Blake Clark replaces the late Jim Varney as the new voice of Slinky Dog

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Actor Blake Clark arrives at the afterparty for the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'Toy Story 3' at Hollywood High School on June 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

When Disney Pixar decided to move forward with Toy Story 3, in theaters tomorrow, they had one major problem.  Who was going to replace the late Jim Varney of Ernest fame as the voice of Slinky Dog?  They found their man in Blake Clark, a veteran actor from such movies as 50 First Dates, Little Nicky, and The Waterboy.

The announcement was actually made via a Twitter video from the director of Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich.  Unkrich said:

“We searched long and hard for someone who would have the spirit of Slinky, like Jim, so we can keep the character alive. We were very fortunate to find that person in Blake Clark,”  He went on to say, “We were really excited when we found out that Blake was actually friends with Jim Varney.  They knew each other from way back.”

The gravelly voiced actor really channelled the spirit of Varney according to Unkrich and fellow voice actors Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Don Rickles.  Here is a preview for Toy Story 3, which is receiving outstanding reviews with an overall high composite score of 87 via Metacritic.

Toy Story 3 could very well end up being the highest grossing film in 2010.  When you combine Disney Pixar, with Toy Story, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and excellent reviews, you have a recipe for some serious box office bank.

Top Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images