The single most heartbreaking toy in Andy’s (John Morris) room, all Wheezy (Joe Ranft) wants to do is be played with. Unfortunately for him, his squeaker was broken and he 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 Andy’s mom never got him fixed like she promised, leaving him to gather dust instead. He’s spent ages trying to get his friends to find him, but since his squeaker doesn’t work, nobody ever found him.
“What’s the point,” Wheezy asks, “in prolonging the inevitable? We’re all just one stitch away from here, to there,” as he points to a yard sale, causing a panic amongst the other toys. Wheezy is then placed in a sale box for a measly 25 cents, and while Woody’s valiant attempt to save his friend works, it also ends up in Woody being taken. At the end of “Toy Story 2,” Wheezy’s voice is gloriously restored, and the no longer dusty toy penguin croons the fantastic “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to his fellow toys.
The joy for Wheezy doesn’t last in “Toy Story 3,” as he’s nowhere to be found in the film. Wheezy is one of the many toys lost over the years, a crushing reminder that life is all too finite, even for a toy.