The Toy Story franchise features a host of beloved characters, and you can definitely include Slinky the Dog in that mix. The adorable Slinky Pup comes in handy in whatever mission the toys are embarking on but is also easily identified by his voice and his trademark accent, brought to life by Jim Varney (Toy Story and Toy Story 2) and Blake Clark (Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4). ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley and producer Jonas Rivera all about the film, and we had to ask where the idea for that memorable voice came from.
"I always just thought he was sort of like a hound dog," Rivera said. "Like in the old days it was this the, you know the... Andrew and Joe were talking about those characters had to be like one syllable out and you get who they are. And it was just something about-"
"I never thought about it," Cooley said. "Yeah, hound dog. Kind of like a southern... I don't know," Rivera said.
"Hey buddy," Cooley added.
"Yeah. Joey's always laughed about because he was talking to me, like in the 70s Disney, everything was southern, even like AristoCats. They're southern, you know? I don't know if it was like a heehaw thing or what was going on," Rivera said. "Maybe Slinky's' rooted in that in some weird way."
Blake Clark currently voices the character, taking over for Jim Varney after his death, though Clark still draws inspiration from his close friend when it comes time to voice the character.
"The thing I love, Blake Clark does the voice now of Slinky and he was best friends with Jim Varney," Cooley said. "Really, really close. And so he, it's amazing because he's like, 'I'm channeling Jim, I'm channeling my best friend here', but he'd be down the hall, wouldn't even see him yet. We're waiting from the command, and we hear him, 'is anybody cooking beans? Who would be cooking...'"
"What time is it," Rivera chimed in. "What time is it? That's right," Cooley said. "What time is it? Who's cooking beans? And that was how he got into the character. So we would just start saying, what time is it?"
Fans can see Slinky back in action in Toy Story 4, which is in theaters now.