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Lightyear (2022)


Twenty-seven years ago, Toy Story was released. It eventually became four touching films and helped establish Pixar as the best computer animation studio. We finally, now have the film that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy that Andy cherished. Lightyear opens with white text on black background summarizing that. Nobody was asking for this film but it now exists on Disney+.

Chris Evans voices Lightyear. He is accompanied by Izzy Hawthorne, Keke Palmer, the granddaughter of his former crewmate, Mo Morrison voiced by Taika Waititi, and SOX the robotic cat voiced by Peter Sohn. SOX is the best part of the film and begs e question, where was the SOX toy all these years in Toy Story? The film focuses mostly on Buzz and Izzy as they both develop new skill sets they lack. Izzy lacked confidence and Buzz did not know how to work on a team. It is a story that has been told countless times and does not venture anywhere particularly new.

As the film progresses you are left drawing a parallel to the movie Buzz versus toy Buzz and it does not add up very well. The Buzz from the original Toy Story feels much more like a prequel or sequel character than what was in this film. He was a lone ranger yet this film is built around him always working with others. It is impossible to separate these thoughts in your mind since the film forces you to acknowledge the relationship between Lightyear and Toy Story. The reveal about Zurg also makes Toy Story Two feel odd.

Pixar is slowly losing its winning streak. As they increase the number of films, it feels like more duds are coming out. Perhaps they were on a hot streak, or perhaps Disney is trying to use them to print money and not make great films. Either way, this film exists now and we are all left to wonder if Pixar can get back on track and give us another timeless hit.

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