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Ratzenberger: 'You don't turn down Pixar'

June 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
In 1995, actor John Ratzenberger auditioned to be a voice in an animated movie from a little company called Pixar. He was cast in "Toy Story" as "Hammy" and a perfect partnership was born. In the 15 years since the first "Toy Story" movie, John Ratzenberger has provided a voice in every Pixar film. And for their eleventh work of art he's reprising the role of "Hammy" in "Toy Story 3."

The actor says the Disney/Pixar feature films have been great for his career.

"These movies had made life good for me in several different ways," said Ratzenberger. "The audience I enjoyed with 'Cheers' is getting older. Now it's a whole other audience. I get kids who are 5 to 7 years old whose parents tell them I am the voice of 'Hammy.' Kids are coming up to me and its fun."

Actor Jeff Garlin worked on 2008's Oscar winning hit "WALL-E," but is new to the "Toy Story" family.

"I have to say my favorite thing is being recognized by kids," said Garlin. "There's nothing like a kid who's so excited to meet you, it is the best."

But director Lee Unkrich points out Pixar aims to make films everyone can enjoy.

"We make movies for everybody. We just make movies we wanna see ourselves at the studio and make sure they're appropriate for kids," said Unkrich. "If there is any secret to what we do, its' that. We just want these movies to be loved whether you're 2 or 100."

And with Pixar's track record, Ratzenberger is happy to stick around for the long haul.

"You don't turn down Pixar films. That's like turning down the Yankees," said Ratzenberger.

Michael Keaton, Jodi Benson, Ned Beatty, Bonnie Hunt and Timothy Dalton also star in "Toy Story 3."

The film is rated-G and is in theaters on Friday.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.


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