We learned a few months back that former James Bond actor, Timothy Dalton, is voicing a new character in Pixar’s upcoming sequel, Toy Story 3. The character is called Mr. Pricklepants, a hedgehog who’s described to have “thespian tendencies,” which makes Dalton a great choice for the role (on top of the fact he has a brilliantly distinctive voice).

Those lucky enough to be in the room for the Disney’s D23 event earlier this year got a look at Mr. Pricklepants, along with the first full-length Toy Story 3 trailer. But we now have a new featurette (which premiered on the Disney Channel) featuring director Lee Unkrich and gives us our first official look at the character. Other than that, it doesn’t give much else away that we haven’t seen before in other trailers and clips, but for any fans of Toy Story and Pixar in general it’s definitely worth a look.

Take a look at the featurette below:

As /Film points out, there’s no word on what sort of role Mr. Pricklepants will have – i.e. whether he’ll be good or bad, or how much of him we’ll see. But in true Pixar form, you can bet he won’t just be there to be some sort of “background filler.” I really like the casting of Dalton as the character – not because his voice is distinctive but because it acts as a very funny counterpoint to the look of the character (read: you wouldn’t expect a hedgehog to have that voice! ๐Ÿ˜› ).

Toy Story 3 reunites almost all your favorite voice actors from the first two (Jim Varney has passed away) including Tom Hanks (Woody); Tim Allen (Buzz); Joan Cusack (Jessie); John Ratzenberger (Hamm); R. Lee Ermey (Sergeant); Wallace Shawn (Rex); and Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head). Along with Dalton (Mr. Pricklepants), also joining the voice cast are Michael Keaton (playing Barbieโ€™s boyfriend, Ken);ย  Blake Clark (voicing Slinky Dog, replacing Jim Varney); Kristin Schaal; Whoopie Goldberg; Bonnie Hunt; and Jeff Garlin.

Thoughts on our first look at the new Toy character of Mr. Prickleplants? Do you like the voice casting of Timothy Dalton? What are you looking forward to most about the third installment in the Toy Story franchise?

With us all now into the year 2010, you can now start thinking of Toy Story 3 as coming out this year (as director Lee Unkrich enthusiastically Tweeted yesterday). The film hits theaters this summer on June 18th, and I personally can’t wait for it.

Sources: YouTube and /Film