Pixar’s latest animated film release is “Lightyear”, which is the newest instalment in the “Toy Story” franchise, but it has got a twist. This is the film that Andy watched back in the 1990s and why he ended up with a Buzz Lightyear action figure.  And that’s pretty much where the references to “Toy Story” end.

The general story of “Lightyear” is that Buzz is awoken from a deep space sleep when a new undiscovered planet is found.  Buzz goes out to investigate the strange new world, and as you’d imagine, not everything goes to plan, and the entire crew is stranded on this hostile planet, until they can recreate the fuel needed to jump back into hyperspace to return home.

After a year on the hostile planet, setting up a base and trying to recreate the required fuel for the hyperspace drive, Buzz takes part in a test flight mission to see if it works.  When he returns, in what feels like minutes for him, have been years at the base.  After a few more test trips, he eventually gets it to work, but in the meantime, decades have passed at the base, and now the base has a new enemy to worry about, Zurg and his army of robots, which Buzz must overcome, along with the help of some new ambitious recruits.

There are some touching moments that brought a tear to my eye, when he realises everyone he knows, has passed away, as he has been away so long and so caught up in the mission, that life has literally flown by, and his robotic pet cat, Sox, is the only thing he’s attached too.  As you’d expect, Sox is one of the film’s highlights and brings plenty of humour, plus some touching moments that pet owners especially will love.

“Lightyear” almost feels like two completely separate stories.   The first half of the film establishes who Buzz is, but more importantly, showcases his dedication to the mission, but more importantly, fixing the problem he blames himself over.

The second half of the film establishes who Zurg and his evil robots are, and, more importantly, sets up his new team of rookies to help him defeat Zurg and get everyone off the planet so they can return home.  There are plenty of big action scenes and the addition of some zany rookies, including Taika Waititi and Darby Steel, who both bring plenty of laughs, along with Sox the cat.

“Lightyear” is a very strange prequel, because everything you know about the character, doesn’t apply.  It’s a genius idea and delivers a fantastic film, which I really enjoyed.   This is a perfect big summer blockbuster film, though I think younger audiences might struggle to sit through it.  Older children should love it, and I think adults will probably enjoy it even more so.

Overall, “Lightyear” is a fun sci-fi adventure film that is utterly different from the “Toy Story” era.  It has moments of feeling like a combination of “Planet Of The Apes”, “Star Trek”, and “Passengers”.  The film feels much less like a traditional Pixar film, it has some heartwarming moments, but it’s not as deep as films like “Soul” or “Inside Out”.     As someone who loves more traditional space exploration stories, it’s nice having something fresh for a new generation.   The connection to “Toy Story” is an excellent addition, but if you change Buzz Lightyear for an entirely different character, the film would still work on its own merits, except for a few of the little easter eggs.


Rating: 4 Out Of 5


“Lightyear” hits cinemas on Friday 17th June 2022 and will be available on Disney+ later this year.




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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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