LIGHTYEAR – Rated PG – 1 hr 40 mins

DIRECTOR:  Angus MacLane

WRITERS:  Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich, Jason Headley

STARRING the voices of:  Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Bill Hader and James Brolin

Don’t be confused by the fact that Tim Allen’s voice is no where to be found this time around, as this film isn’t about the the Buzz Lightyear that captured our hearts back in 1995, but rather the story behind the man, that spawned Andy’s true-love for that insatiable toy!

And as the master animators at Pixar bring LIGHTYEAR (Chris Evans) to life, it seems that mission impossible is the feast of the day, as Buzz and his team find themselves stranded on some far away planet…

Hellbent on saving the friends he has grown to love as family, especially Commander Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba), Buzz seeks a destiny that is einevitably engrossed in hyperspace. 

When Lightyear finds that he needs the assistance of Commander Hawthorne’s granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer), and her yellow belly band of misfits too, to help him on his quest, it seems that it’s going to take a lot more effort than anyone thought, to get them off this terrible planet, once and for all…

TEAMING UP – In Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” Izzy Hawthorne (voice of Keke Palmer), the eager leader of a team of cadets called the Junior Zap Patrol, teams up with Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) and his dutiful robot companion, Sox (voice of Peter Sohn), on a mission to figure out exactly what—or who—is behind a mysterious alien spaceship hovering above their planet. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), the sci-fi action-adventure opens in U.S. theaters on June 17, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
MAKING SPACE – In Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) and Alisha Hawthorne (voice of Uzo Aduba)—his long-time commander, fellow Space Ranger and trusted friend—are marooned on a hostile planet. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), the sci-fi action-adventure opens in U.S. theaters on June 17, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
HERO’S BEST FRIEND — Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” is an all-new, original feature film that presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans)—the hero who inspired the toy—introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans. But Buzz can’t do it alone—he shares space with a dutiful robot companion cat called Sox. A hidden grab bag of gizmos in a cute kitty package, Sox is Buzz’s go-to friend and sidekick. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), the sci-fi action-adventure releases on June 17, 2022. © 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
HERO’S BEST FRIEND — Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” is an all-new, original feature film that presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans)—the hero who inspired the toy—following the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure. But Buzz can’t do it alone—he shares space with a dutiful robot companion cat called Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). A hidden grab bag of gizmos in a cute kitty package, Sox is Buzz’s go-to friend and sidekick. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), the sci-fi action-adventure releases on June 17, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

TEAMING UP – Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” is a sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy. The all-new story follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi and Dale Soules), and their robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). Also joining the cast are Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), “Lightyear” releases June 17, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I give LIGHTYEAR a rating of 3 out of 5.  Talk about next generation animation, PIXAR must have been super busy creating this 3-dimensional, beautifully animated film. And from the start of this film too, Chris Evans is fabulous, playing the human Astronaut Buzz Lightyear, this time around. But with these accolades secured, I must share too that I was saddened by the fact that this new storyline, didn’t even come close to making me forget about Buzz’s toy life, as Tim Allen’s portrayal is still deeply embedded in my memory bank.   But the new characters we get to experience in this new film, deserve a few accolades along the way too, including Commander Alisha Hawthorne, played by Uzo Aduba and her granddaughter Izzy Hawthorne, played by Keke Palmer, as they added a sense of dimension to this storyline that it most definitely needed.  I was also intrigued by SOX – Lightyear’s voice activated pet cat, and piloting assistant – as this my friends is the only thing that kept my interest the whole way through, and mark my words, this will be the “Toy of the Year” come Christmas time, as he steals most of the scenes he is in, which are superbly voiced too by Peter Sohn.

But, it also seems that this one falls short in a few directions too, and not because it has a lesbian kiss scene or lesbian relationship either, which lots of viewers seem to be up in arms about come my press time.  My issues with this film go much deeper…like that fact that this animated feature doesn’t  have enough action, or depth of storyline to keep your attention.  I also wondered once I saw the advanced screening, if it wouldn’t have been a better choice for Disney to release this one on Disney+,  rather than having you head to the theater this weekend to view, with Dad in tow, if they weren’t going to give it the umph that kids and Dad’s are expecting to see, especially when there are Space Rangers involved, seriously!  Only Disney knows for sure why this release decision was made, but I still wish that Writer and Director Angus MacLane would have had the foresight to not go in such a tame direction, giving this film a few more boosts of excitement which it definitely needs.   I also think that MacLane and PIXAR should have figured out a way at some point to bring Tim Allen’s voice into this film, as even though it’s not about Buzz the toy, the nostalgia of bringing the Buzz we know and love some way, some how, into this film, might have also given it the boost of nostalgia that it needed to really take this PIXAR animated feature, and this franchise as a whole, to Infinity and beyond…

3 out of 5

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