Tim Allen is an actor-comedian who has taken his fame to stratospheric heights with successful roles in the “Toy Story” franchise, the “Santa Clause” movie series, and numerous other films, including “Galaxy Quest,” “Wild Hogs,” and “The Shaggy Dog.”
He made the scene on the small screen as well with roles that include Tim “The Toolman” Taylor on the ABC sitcom “Home Improvement” and Mike Baxter on the ABC (and more recently Fox) sitcom “Last Man Standing.”
Tim sort of began his career when he accepted a dare from a friend. He took to the stage at a suburban Detroit comedy club.
In the late 1970s, his life trajectory would take a dark and devastating turn, though. He got arrested on drug charges, and after agreeing to a plea deal ended up serving two years and four months in a federal prison.
Following his release from prison in 1981, he moved to Los Angeles. It was here that he became a regular performer at the legendary Comedy Store and began pursuing what would eventually blossom into an extraordinary career in the entertainment business.
Tim’s success really reached a pinnacle in 1994, when he starred in what at the time turned out to be the highest-grossing film for Disney, “The Santa Clause.” He simultaneously topped the New York Times bestseller list with his book “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man” and additionally held the lead role in the top-rated TV sitcom “Home Improvement.”
What makes it all truly remarkable is that these once in a lifetime successes took place within the span of a single week.
Fast forward to the present and devoted “Toy Story” fans can be seen seriously trying to cope with the recent decision on Disney’s part to exclude Tim from its upcoming “Toy Story” spinoff.
Fittingly titled “Lightyear,” the upcoming movie delves into the origins of Tim’s beloved Buzz Lightyear character.
In all of the previous “Toy Story” films, Tim plays the voice of Buzz Lightyear, most recently starring in 2019’s “Toy Story 4.” He is without a doubt the voice most associated with the endearing character and as such has been an integral part of the “Toy Story” brand for almost three decades.
So from a business perspective, it makes no sense for entertainment executives to avoid using the actor who helped place the “Toy Story” franchise in a position where a spinoff could actually be a feasible option.
Disney’s move to replace Tim’s voice with that of “Captain America” actor Chris Evans has prompted tons of discussion on social media, questioning whether Tim’s removal was politically motivated.
Tim, who is known to have taken right-of-center positions on a number of occasions, may be experiencing a severe déjà vu, because it sure seems like this drama has played out before.
After six successful seasons, his sitcom “Last Man Standing” was inexplicably canceled in 2017 by the Disney owned ABC television network, despite it having been one of the most popular shows on air at the time. It consistently brought in strong ratings in a very difficult time slot, too.
On the show, Tim plays the role of a dad with conservative leanings who retains his manhood in a household filled with females of the wife and daughters kind. The lead character is apparently loosely based on Tim’s own real life experiences as a father of three girls.
Even though questions were raised publicly about the motivation behind ABC’s abrupt cancellation, the network brass was unable to come up with a reasonable explanation for its decision.
As if to underscore what appeared to be an absurd cancellation, Fox television network saw fit to pick up the show and allow it to continue to be aired.
This time around, though, it is Disney division Pixar that seems to once again be making a bizarre business decision, leaving the public to assume it may have been made for the wrong reasons.
Why would an individual with an instantly recognizable voice, who had helped to establish a franchise that had brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, be removed from the spinoff? It truly makes no sense.
In an attempt to explain away the snub, Tim’s detractors have concocted an excuse that the reason Disney has given Tim the cold shoulder is because the film is actually the origin story about the “real” Buzz Lightyear.
Trade magazine Variety explains away the miscasting with the narrative that the spinoff “doesn’t follow the toy-sized, space-faring exploits of Tim Allen’s iconic character. Rather, the 2022 film introduces the ‘real-life’ human astronaut whose adventures inspired the toy line seen in the ‘Toy Story’ franchise.”
Tim has the unique ability to deal with the entertainment industry’s erratic ups and downs, due to something that developed during his maturing process – his faith.
Like so many others, he revealed that he was a reluctant convert.
“For years, I just did not like this idea of God, church,” he said. “(I was) still a churchgoer, but constantly a cynic.”
He discovered a unique manner in which he could approach and actually acknowledge the existence of the Creator. He refers to God as “The Builder.”
He came to the realization that his own existence, and that of the world, wasn’t happenstance.
“Whoever built me, this is too much, too weird that it happened by accident,” Tim said.
He continues to seek guidance from above to determine his life’s direction.
“I always do ask… The Builder, what did you want me to do?” Tim explains. “And I do ask…”
Wise words from a man who keeps on building.