To 'Toy Story' and beyond: Permanent Pixar player John Ratzenberger takes us through all his roles

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

John Ratzenberger‘s 10-year run as Cliff Clavin on the seminal ’80s sitcom Cheers was impressive enough.

His run in Pixar movies has been even longer.

Starting with 1995’s Toy Story and continuing through last year’s Oscar-nominated Incredibles 2 and this week’s Toy Story 4, Ratzenberger has voiced a role in every single Pixar-produced film. That’s a whopping 21 movies straight, earning the 71-year-old Ratzenberger the title of “Pixar’s good luck charm” and oftentimes leading fans on an Easter egg hunt to pick out his sometimes-disguised drawl.

“Everyone, from college age to 1 year old, knows the sound of my voice,” Ratzenberger beamed during a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment where he discussed many of his roles (watch above).

It helped that he was in on the ground floor, when the future computer-animation giant was still essentially functioning as a startup before revolutionizing the genre with the release of Toy Story, in which Ratzenberger was cast as the talking piggy bank, Hamm. (“That was really the voice of Cliff Clavin,” he admitted.)

“At the very beginning no one had really heard of Pixar, when they asked me to do the voice of the pig. I said, ‘Absolutely. Sounds like fun.’ And then when I started working with them, I said, ‘Boy, they do all the heavy lifting. The actor really doesn’t have much to do.’ All you really do is listen to what they tell you.”

That simple formula landed Ratzenberger eventual roles in A Bug’s Life (1998), the Cars trilogy (2006-2017), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009), Brave (2012), and Inside Out (2015). While he insists there was never a point where it was agreed he’d appear in every film, the offers just keep coming.

Story originally published Feb. 15, 2019.

Toy Story 4 is now in theaters.

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