Lightyear ★★★

I believe I was around six years old when I saw Toy Story 2 for the first time and it instantly became one of my favorite films. It’s one I’ve seen over and over again, but I think that above all, the intro to the film always stuck out to me. The incredibly cool Buzz-video game set piece was an instant spark for dreams about a true Buzz Lightyear-movie and now after these many years, we finally have one. Would six-year old me be pleased? Eh, kind of, I think.

Lightyear is a condensed, fast-pace space adventure walking a thin tightrope between references and rip-offs from other sci-fi epics throughout. The stellar animation makes for some thrilling action, great character-designs and just enough creative sci-fi designs. That being said, some more alien-creatures wouldn’t have hurt here, would it? What we have here is instead a fun rag-tag gang following Buzz on his quest, they’re quite fun and our second lead, Izzy is quite fantastic. She’s fun, energetic, has a fascinating emotional history and is just overall so cool. Had it been Izzy instead of Buzz inside my christmas-gift as a kid, I would have been just as pleased.

In terms of Buzz, there’s a weird lack of setup or context for what’s supposedly the first ever film about this character. That being said, he does get an arc, albeit an obvious one. The nice use of time in this film adds some twists and turns and the Zerg-twist did honestly pull the rug under me but Lightyear is also riddled with foreshadowing and twists which seems beneath Pixar’s standards at this point.

Aptly titled, this is lightyears behind Pixar’s peak in terms of emotions, themes or depth but as an easy little space-adventure with good action and twists, this is more than satisfying. Still, the Toy Story 2-opening is better.


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