Don Rickles can’t record new lines for “Toy Story 5” — but his daughter’s hoping Disney has more archived audio to use, ’cause she wants her dad in the flick … TMZ has learned.
ICYMI … the fifth installment of the beloved animated franchise got a 2026 release date, announced Wednesday. We don’t have cast details yet, but Rickles — who played Mr. Potato Head in the first four installments of the franchise — passed away in 2017.
We spoke to Mindy Rickles — the daughter of the late great actor and comedian — and she tells us … Disney or Pixar has not yet reached out about a plan to use Don’s voice, which is interesting considering Potato Head is a huge character in the franchise.
In fact — MR was so in the dark, she says, that she didn’t even know “Toy Story 5” was announced … and doesn’t have a clue if they plan on using his voice, or recasting MPH.
With that said … Mindy tells us she’s giving the franchise two thumbs up to use her dad’s vocals via footage they might have left over and stashed away in the vault over the years — but it’s gotta really be him … because she says AI’s a no-go for her.
This isn’t a new concept … “Toy Story 4” came out in 2019 — about two years after Don passed away and he hadn’t recorded a single line of dialogue for the movie at the time.
The ‘TS4’ team got creative and cherry-picked unused lines he recorded for the first three movies, theme parks, associated video games, and even the ‘Disney On Ice: Toy Story’ show to piece together his part. That’s exactly what Mindy tells us she wants to happen now.
It’s unclear exactly how much more dialogue Disney might have from Don … but with Mrs. Potato Head actress Estelle Harris‘ death in 2022, the creatives behind ‘Toy Story’ might just say the couple’s moved on to another family — like Wheezy the singing penguin and Bo Peep between the second and third movies. Of course, they could just get new voice actors too.
We’ll see what route Pixar takes, but Mindy’s making it clear … the company will always have a friend in the Rickles fam, and she’s hoping the feeling’s the same.