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Lightyear: What To Expect From Pixar's Sci-Fi Adventure

12/20/2021 • 4 min read

(Updated 04/21/2022)

The release of a new Pixar movie is a big deal. Even kids who might not know the name "Pixar" can tell there’s a higher quality of work on display in the company's movies. We all lean in when a new one debuts.

That extra attention is multiplied when the film in question features an already beloved character. And the members of the TOY STORY crew are certainly among the most-liked characters in animation at this point.

All of which is to say that LIGHTYEAR is a film that Pixar fans — and a lot of other people — will be clamoring to see this June. So what does the movie actually have in store? Let’s take a closer look and find out. And there’s no better place to start than the latest LIGHTYEAR trailer, which is a work of art in and of itself:

When Does Lightyear Come Out?

Before we get to all the fun details about Pixar's movie, let's talk about one specific thing: You can see LIGHTYEAR in theatres on June 17, 2022.

The Premise: Is This a Toy Story Movie?

While kids will come to LIGHTYEAR based on the idea of further adventures with Buzz Lightyear, the premise itself is a little hard to wrap your head around. First off, that is not the Buzz Lightyear we’ve all known for decades. Not quite, anyway. As we all know, Buzz Lightyear is a toy. LIGHTYEAR asks "what (or whom?) is that toy based on?"

This movie is basically the movie that created a character that Andy loved, and which made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy. Director Angus MagLane told The Wrap that Andy might not even have seen this movie, but "an animated spin-off that aired after the original movie." Regardless, the whole idea is that the Buzz in this movie inspired Andy's toy. Think of it this way: If TOY STORY had been about a Luke Skywalker action figure, then LIGHTYEAR would be the equivalent of STAR WARS.

A Great Voice Cast

The story angle in LIGHTYEAR explains why the character looks a bit more natural than the toy version. Accordingly, the Buzz Lightyear character will also have a different voice. Instead of sounding like Tim Allen, LIGHTYEAR’s version of the character will sound like Captain America. That’s right, he’s voiced by Chris Evans!

For a long time, the rest of the movie's voice cast was kept secret. Now we know that Keke Palmer voices Izzy Hawthorne, Dale Soules is Darby Steel, Taika Waititi voices Mo Morrison, and Peter Sohn is Sox. Additionally, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. have roles.

That Pixar Magic

All Pixar films look amazing. At this point, that just goes without saying. And when it comes to breaking down a story, no one in the business is better. There’s a reason why kids flock to Pixar. They simply set a high bar in everything they do.

But LIGHTYEAR really pushes things forward. It's been fun to see Pixar creating more stories about human characters, even as each different filmmaker stylizes each story in unique ways. TURNING RED looks completely different from SOUL, which looks different from LUCA. Now, in LIGHTYEAR, we get to see Pixar tackle science fiction with the influence of big sci-fi concepts from the '50s and '60s all the way forward to now.

Cool Science Fiction Action

In fact, while LIGHTYEAR will benefit from the abnormally high quality of all Pixar films, it will also enjoy an added boost thanks to the fact that it’s a science fiction action spectacle. Pixar has dabbled in action before (particularly in the INCREDIBLES series) to great effect. This time, however, they’re going into outer space. Ships! Aliens! Rayguns! This is going to be a non-stop thrill ride. And just going by the visuals in the trailer, Pixar knows it. There’s an added layer of majesty, scope, and speed at play here that might even rival a modern STAR WARS film. So get ready to be blown away.

We'll have more details on LIGHTYEAR soon!


All images courtesy of Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures.

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