Don Rickles died in July 2017 at the age of 90

By Ale Russian
May 29, 2019 10:40 AM
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Stock recordings of Don Rickles will allow the late comedian to appear in Toy Story 4 two years after his death.

The legendary comedian, who died in 2017 at the age of 90, will still voice fan-favorite Mr. Potato Head in the upcoming fourth outing of the franchise thanks to some inventive use of old footage. Rickles has played the character in the previous three movies, starting with the original in 1995.

“We went back through all of the outtakes for all of the films, all the shorts, all the video games, all the ice-capades shows, every possible thing, and there was a lot of Don Rickles,” director Josh Cooley said at a press day for the film, according to Comicbook. “So I wouldn’t say it was easy, but there was a lot to work with. So I’m very, very, very honored that he’s in this film.”

Though the movie was announced in 2014 and Rickles signed on to come back as Mr. Potato Head, the comedian hadn’t yet recorded any of his parts since he died before the script was finalized.

Don Rickles
| Credit: Michael Buckner/WireImage; Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Cooley previously confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that audiences will still hear his unmistakable voice in the upcoming movie.

“Of course we loved Don obviously, and after he passed, his family contacted us and asked if there was any way that we could create a performance using the recordings that we had,” Cooley told EW. “Now, he signed to be in Toy Story 4. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to record him for the film.”

He continued, “But we went through, jeez, 25 years of everything we didn’t use for Toy Story 1, 2, 3, the theme parks, the ice capades, the video games — everything that he’s recorded for Mr. Potato Head. And we were able to do that. And so I’m very honored that they asked us to do that, and I’m very honored that he’s in the film. Nobody can replace him.”

Toy Story 4 is set to hit theaters June 21.