review by Bobby Blakey
There is no question that the biggest franchise from Pixar is Toy Story. The franchise has spawned four feature films, numerous specials, a spin off Buzz Lightyear film and TV series. Now Buzz is front and center once again in a whole new light for the big screen feature Lightyear featuring Chris Evans taking on the role of the “real life” Buzz Lightyear. Could this flick briong something new to the beloved character and franchise or will it fail to go to infinity and beyond?
Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear—the hero who inspired the toy—introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans. In addition to Evans it features a great voice cast including Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Uzo Aduba, Peter Sohn, Bill Hader, Efren Ramirez and James Brolin.
For those still not clear this new flick is in fact the movie that Andy from Toy Story was a fan of featuring Buzz Lightyear. It is firmly planted in that meta aspect and is an interesting direction for the character. There is also a lot of complaints regarding Evans taking over from Allen and I was one of them, but keep in mind that Patrick Warburton also replaced him for the animated series so not the first time. Believe it or not it’s not that noticeable and I think works great for the story they are telling, but does the film itself?
This is one of those films that doesn’t need to exist and I never once thought about it, but after seeing it I am damn glad they did. This film stands all on its own as a fun sci-fi action adventure that does not require you to see Toy Story, but obviously there are tons of Easter Eggs for the fans to have fun with. While
these make the fun more fun they are not the thing that makes it work. It is just a great flick that really delivers everything I had hoped for in this kind of story.
Unlike most Pixar flicks this one isn’t just another one pulling at the heart strings, but instead just wants to take us on a fun ride and it succeeds. Sure there are plenty of heartfelt moments, but it knows what it is. It isn’t bringing anything deep to the table and not trying to, instead it just wants to bring more adventure to the fans of Buzz Lightyear in an all new way. With the previous animated series and feature Buzz Lightyear of Star Command it set the groundwork to this film and expanded the fun of the character, but this film cements itself as the one that started it all.
The animation is beautiful as always, there are plenty of laughs and adventure making it another home run for Disney and Pixar. I know some are going to have issues with the “scene” that is causing some controversy, but it is such a throwaway but important moment to normalize life that I am glad it is there. In the end this is a film that doesn’t need to exist, but it sure was a fun way to jump into the world of the Space Rangers and hopefully this isn’t the last time we head to infinity and beyond. If it is then what a fun ride to revisit.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes, commentary and featurettes taking you behind bringing this all-new Buzz Lightyear adventure to life. Head to infinity and Beyond and grab your copy of Lightyear available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on September 13th from Disney Home Entertainment.