 was a great send off for the character. They could easily say he’s at Sunnyside Day Care and write him off.

So what do you think? Are you excited to see Toy Story 4? Do you think they should have another actor to play Mr. Potato Head or should they write the character off? Sound off in the comments section below.

And in honor of the great Don Rickles, here’s a Youtube video that showcases his genius

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SOURCE: New Music Express

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.