PG ‧ Animated Adventure ‧ 1 hour 45 minutes
Written by Jason Headley, Angus MacLane
Directed by Angus MacLane
Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Keke Palmer, Efren Ramirez, Peter Sohn, Dale Soules, Taika Waititi, Isiah Whitlock Jr.
(In their own words) From Disney and Pixar comes an animated sci-fi action-adventure — the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy. “Lightyear” follows the legendary space ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits, Izzy, Mo and Darby, and his robot companion Sox. As this motley crew embark on their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army who are never far behind.
The BEST things about the film
- The Comedy – It’s a pretty funny film.
- The Premise – We are watching the movie that the Buzzlight year action figure was based off of. This is a brilliant rounding out of Toy Story Universe.
- The Easter Eggs – The film is absolutely filled with little easter egg nods to past scifi films.
- The inclusiveness of the film. Wonderful amount of diversity and representation and I believe this contains Pixar’s first openly LGBTQ+ character that is human.
The WORST things about the Film
- Time travel stories always have problems. You have to just nod and go along with it.
- Buzz DID NOTHING WRONG – The premise of the story is built on the idea that Buzz made a mistake. But he doesn’t really. He feels guilt but not for a good reason and nobody tries to counter him.
- Dropped plot of the third new Ranger. I wanted some resolution to that.
I’m going to be honest, I was a skeptic. I almost didn’t even go to see this screening because I thought, “Why on Earth do I need to see a Lightyear spin off? The Buzz Lightyear origin story? What is that supposed to be? But I thought if I could find a friend I hadn’t seen in a while to go watch with me, it would be a good excuse to see them and I’ll give it a chance.
THANK GOODNESS I WENT!
I am shocked how much I enjoyed this film. I said it before and I’ll say it again – This is the Toy Story tale that I didn’t know I needed.
The premise is this: In 1996 Andy (from the Toy Story film) is given a Buzz Lightyear action figure based on a character from a movie. This is that movie.
Wait…What? It’s a movie?! It’s not some weird origin story, we get to see the movie that excited Andy so much that he neglected his longtime favorite toy Woody.
The film we see is basically the story of the Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear who is traveling with a group of scientists to a new colony when the discovery of an uncharted planet makes them go off course to investigate. While Buzz and his fellow Rangers are checking out the planet, they discover it’s a hostile planet and attempt to leave, during their emergency exit, an accident happens and they are trapped on the planet. They begin to colonize the planet while building a new “hyperspeed” engine, which Buzz is the test pilot for. The problem is, everytime he takes it out for a test, four of his minutes pass by while on the planet, 4 years pass by. All of Buzz’s friends are growing older while he keeps trying to get the new engine working correctly. The question becomes, will Buzz be able to find them a way off the planet before everyone he knows is still alive?
While the role of Buzz Lightyear has been played in the past by Tim Allen, this version is voiced by Chris Evans. Though while writing this review, it’s really hard to get Tim Allen’s voice out of my head. Evan does a fine job taking the voice over.
Lightyear is a delightful and funny story. Sold animation again by the folks at Pixar. They did a great job with this film. They managed to make the character of Buzz more likable than he ever has been in the past. We get a new adorable side kick in the robot cat, Sox. This is a cat that will be talked about for a long, long time. Cause unlike a lot of side kicks, this one is original and acts in surprising manners.
They also present a same-sex relationship and marriage, between two human characters, which is a great advancement since last time they did that directly was in Pixar and they weren’t human.
I was really drawn to the messages about how important teamwork is to the success of any goal. But ultimately Lightyear is about coming to terms with past mistakes. It reminds us that the past should be left in the past because dwelling on it makes us lose sight of what’s important and straight up miss the life that is happening.
This is definitely a rewatchable film. Sprinkled throughout the film are obvious nods to past scifi films and television, from Star Trek to Aliens, you will find lot of visual nods. This is a film made with love and care not just to Buzz Lightyear, but to scifi in general. It may not advance the genre but it has an amazing time playing in the sandbox.
To infinity and beyond!
Living with regret will make you miss out on life.
THE FINAL WORD
This is the Toy Story film I didn’t know I needed. And I did, I absolutely did.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
Lightyear gets a Love It.
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.