Angus MacLane Talks Small Fry
If there's one thing we've learned from the Toy Story franchise, it's that there's a definite hierarchy to toys. And Angus MacLane (BURN•E) plays off this brilliantly in Small Fry, when Buzz Lightyear gets left behind at a fast-food restaurant when Bonnie inadvertently takes home the collectible.
Small Fry marks the second Toy Story Toons short, and currently screens in front of The Muppets. However, unlike Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry was made at Pixar Canada in Vancouver, which debuted with Air Mater.
Toy Story vets Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz), John Ratzenberger (Hamm) and Joan Cusack (Jessie) return for the seven-minute short. And Teddy Newton (Day and Night) voices mini-Buzz.
"A lot of these toys are mash-ups of different genres inspired by toys I grew up with," recalls MacLane. "For instance, Super Pirate is a superhero and a pirate. It would really be challenging to make him work as part of a narrative, but as a castoff toy, he's part of a support group at this fast-food restaurant dealing with the fact that they are unloved toys."
So they meet regularly in therapy sessions, of which Buzz is now a member. Among the most prominent are T-Bone (a steak force influenced by transforming toys of the '80s) and group leader Neptuna (voiced by Glee's Jane Lynch). The fact that they're only three inches tall contributes to their lowly status.
Then there's Condorman (culled from the '81 Disney cult movie of the same name). "I thought it would be funny if you took a character from Disney's history that a lot of people didn't know about and would not feel out of place in the line-up of forgotten toys. Plus then if they make toys of Condorman, it would make it a win-win. "
MacLane, who helped design the original Emperor Zurg in Toy Story, was primed for such a subject. "I thought in the alternate reality that we created it would be really fun if the mini-Buzz and Zurg could be friends since they're locked in that display case."
Of course, living in a display case is the worst existence of all because you have the lowliest status. You can't even be taken home to be played with. You just stand there for the world to see and not have.