Early Toy Story Demo Features Billy Crystal as Buzz Lightyear

Michele Debczak
Disney/Pixar / Disney/Pixar

Since the first film premiered in 1995, Toy Story has blown up into one of Pixar’s most beloved franchises. It’s hard to separate Buzz Lightyear from Tim Allen’s deadpan vocal performance today, but if the director had his way, the character would have sounded quite different.

In the video below, shared by The A.V. Club, Billy Crystal can be heard voicing an early version of Buzz in a demo for the movie. Crystal was Toy Story director John Lasseter’s first choice for the role, but the actor didn’t take him up on the offer. In an interview, Crystal would later cite the missed opportunity as “the only regret I have in the business of something I passed on.”

But before Crystal said no to going to infinity and beyond, the studio sampled a clip of his performance from When Harry Met Sally in an animation test. Though audiences never got to see Crystal play a plastic astronaut, he did collaborate with Pixar years later as Mike Wazowski in 2001's Monsters, Inc.

[h/t The A.V. Club]