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TOY STORY 2

TIM ALLEN (Buzz Lightyear) once again adds dimension and dementia to this complex and comic cosmic character. This fearless space ranger has come down to Earth a bit since his last outing but he occasionally still has his head in the clouds. When his pal, Woody, is stolen, this loyal action figure blasts into action and leads the rest of the toys on a daring rescue mission to Al's Toy Barn and beyond. When Woody decides he doesn't want to go back to Andy, it's up to Buzz to remind him what it means to be a toy.

"The easiest way to get into Buzz after an extended period," explains Allen, "is to say 'to infinity and beyond.' I do this randomly to scare children in elevators. Young kids think that I've swallowed Buzz Lightyear. They think I've done something wrong."

He adds, "The fun thing about 'Toy Story 2' is the reversal of roles. In this film, I take on the leadership role because Woody has left the room. I have to keep everybody together like he would have done. Tom yelled at me throughout most of the first movie. And now this time I get to be angry with him. He's very calm and gets all the good lines — except for one. I get to tell him, 'You are a toy!,' just like he told me in the first one. What's really great about the sequel is that the camaraderie between the toys is richer and fuller. The characters are fully developed and you discover more about them. You're going to laugh the same way. It's not just more, it's better."

According to Allen, "The coolest part is the final product. I can't wait to see the movie. I love being part of the process, behind the scenes, doing the magic trick. It's really quite delightful to watch it come to life and have the animators put your voice to the animation. I wish I was as good as Buzz sometimes. When I finally see it on the screen, I get swept up just like everybody else. The original 'Toy Story' had a big effect on kids and families and they could watch it together. It was one of those gems that I've been lucky enough to be a part of."

Born in Denver and raised, from age 13, in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Allen was one of seven brothers and two sisters raised by his mother. A class cut-up, his favorite high school subject was shop, and his first true love was cars. He traded a whole summer's work at a local speed shop for a custom built, tricked-out dune buggy — not very practical for the icy streets of Michigan in winter, but try telling that to a teenage boy.

Allen graduated from Western Michigan University in 1975 with a degree in TV production, and went to work as a creative director for a small advertising firm in Detroit. Soon he moved from behind the camera to in front of it, as a performer and commercial spokesman.

In 1979, on a dare from a friend, Allen made his first stand-up appearance at Detroit's Comedy Castle. Since then, he has become "a 20-year overnight success," selling out concert venues around the country. He has also appeared in several cable specials: "The Montreal Just for Laughs Festival," "Showtime Comedy Club All Stars VII" and two half-hour specials of his own for Showtime — "Men Are Pigs" and "Tim Allen Rewires America."

He won a 1990 ACE Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Special at the "Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival" in Montreal. From 1991 to 1998, television audiences honored Allen with multiple People's Choice Awards for Favorite Male Performer in a Television Series. He also earned another People's Choice Award for "Home Improvement" for Funniest Television Series. The Harris Poll

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