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…
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