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Tim Allen Reflects on Emotional ‘Toy Story 4’ Journey and Whether It’s the Final Movie (Exclusive)

This isn’t his first rodeo! Tim Allen returns to the big screen to voice the iconic Space Ranger superhero Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s Toy Story 4. For the fourth installment, he’ll be reuniting with vets Tom Hanks and Annie Potts, and joining franchise newcomers Bonnie Hunt and Keanu Reeves!

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“Keanu’s really funny. He’s almost like Buzz — he’s oblivious to how his bravado is getting in his way,” Allen, 66, says in the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now. The Last Man Standing star, who originated the role of Buzz in 1995, thinks we could all learn a thing or two from his character. “I kind of wish I was innocent like Buzz, I wish I could look at things that simply.”

Toy Story 4 Cast US Exclusive Carnival Festival
The voice cast of Toy Story 4 (L-R) Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Ally Maki, Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Tim Allen and Tony Hale pose for a photo. Art Strieber

For more from Tim Allen, read our interview below and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly.

Us Weekly: Why do you think Buzz and Woody still resonate today?
TA: They’ve kind of become Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck of a certain generation. I really take a large leap by saying that we’re that iconic, but it does feel that way. They’re immortal; they’re toys — they don’t have a life span.

Related: 'Toy Story 4': Meet the New Characters

Us Weekly: How close have you and Tom Hanks become?
TA There’s a very short scene that both Hanks and I had trouble with, because I thought there was more pages. It ends, and I got choked up. I literally had a hard time saying it. He did too. We both had the same reaction. Twenty-five or so years of friendship between Woody and Buzz has morphed into a very close friendships with Hanks and I. It’s just peculiar as life imitates art.

Tim Allen Poses With His Hands on His Hips Next To Buzz Lightyear With A Giant Grin
Tim Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” series of animated films, poses with Buzz Lightyear. Matt Stroshane/Disney Parks via Getty Images

Us: What can you say about the theme of this sequel?
TA: It’s a very different Pixar movie. It’s not somber, but very reflective, layered. I put too much into it because I’m involved in it. I’m too close to it. I literally had a tough time watching it, because it brought up some of my own personal stuff about loss, change, moving on. It’s heartwarming. A little tough, but essentially pays off. All the stories to me are human in nature – it’s masking human stuff with animated characters. This is even more of that, and has deeper themes about how we treat each other, and what’s worth something and isn’t worth something.

Related: Stars Who've Voiced Disney and Pixar Characters

Us: Will this be the last film of the franchise?
TA: I can’t give that away. There’s very little to suggest that this isn’t, at the very least, [part of] a much bigger world. It reminds me of the Avengers movies — there are not only offshoots of characters that have simultaneous stories, but the world itself got much bigger. … My sense is it’s done. My creative side says, at the same time things end, there’s a new beginning. I would find it difficult not to just continue.

Toy Story 4 hits theaters Friday, June 21.

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