Al McWhiggin is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Stinky Pete) of Disney•Pixar's 1999 animated film Toy Story 2. He is a greedy toy collector determined to collect rare toys in exchange for money.
Al is greedy and funny at the same time, but unlike Sid Phillips (who would break toys and use them for scary experiments) from the first film, Al is intelligent and collects toys in his own kind of way. He never breaks them or takes them apart to the point that they lie around broken. Instead, Al sells off the toys after completing the collections to do his plan. His mind is bent solely on money and materialistic pleasures and he will do anything in his power to obtain them, which in turn makes him skilled in his business and trade. That said, he seems have no problems about committing minor crimes to get what he wants, such as when he stole Woody after he attempts and fails to exchange with Andy's mom for Woody despite the former telling him Woody wasn't for sale.
Al is very immature, not only shown by his weird behavior on television but also shown by his rudeness and lack of respect when contacting other businesses. When he contacts Geri, he tells him he is unconcerned about his schedule and demands he help him immediately, then hangs up before Geri can agree or disagree to come to his apartment first thing in the morning. When Al is at the airport, he yells at the front desk manager, telling him to be especially careful with his case. Both of these also show how convinced he is that the planet revolves around him. He also has an overdramatic reaction to being woken up by Stinky Pete and freaks out childishly when Woody's broken arm falls off.
Al is also shown to be rather lazy, such as when he complains about "driving all the way to work on a Saturday", even though his apartment is only across the street from the store when he can literally walk. He also sleeps on his couch at night rather than in his bed.
Al is a middle-aged stubby fat man with balding brown hair turning to gray. He has a mustache and goatee and wears thick-rimmed glasses. He is usually seen wearing solid bowling shirts, a white undershirt, navy pants, black shoes, and a wristwatch. During his company commercials, he wears a white chicken costume consisting of a red comb, giant white eyes with small black pupils, and yellow-orange beak.
In Toy Story 2, Al is the owner of Al's Toy Barn in the Tri-County Area who appears as its mascot, a giant chicken, in the toy retailer's television commercials. He is also a toy collector and even made a deal with Mr. Konishi of the Konishi Toy Museum in Tokyo, Japan to collect the entire Woody's Roundup collection in exchange for a handsome payment. He spent an undetermined amount of time tracking down Woody and his gang and eventually found Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete.
Later, while attending a yard sale at Andy's house, he happened to come across Woody, who had just saved Wheezy from being sold. Al tried to buy him, but Andy's mother, (unaware how Woody got into the yard sale) refuses to sell Woody by taking him away. Al tries to offer her $50, but she said he's not for sale as she knows that he still belongs to Andy, who was away at Cowboy Camp. Despite this, Al offers his watch in exchange for Woody as a trade, but to no avail. Refusing to take no for an answer, Al steals Woody when Ms. Davis had her back turned (by causing a distraction involving kicking a skateboard into a series of boxes) and hastily escaped with his prize. Buzz initially tried to save Woody from the trunk of Al's car but failed due to losing his grip before he could open the trunk. Despite the failure, he gained a few clues, such as a feather and a glimpse of the license plate LZTYBRN. After deciphering the license plate number for his car as "Al's Toy Barn" during the Crime Scene Investigation, consequently identifying the culprit as being Al and gaining a map to Al's Toy Barn from a commercial they saw on television, Buzz, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, and Rex then traveled to the city to save Woody.
Meanwhile, Al took various photos of Woody and the rest of his collection and after faxing them to Mr. Konishi, he made arrangements to finally fly to Japan with the whole collection. He placed the Roundup Gang dolls in a big green box to keep them safe during the flight, even though he made it very clear to the baggage handler that what was inside was important to him, stating he had a box of cookies on a plane once and they finished off as crumbs.
However, when he finally arrived in Japan, he realized they were all gone due to Buzz and the other toys' interference of rescuing them (and dealing with Stinky Pete's desperation to go there) and returning home to Andy. Because of this, the deal Al made with Mr. Konishi earlier in the film was cut off due to not having the entire collection he promised and it is likely Al and his store began to suffer financial troubles.
Shortly after this, he was seen in another one of his commercials, sobbing over his loss of fortune while barely stating that the store has the lowest prices in town. Hamm responds to this by saying, "Well, I guess crime doesn't pay."
Over a decade later after the events of the second film, after Andy has given his toys to Bonnie in Toy Story 3, Al is still concerned with completing his Roundup Gang collection, and in Toy Story of Terror!, he is the winning bidder on Ron Tompkins' auction on Woody after he is snatched from one of his motel patrons by his pet iguana Mr. Jones (ironically the same one he had once tried to steal). As his address signifies, he remains the owner of Al's Toy Barn. After Woody was saved by Jessie and Ron got exposed by Bonnie and her mother as being a crook, Ron was unable to send any of his stolen toys out.
Originally, Al was planned to appear in the special but was cut for timing reasons. Pixar released a deleted scene in the storyboard form illustrating this. In this scene, Al is shown wearing his chicken suit, rejoicing as he sees on his laptop he has won the auction for Woody. A news article on the wall indicates that Al's Toy Barn has gone bankrupt and it is implied he lives at his mother's house. However, this may not be true since, as indicated above, he still has the address of his store in the final version.
- Al's license plate reads "LZTYBRN," which is "Al's Toy Barn," minus the vowel letters and a Z in place of the S. It was also the actual license plate of the film's co-director Ash Brannon at the time of the film's release, according to the Toy Story 2 commentary.
- His last name is revealed on the nameplate on his office desk. Additionally, when he is done taking pictures, he answers his cell phone and Mr. Konishi can be heard saying his full name.
- When Al finishes his conversation with Mr. Konishi over his phone, he says, "Don't touch my moustache," which is a mnemonic of how to say "You're welcome" in Japanese. Incidentally, the phrase "you're welcome" itself is considered highly impolite in Japanese culture.
- According to a Disney Adventures magazine, the reason why Al was obsessed with toys is that his parents never allowed him to play with such toys as a kid.
- Both Al and his toy store were first mentioned at the end of the Buzz Lightyear commercial in the first Toy Story movie. (It is implied that he or one of his workers sold Buzz to Andy’s Mom.)
- Wayne Knight (the voice of Al), shortly after this film, got to voice another one of Toy Story 2's villains, the Evil Emperor Zurg for Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
- Because Wayne Knight was bearded at the time of the film's production, the Pixar staff chose to give Al a goatee. Early concept drafts show Al as an almost identical animated version of Knight, with the final design being fairly toned down to distance them.
- In Toy Story 3: The Video Game (PS3 or Xbox 360 version), a trophy (or achievement) has the name "The Collector" with Al on the image, despite the fact that he did not appear or was even mentioned in Toy Story 3. Though he does not physically appear in the game, his Toy Barn does where you can buy new toys for Toy Box mode by unlocking different cards in story mode. He also appears on the coins used to buy toys from his toy store.
- Al's car is mostly based on the 1956 Ford Mystere concept.
- In Al's apartment, he has an abstract painting of Tuck and Roll and Dot from A Bug's Life.
- The read-along version never shows the plane rescue or Al's fate, it only mentions Woody saving Jessie and the toys returning home.
- It can be assumed that Al's favorite snack is cheese puffs, considering that there were a few in his trunk as Woody was being stolen, some on his office desk as the toys was searching for Woody, and he had a whole bowl of them which fell on the floor as he was snoozing in his apartment. This could also explain why he is overweight.
- During the development of the film, the crew suggested that Al would fix Woody when he got damaged, as he would be a toy repairman himself. But as they continued to develop the character, they thought Al would not have the ability to fix him, so they decided to use Geri from Geri's Game instead.
- It took over a month for Pixar to digitally paint Al's car.
- It is possible that Al was the one who sold Buzz to Andy as a birthday present in the first film, as his store was known for selling Buzz Lightyear action figures in the Tri-County Area.
- Al, or at least a character similar to him, was conceived in the earliest draft of Toy Story. He was described as being "anal-retentive" and only handled toys when wearing gloves. The draft even describes that he has an obsession with taking out the trash and that the trash itself was clean, implying that he might have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
- Al may have feared of being caught for stealing Woody (and possibly other valuable toys) because when Stinky Pete turned on the television, he jumped up from his sleep yelling, "No officer! I swear." as though he thought the police were in the room.
- Glenn Shadix was considered for the role for Al.