If you go into Lightyear expecting it to be the same as the toy story films you know and love, you won’t quite find what you’re looking for.
Pixar has released a number of new films over the years. We first got soul back in 2020, followed by Luca in the summer of 2021. Turning Red came to Disney+ earlier in 2022, but now Pixar is getting its first theatrical movie release since the pandemic — Lightyear!
Ahead of the release of Lightyear on June 17th, we were invited to attend a press conference for the film. There, we got to hear comments about the movie from its creators and stars!
So what can you expect when you head to theaters to watch Lightyear? Let’s dive in!
The Premise of the Film
First of all, we have to ask the question — what is Lightyear about? It was revealed long ago that this new movie would NOT star Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear the toy, but would instead star Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz Lightyear the man — the character that the toy was based on.
When asked about the casting of Evans, Lightyear‘s producer Galyn Susman said “We just needed to have a different person playing Buzz Lightyear.” She went on two clarify that “Having a different voice does differentiate, two different tracks” because they wanted this film to be distinctly different from the toy story franchise.
In fact, the concept behind Lightyear is that it is the sci-fi movie that Andy saw in theaters as a young boy. After watching the movie, he and many other children were motivated to buy Buzz Lightyear toys, and that’s the origin of the Buzz we know from toy story. If you’re getting deep into Pixar canon, this is essentially a live-action movie WITHIN the toy story universe. According to director Angus MacLane, “That was the simple idea that we sold to the studio.”
Susman also shared that Inspiration for the film came from classic sci-fi movies: “Star Wars, absolutely, going all the way until Aliens.” She said, “You can’t help but reference them.”
Click here to watch a trailer for ‘Lightyear’
Choosing the Cast
When deciding WHO would play Buzz Lightyear, Susman notes that one name came to the forefront — Chris Evans. At the time, they were looking for someone well-rounded, who was “funny, but not too goofy.” Since the film is a blend of sci-fi, action, and comedy, they needed an actor who could fit all three roles well.
And Evans was happy to take on the role! When asked about his history with the character, he said, “I love Buzz Lightyear, I love Toy Story.” He also shared that he enjoyed “getting to explore a character that we all know so well in a slightly nuanced interpretation.” It’s a more complicated version of Buzz Lightyear than we’ve seen in the past.
But Buzz isn’t the only character we’ll encounter in this movie — Izzy Hawthorne is played by Keke Palmer, and she’ll have a big role in the film. Even though Izzy was born on a distant planet in a far-off galaxy, Palmer was able to relate to the character, saying “she displays so many great leadership qualities that sometimes we overshadow.” Palmer even stated that in the future, she would love to play the role of Izzy again, if given the chance.
Of course, like most Pixar or Disney movies, there has to be an animal sidekick. In this case, it’s a robot cat named Sox! The voice of Sox, Peter Sohn, describes him by saying, “He’s a cat, but like, he’s so loyal like a dog.” Sox also gets to deliver many of the film’s jokes and one-liners and the creators are confident that he’ll be a smash hit with audiences and fans. Bring on the Sox merchandise!
Click here to see the Sox plush and other Lightyear items available at Target
The Impact of Lightyear on the Future
Like many other Pixar films, Lightyear is expected by some to be a big hit. Part of that is due to Pixar’s reputation and filmmaking process, which was praised by Taika Waititi (who plays Mo Morrison in the film and has directed several movies himself). Waititi even said during the press conference about Pixar: “Annoyingly they just get it right every time. So I’m not afraid to rip off those practices that they use.”
Because Lightyear is based on a character that’s already well-known and popular, there’s potential for so much more going forward. Throughout the press conference, both the creators and the stars mentioned the potential for spinoff Disney+ series or Pixar shorts with individual charactersespecially Sox the cat.
And as for Chris Evans, is there a future for him in Disney and Pixar animation? When asked which Disney character he would most like to play next, Evans replied that “I was always a really big fan of Robin Hood.” He shared that he’d always thought the character was “so cool” and said, “I don’t have that cool British accent, but I would love to give it a crack.” We’d definitely hit the theaters to see that remake!
If you’re hoping to watch Lightyear on opening weekend, it’ll hit theaters as early as Thursday evening, June 16th. Tickets are already available for purchaseand we’ve spotted quite a bit of new movie-themed merchandise online!
This year is set to be a big year for Disney media, with LOTS of content coming to both theaters and Disney+. Get excited for new releases from Marvel, Disney, and Pixar in the coming months! And stay tuned for more Disney news.
6 Pixar Movies That Made Our Readers SOB — Click Here!
Are you planning to watch Lightyear when it releases in theaters? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Recently, we were invited by Disney/Pixar to attend their media event for Pixar’s ‘Lightyear.’ Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ