PEZ collectors around the globe may find themselves envious of John Lasseter.
The Academy Award-winning Disney/Pixar animation chief and Glen Ellen resident was presented with a limited edition handmade set of PEZ dispensers that celebrate the relationship between Disney/Pixar and one of its most popular and prolific voiceover talents, John Ratzenberger.
Ratzenberger is the only actor who has voiced a character in all of the Pixar movies, most recently as Gordon in “Brave.” Television viewers may remember Ratzenberger for his role as mailman Cliff Clavin on “Cheers.”
PEZ has a long relationship with Disney and has turned many of its film characters into PEZ dispensers.
“In fact, we are their second-oldest licensee and it just seemed to be a perfect fit,” noted Shawn Peterson, a project manager with PEZ Candy, Inc.
Now, Lasseter has one of only three limited-edition sets highlighting Ratzenberger’s roles. The actor also has one set and the final one is on display in the visitor’s center at PEZ headquarters in Orange, Conn.
Lasseter was presented with his set earlier this month. His dedication from Ratzenberger reads: “To our friend John … From the bottom of our dispensers, thank you for letting us play in your sandbox all these years. Your bud and forever fan, J. Ratz.”
PEZ candy was created in Vienna, Austria in 1927 as a compressed peppermint candy, taking its name from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz.”
The dispensers were invented in 1927 and have been produced ever since to reflect current trends in pop culture. The dispensers are sold in more than 80 countries.
More than 3 billion PEZ candy are consumed each year in the U.S. alone.
PEZ dispensers have a wide following of collectors, with some of the oldest dispensers selling for thousands of dollars.
When PEZ posted a photo of Lasseter and Ratzenberger with their dispensers on its Facebook page, it quickly generated comments like, “I need those PEZ,” “Please make this a set,” and “I would love to have those.”
The characters featured in the special set are:
Ham from “Toy Story” and its sequels (1995, 1999 and 2010)
P.T. Flea from “A Bug’s Life” (1998)
The Abominable Snowman from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” (2001, 2003)
Moonfish from “Finding Nemo” (2003)
The Underminer from “The Incredibles” (2004);
Mack from “Cars” and “Cars 2″ (2006, 2011)
Mustafa from “Ratatouille” (2007)
John from “Wall-E” (2008)
Tom from “Up” (2009)
Gordon from “Brave” (2012)