LightYear; Thankfully for Toy Story… This Film will be Forgotten. Grade: C
In 1995, Andy a fictional character we know from Toy Story bought a toy from his favorite movie… This is the movie as they say… Completely ignoring the existence of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins straight to DVD movie, that led to the Buzz Lightyear television series. Anyhow: Lightyear tells the story about a Space Ranger named Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans), who crashed his ship after trying to flee the mysterious planet. So Buzz Lightyear tries effortlessly to construct a crystal in which he can achieve hyper speed, in which his space craft needs in order to get everyone back home. But unfortunately for Buzz the test missions he goes on he doesn’t age at all, but back on the mysterious planet the people on the planet age by four or more years. So the many missions Buzz goes on, eventually the things rapidly change on the mysterious planet, including the passings of Buzz’s beloved ones. Buzz will continue to try and achieve his mission, while also battling a very harsh world in which is controlled by robots, led by a mysterious purple robot named ZERG!
When I heard the announcement there was going to be a Buzz Lightyear spinoff… I question the entire concept, as I felt is it really necessary?! Like I mentioned earlier: There has already been a spin off of Buzz Lightyear with a straight to DVD movie and a kids television program, so why exactly does this really have to exist?! Not to mention the actor who has played Buzz Lightyear in the beloved Toy Story films Tim Allen is not even casted Buzz Lightyear in this movie… Everything about this project just screamed cash grab and nothing more, as it lacked any heart and dignity to it, as people actually were passionate to make this.
Disney has been doing the filmmakers and those artists in the animation department extremely dirty over at Pixar as of lately. Shelving the previous three projects Soul, Luca, and Turning Red from the theaters and placing them on the streaming platform Disney Plus, totally degrading from all the hard work they put into those works of art. The thing about these three films being shelved from the theaters, that no one ever talks about is how each film actually highlights a culture/race. Soul would’ve done many wonders for a younger African American audience seeing themselves on the big screen, highlighting their culture and Jazz music. Luca would’ve done many wonders for the young Italians seeing themselves on the big screens, highlighting their culture and the gorgeous scenery of Italy, which I as an Italian despite this film being average was BUMMED it wasn’t shown in theaters. Turning Red would’ve also done many wonders for young Chinese-Canadian audiences seeing themselves on the big screens, highlighting a grand view of their culture and their traditions. Having all those films being shelved in mind, with a legitimate level of importance to be shown on the big screen so cultures of people are being showcased on major spotlight… Explain to me how Lightyear, a film that is not only a knockoff nobody asked for, but also doesn’t highlight nor recognize a single culture, is way more essential of a theatrical release than Soul, Luca, and Turning Red?!
Well there’s only one explanation and it’s the same exact answer modern day Disney has given us time and time again: They felt Lightyear is worthy of a theatrical release only because of money and nothing more. For a company that claims they care about equality and race… Well this proves right here it’s only used for marketing and those words have no meaning whatsoever. I’m pretty sure if one were for those things, they would’ve push very hard for those films to get the proper viewing those films rightfully deserved, as that would be the Big Screen and nothing less, that’s moral purpose of that art-form to be shown rightfully so. Well Disney: We hope that you change your soulless ways, because it looks like Karma is coming for ya real quick… On the count your company is losing billions and that Lightyear, a film you just had to ditch those other works of art to the curb, did not succeed in meeting box office expectations. Everyone knows within every Pixar review: I gotta bring the smoke… I have Pixar's back any damn day, I’m so sick of this company disrespecting them on a regular basis.
Now LightYear… Let’s talk about the things I liked. I felt the message of LightYear was honestly kind of nice and genuine. I felt the meaning of this film is your relationships with those around you is what truly matters in life, than your career/job. You know as dedicated as Buzz Lightyear was to succeed on his mission… All the time he spent in that area, he eventually missed out on life completely, especially to the people he loved. I mean his best friend Alisha (Uzo Aduba) for example: He basically missed out on everything with her. From her marriage, to her having a child, to her having a grand child… He missed an entire life time with his friend, as he was too caught up with trying to complete a mission. So I did appreciate the fact the film at least kind showed the true value of relationships with others is what matters in life, as being too caught up with a job shouldn’t be the whole basis of your entire life ya know?! It should be important, but it shouldn’t be valued over your relationships with people.
The other message that looks like it’ll be easier to follow with kids, is you’re likely achieve success if you’re willing to work with others. Buzz Lightyear is a very independent Space Ranger, whom rather just work alone. The thing is Buzz Lightyear fails quite often without being more open to work with others. I mean you see Buzz wouldn’t have succeed on the crystal formula, without Sox (Peter Sohn), so the film does at least give a nice message for kids to follow as well, that success is more achievable when being open to work with others.
I have a troubling time believing this would be Andy’s favorite film… On the count the kids in my theater were dead silent, as it lacked any sense of joy and wreaked of boredom. I feel LightYear isn’t a bad film, I think the film is passably watchable… However for a kids film, it feels rather too bland for them to even enjoy it themselves, as even myself I barely had any fun with it.
For starters: This film lacks generating original ideas. The film reuses dialogue and ideas from Toy Story, plot wise it feels like a rip off to Interstellar, I see some Alien: Covenant in here too, and of course the most noticeable unoriginal idea came from the talking dog character Dug from Up. As a compliment: I’m very happy with the fact Sox the Talking Robot Cat wasn’t unbearable to sit through, when I saw that cat on the poster I was terrified, thank God that Cat wasn’t annoying. But like I said: Like couldn’t this film try to create original ideas, without simply borrowing or ripping off other films?! It’s laziness at it’s finest, which proves my point as why does this film even exist in the first place?!
This film just lacks energy, as it just wasn’t a fun watch at all. Like sure there’s action sequences, but those action sequences aren’t groundbreaking nor exciting to watch by any means. With Pixar films especially the Toy Story franchise, you’re at least expected some quality comedy here and there… The comedy material was nowhere to be found, as myself and everyone in my theater expressed not a single sound of laughter. Whether it be the dreadfully awful comedic reliefs Mo (Taika Waititi) and Darby (Dale Soules) or just the downright bad jokes being placed in this film… We haven’t seen this level of bad comedy in a Pixar film since maybe Cars 2?!
The plot twist with Zerg in the final act it’s… Meh. I felt it fallen flat with the attempt, because you’re thinking of Toy Story 2, which reveals Zerg and Buzz’s relationship. As with this film it tries to remain accurate to that reveal, however the way they did it in this film feels too jumbled to where it doesn’t align correctly at all, causing massive confusion.
When I heard about this film having a same-sex kiss scene, you know the way it’s been talked about on social media and other media outlets… I figured it was going to be used as marketing and nothing more, because I know what kind of company Disney is. Considering the fact this film quickly skims the relationship entirely as the characters are completely irrelevant in this story, Buzz Lightyear rather fast forwarding time than actually being around their presence, and who can forget this film kills off both characters within literally twenty seconds of their existence… What do you want me to say?! There was nothing groundbreaking nor anything to get yourself worked up on… Like the film's message: It’s time to value your relationships with people, because that’s what actually matters in life.
LightYear is just what I expected it to be: A film that doesn’t really have much a reason in existing, only to exist trying to make a quick buck and nothing more. Not only will this film not be anyone’s favorite film, but it will also be a film quickly forgotten and never spoken about ever again.
Overall, LightYear was mediocre. I suggest waiting till this film releases on Disney Plus or Renting on DVD, this is definitely not worth a trip to the theaters, as you and your children will be bored of it. -Mitch Smietana