Toy Scary

TFK talks to actor Carl Weathers about his latest role in Toy Story of Terror

Oct 21, 2013 | By Cameron Keady
©DISNEY/PIXAR 2013

In this Halloween special, Combat Carl, voiced by Carl Weathers, helps Jessie overcome her fears to get her toy pals out of trouble.

The Toy Story crew is back in a Halloween special, Toy Story of Terror. It premieres October 25 on Disney Channel. Carl Weathers voices the character Combat Carl, a new addition to the Pixar cast. Combat Carl, alongside a miniature version of himself, Combat Carl Junior, helps the toys solve a spooky mystery at a roadside motel. Weathers talked to TFK about his love for animation, joining the Toy Story cast, and his plans for Halloween.

TFK:

How is Toy Story of Terror different from your other work?

CARL WEATHERS:

Well, first of all, I’m not walking around all 6’ 2”, 200-something pounds of me. I’m utilizing my voice, and voice only, that’s probably the biggest difference. As a voice actor, you really have to get into the character [you are voicing], and you have to try and convey whatever that character’s range of emotions are.

TFK:

Have you voiced an animated character before?

WEATHERS:

I have, but nothing as exciting as this, nothing as fun as this, and nothing as wacky as Combat Carl and Combat Carl Junior. Everything about Toy Story of Terror was fun from the get-go. Any project that is really geared towards kids and family entertainment is a lot of fun. I think anyone who loves animation, regardless of age, can get into this and have a good time. My only regret is that [the movie] wasn’t longer. I wanted more!

TFK:

Were you able to work with the rest of the cast, or did you all record your parts separately?

WEATHERS:

I was working singularly with the director in the studio, away from the rest of the cast. It’s a credit to the director and producer, though, that they had such a clear vision. All these characters seem like they were recorded in the same room together.

TFK:

Did you voice both Combat Carl and Combat Carl Junior?

WEATHERS:

I did record both. Of course, the sound team used their wizardry to make Combat Carl Junior’s voice sound very strange and bizarre, but very fun.

Carl Weathers' character is a new addition to the Toy Story cast.
ARAYA DIAZ—GETTY IMAGES
Carl Weathers' character is a new addition to the Toy Story cast.

TFK:

Can you tell us a bit about Combat Carl and what his character is like?

WEATHERS:

Combat Carl is obviously a guy who has been in combat before. What I love most about him is that he refers to himself in third person as Combat Carl when he’s talking to anyone else. I think there was some funny stuff with the writers and the directors in crafting this very professional and experienced soldier.

TFK:

You used to be a professional football player. Are any elements of this character inspired by your athletic career?

WEATHERS:

It’s a combination and compilation of a lot of roles I’ve done where there is an instructor-type character. There is this take-charge kind of guy that Combat Carl happens to be, and in this situation he’s taking charge to inspire Jessie to go out and do what she needs to do. Having been in athletics, I found you don’t really need one person to draw inspiration and encouragement from—you can draw it from just about everybody you’re working with.

TFK:

Had the character of Combat Carl already been named, or was he called that after you were cast for the part?

WEATHERS:

I’d love to take credit for it, but he was named that before I took the part. I would like to think that I inspired Combat Carl, though. This character was so much fun and I couldn’t resist getting into the spirit of Toy Story of Terror.

TFK:

Who is your favorite character in Toy Story of Terror?

WEATHERS:

I absolutely love Mr. Pricklepants, the lederhosen-wearing hedgehog. I won’t give much away, but during the movie he narrates each moment and tells a story within a story.  He just leads you along and prepares you for what’s to come, without completely preparing you. He’s hilarious.

TFK:

Have you seen the other three Toy Story movies?

WEATHERS:

Of course! How can you not be a fan of Woody? If I was a kid again, and there is still a big kid inside me, I would have loved a toy like Woody to drag around. There are such fun characters from these movies.

TFK:

Which movie is your favorite?

WEATHERS:

I think they are all so good. The first of [any movie series] is special because it’s so different and hits a chord.  I’m a big Pixar fan, and I don’t say that just because I’m involved in this movie. I think the quality of the animation and the storytelling is amazing.

TFK:

What are your plans for Halloween this year?

WEATHERS:

I plan on haunting the neighborhood. I think going dressed as Combat Carl might be a lot of fun. It would be fun to have a Combat Carl Junior, sit him on my shoulder, and terrorize the neighborhood.