Wheezy is an innocent rubber toy penguin with a red bowtie who squeaks when you squeeze him. He often sings in a deep, celebratory voice to all his friends, and is also a nervous wreck. Wheezy's best friends were Woody and Buzz Lightyear, before he was either given away or sold.
Andy got Wheezy sometime before the events of Toy Story 2. He was once one of Andy's favorite toys until his squeaker broke. Andy was very upset, and when his mother said she would fix it, she instead left Wheezy on the shelf, where he was forgotten as he coughed on dust. He tried to squeak for help, but nobody could hear him as his squeaker was still broken.
When Woody's arm was accidentally torn by Andy, he also ended up on the shelf and by chance, discovered Wheezy. He tried to help Wheezy but there was little he could do to repair him. The asthmatic penguin pointed out that there was a yard sale outside and that he was likely to be sold. He was among the many toys collected for the sale, so Woody rushed to rescue him. He and Andy's dog, Buster, ran to the sale and recovered Wheezy, who was grateful for his help. Unfortunately, Woody fell off Buster, who ran back inside the house. Woody was subsequently found and kidnapped by Al, and this is where the toys' mission to rescue him began. As Buzz prepared to embark on his mission, Wheezy pleaded with Buzz to save Woody.
Wheezy was later seen in a happier mood after Woody and his friends return home. Wheezy was finally repaired with help from Mr. Shark and sang "You've Got a Friend in Me" to all of his friends in a deep voice.
Wheezy only appeared briefly in the home videos that Andy's mom made of him when he was a kid. Later on, Woody commented that Wheezy and toys like him were either given away or sold in yard sales, which suggests that Woody was unable to help him this time like he did before and he has a new owner now. He was a silent cameo in the movie, most likely out of respect for Joe Ranft.
In the show's pilot, Wheezy makes a cameo appearance in the film's opening sequence where Joe Ranft reprises his role. Wheezy sees the Buzz Lightyear VHS after it arrives in Andy's room and tells Buzz, "You ought to sign that tape. It might be worth something someday!" Later, in the TV series, Wheezy makes a silent cameo at the intros of the animated series where he is trapped in a box house on fire. Suddenly, Buzz flies by and rescues him. Buzz then goes to watch his TV show with the others.
From Official Website:
- "Wheezy, the squeaking penguin, has seen better days. Ever since his squeaker broke, he's been marooned on top of a tall bookcase in Andy's room. But given another chance (and a new squeaker), the dapper penguin can still belt out a tune or two."
- Wheezy originated from the earliest story ideas for the first Toy Story, when it would have starred the main character Tinny from Tin Toy. At that time, it was planned to have been a feature version of Pixar's unmade TV special A Tin Toy Christmas (hence the reason that he's a penguin).
- Wheezy got his name from having asthma.
- Before Toy Story 3 came out, Wheezy was rumored to have a speaking role with a new voice actor. Among the voice actors rumored were Charlie Adler, Mark Linn-Baker, Mike Myers, and the late Robin Williams.
- Both of his voice actors, Joe Ranft and Robert Goulet, have died after the film, just two years apart.
- In one of the videos on the Toy Story 3 website, his own version of "You've Got a Friend in Me" is shown, and he is also credited as "Squeak E. Clean."
- Wheezy made a non-speaking cameo appearance in a Toy Story Mania commercial.
- According to Disneystrology, his birthday would be on September 13th.
- On some non-U.S. releases of the film, the letter blocks that spell Wheezy's name are replaced with stars.