John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s Lucky Charm – Part Two

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John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s Lucky Charm - Part Two

As I was saying in Part One of this article, John Ratzenberger is the reason for Pixar’s success. As their lucky charm, he has brought the studio nothing but box office gold.

OK, maybe the juries still out as to whether John can claim that much credit. But let’s continue to look at his involvement with Pixar:

2006 – Cars (Mack / Supporting Lead)

“What kind of a cheap, cut-rate, operation is this?”

With the next Pixar offering being directed by John Lasseter himself, it should be no surprise that Pixar’s lucky charm got his chance, not only to return, but also to star. As Mack, Lightning McQueen’s transport, John again got to deliver one-liners and provide color when it was needed.

John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s Lucky Charm - Part Two

But it wasn’t until the DVD release of Cars that we got a humorous expose on John’s involvement in Pixar movies.

We see the Cars cast at a drive-in movie as they watch the previous Pixar offerings, but as a vehicle cast reenacts them. Each clip we see has a shot with the character that John himself plays, and after each line this character delivers, John (as Mack) comments on how great the voice actor being used is. But finally, it dawns on Mack that the same voice is used for every one of the characters he’s seen! And so he comments: “Hey, they’re just using the same guy over and over!” And then delivers the line under the main heading above.

This was too funny for words!

Pixar was admitting they had a lucky charm, and were making no apologies for it. But this didn’t keep John in the limelight of Pixar’s next three films:

2007’s Ratatouille (Waiter) followed by 2008’s Wall-E (John) relegated the actor back to Cameo status. 2009’s UP (Employee) kept him there for one more movie.

2010 – Toy Story 3 (Ham / Supporting Lead)

“Umm, I don’t think those were Lincoln Logs.”

Lee Unkrich, as the director of the third installment of this franchise, was glad to have as many of the original cast back as possible. John was a no-brainer for inclusion. We missed Bo Peep, but got over it quickly. We wouldn’t have accepted the loss of Hamm so easily!

John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s Lucky Charm - Part Two

So in my opinion, John Ratzenberger is Pixar’s lucky charm, spreading comedic pixie dust throughout each and every movie! But I may have to concede that he shouldn’t get ALL of the credit for Pixar’s success.

2011 and 201? – Cars 2 and Monsters Inc. 2 (?)

How much involvement will John have in these two pictures? Likely only limited screen time. But as always, his presence will be felt.

In conclusion, one reporter asked John why Pixar used him in every single movie that they made. He laughed, and gave this elusive answer: “You’ll have to ask them that!”

 But he did say that he would answer their call for any project, any time. And isn’t that just what a lucky charm should do?

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2 thoughts on “John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s Lucky Charm – Part Two

  1. He appeared in the last frames as The Underminer. This is a character much like the Mole Man who threatened the Fantastic Four on occassion. Fun Fact: Three out of the four powers manifested by The Incredibles mirror the powers of the FF.

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