The most heartbreaking toy in Andy’s (John Morris) bedroom, all Wheezy (Joe Ranft) wants to do is play with it. Unfortunately for him, his squeaker was broken and it was placed high up on Andy’s dusty shelves. He may have been forgotten and doomed to spend the rest of his time up there if he wasn’t found by Woody (Tom Hanks) after his arm was damaged. It turns out that Andy’s mother never fixed it like she promised, leaving it to gather dust instead. He spent years trying to convince his friends to find him, but because his squeaker didn’t work, no one ever found him.
“What’s the point,” Wheezy asks, “in prolonging the inevitable? We’re all one point from here, there,” as he points to a garage sale, causing panic among the other toys. Wheezy is then placed in a vending box for the low price of 25 cents, and while Woody’s valiant attempt to save his friend works, it also ends with Woody being taken. At the end of “Toy Story 2,” Wheezy’s voice is gloriously restored, and the dusty penguin no longer sings the fantastical “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to his fellow toys.
Wheezy’s joy doesn’t last in “Toy Story 3” because he can’t be found in the movie. Wheezy is one of many toys lost over the years, a crushing reminder that life is far too over, even for a toy.