In early April, we headed out to Pixar Animation Studios to learn all about the development of Toy Story 4. Along with filmmaker discussions, we also screened 30-minutes of the film, where we couldn’t help but recognize two of the most recognizable comedic voices of all time — Mel Brooks and Betty White.
Featured as elder toys tucked away in Bonnie’s closet, we were excited to learn (via a USA Today exclusive) that two additional voices which were familiar to us (but we couldn’t pin down the actors at the time) are Mel Brooks’ best friend, Carl Reiner, as well as comedienne extraordinaire, Carol Burnett.
Although they have very minimal lines spoken in the film, their moment is pivotal as Woody continues to come to grips with not holding the spot as “top-toy” any longer in Bonnie’s room (as opposed to Andy’s room).
We love a good pun and really enjoyed reading that their names were incorporated into their characters.
- Carol Burnette voices Chairol Burnett
- Mel Brooks voices Melephant Brooks
- Carl Reiner voices Carl Reineroceros
- Betty White voices Bitey White
On a personal note, we definitely get a good laugh at these punny style names and named one of our Son’s elephant toys, Harry Elephonte (after the singer Harry Belafonte). And, just like these toys, our Son has outgrown Harry so he’s tucked away as well.
In the interview, Betty White noted, “It was wonderful the way they incorporated our names into the characters. And, I’m a sucker for animals, so the tiger was just perfect!” Additionally, Toy Story 4 director, Josh Cooley also noted that Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner recorded their lines together in Carl’s living room. Wow.
Josh recounted the experience by noting that it was, “so surreal and so awesome,” says Cooley, adding that the two comedians riffed off each other to perfect their characters. “Mel hits me on the leg and goes, ‘Hey, I direct films, too, you know.’ Yes, I’m aware of that.”
What an experience for Josh. If you want to get a sense of Carl’s living room, you can watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld (full episode on Netflix [Season 2, episode 5] or Jerry’s Facebook page). He did a complete episode with Carl and Mel that highlights the true, 60+ year friendship between the duo as well as looks back at their careers.
Check out the complete interview on USA Today.
Pixar Post — T.J.