Toy Story has been one of the most iconic films of all time since its release in 1995, and while it didn’t necessarily need a spin-off, it got one, and a damn good one at that. Lightyear, premiering in theaters on June 17th, aims to capture the success of the all-time classic, while also putting a modern twist on the story.
While the original Toy Story films did give us some insight into Buzz’s origin, we weren’t given much except that he was an action figure from Andy’s favorite film, and his arch-nemesis was the all-evil Zurg. While this doesn’t seem like much to work with, the Pixar team really excels in creating a story that is both compelling and respectful to the original material. And in true Pixar fashion, there are moments that will leave you reaching for your tissues.
As I said above, Toy Story may have been a fan favorite film, but it didn’t leave much room for films outside of that “universe.” Lightyear is proof that spin-offs can work, and that they don’t have to be over-justified. Simply put, Lightyear is a spin-off and origin story done in perfect fashion, something that I hope Disney can continue to replicate.
While I would like to give props to all of the cast, Chris Evans deserves the highest amount of praise for his portrayal of the beloved Space Ranger. Buzz Lightyear is a leader and Chris Evans has proven he is more than capable of playing that role, previously playing the iconic star-spangled man, and now one of the most iconic children’s protagonists of all time. In fact, he was born for the leadership role. Keke Palmer, although her screen time wasn’t as long as expected, did an amazing job in this movie. She brings a desirable amount of emotion to the role, causing some heart-wrenching and toe-curling moments. Lastly, I would like to mention Peter Sohn’s Sox. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be so interested in a robotic cat, but he was one of the best parts of the film, and easily the most comedic member of the cast.
Lightyear is an action-packed and emotional successor to one of the most famous franchises of all time, it had tough shoes to fill, and it did so rather well. This is definitely a film I would give another watch. 8.5/10