Movie Review – Lightyear

AND BEYOND -- Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” is an all-new, original feature film that presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans)—the hero who inspired the toy—introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), the sci-fi action-adventure releases on June 17, 2022. © 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In 1995 Pixar studios launched with their first ever film to go into cinemas – Toy Story. The film based on the idea that toys come to life when no one is around introduced us to Woody the Sheriff and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the action figure from the favourite movie of the kid in toy story. Now, nearly 3 decades later – this is that movie.

If you have never seen Toy Story,  firstly welcome to earth and secondly Toy Story is easily the film that Pixar is most known for with 4 instalments including Toy Story 4 which was Pixar’s last film to be released in cinemas in Australia in 2019 aka pre-pandemic. Toy Story with Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear of Star Command aka a Space Ranger pretty much made CGI animated films a reality with the hype of Toy Story leading to more sequels, more Pixar films, other studios being founded with some relation to Pixar AND Pixar being added to the infinity gauntlet of Disney.

While the toys in the film did spawn a lot of real life toys spin offs about the origins of those toys were a bit sparse. While Buzz Lightyear did get some more supporting cast in Toy Story 2 (and there was a Buzz Lightyear cartoon). We knew that Buzz Lightyear was a space ranger, an intergalactic hero and part of Star Command and… that was about it. Outside of the action figure being based on a film that never existed, a small LED for a laser and some pop out jetpack wings we knew surprisingly little about Buzz Lightyear the character, until now.

Announced by Disney (also pre-pandemic) Lightyear was to fill in the gaps of the Buzz Lightyear story. Being announced as a full CGI animated film by Pixar the hype went to 11 when Captain American aka Chris Evans being hot off End Game was announced as playing Buzz. Now with Lightyear in cinemas we feel light this was worth the wait.

Being introduced to Buzz as one of the Space Rangers attached to a colonisation mission Lightyear does not wait around before stuff starts happening. Being dropped on an alien world to investigate Lightyear does Halo better than the Halo series with Buzz aiming to escape the hostile planet. And within the first 5 minutes you can see why this is favourite movie of Andy from Toy Story.

Part action movie and part space adventure it’s not too often that you see the theory of reality explained and demonstrated within a animated film and definitely not as well as with Buzz and his robotic companion cat Sox. Not only does it feel completely at home within the film but when it switches gears back to full Space Ranger on Evil Robot action you don’t feel like you have missed a beat as the sci-fi elements are strong here as is the unique Pixar humour that spans ages. As with all Pixar films the animation here is top shelf and while this goes without saying with Pixar, it is worth saying here.

While we could go into the film a bit more it honestly moves pretty fast and coming in at under 2 hours run time with very little ‘filler’ if at all with pretty much everything being important to moving the story forward and tying it all together. If you have seen the trailers maybe stop there as this one is best enjoyed without spoilers.

So should you go see it? Honestly? Absolutely yes and yes you should see it in cinemas. While it might be easy to think you wont lose anything watching this on a smaller screen  but put against some gorgeous vast alien backdrops and space sequences this is some big screen material. While you might get some of the references if you have seen the Toy Story films (or are the Toy Story films referencing here, oh wait is this Time Travel?) you absolutely do not need to have to enjoy this one, but now we need more.

Lightyear is in cinemas across Australia right now

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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movie-review-lightyearLightyear is peak Pixar doing for sci-fi what the Incredibles did for superheroes. While it feels like we are getting so many great films in a row this year in cinemas this is the type of sci-fi space adventure film we want and we want more of... to Infinity and beyond. P.S. You should wait until the very end of the credits if you still need some directions