After the last Toy Story movie wrapped up the story in a nice little bow, fans just assumed that was the end of the franchise. Four fantastic movies that pull at your heart strings but really where can the story go now that the major characters have gone their own ways. So when Lightyear was announced, it was meant with a bit of apprehension. Especially with Chris Evans voicing Buzz Lightyear instead of Tim Allen who has been the voice of the iconic toy for decades now. Is this a movie we actually want? Or need? Is this something that fans are going to accept as part of the franchise?
I’m not sure if it’s something that wasn’t made super clear in the trailers for the film, or something I missed – but this isn’t really a prequel to the Toy Story films. Instead, Disney and Pixar decided to expand the universe in a different way. This isn’t the Buzz Lightyear Toy with the drawn-on dimple in his chin, and even the animation style is different. The reason – is this isn’t about a toy. Lightyear is the movie that the toy was based on.
Yes, Andy’s favorite character Buzz Lightyear came from a movie that he watched in 1995 – and the opening of Lightyear makes it clear that this is that movie. Three simple lines flashing on the screen are enough to erase any preconceived notions of what the movie is about or is going to be about. It’s the space-action film that Andy loved as a kid. But this set timeline will have fans questioning a couple of other things.
If we go with the fact that Lightyear was a movie that Andy loved in 1995, huddled around the television watching it with Woody and his other toys in tow – it had to have come out in 1994 and filmed the year of or before. Just the film quality and special effects are way beyond what any film (except of course Jurassic Park) was even attempting at the time. And a look at the technology in the film, like Sox’s USB tail are beyond what were available. But a futuristic sci-fi film might have, maybe, guessed that was going to be coming to technology in the future? We can brush that off as maybe one of the several Easter Eggs that no doubt Pixar peppered through the film.
Lightyear sucks you in for an adventure in the first few minutes, and while you may want to spend your time looking for all of those Easter Eggs, maybe wait until your second viewing. Strap in, enjoy the hyper-speed ride, and fall in love with a robotic cat named Sox. Lightyear is going to take fans on a ride they definitely didn’t anticipate and can open the door for other Toy Story characters returning to the big screen as well.
Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” opens only in theaters on June 17, 2022.
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A sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.