Lightyear Early Reactions Praise Pixar’s Toy Story Spinoff

The first reactions to Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story spinoff, Lightyear, have landed. And it sounds like the beloved animation studio has done it again. Lightyear follows the real-life space ranger who became a toy, with Marvel actor Chris Evans taking over from Tim Allen as the voice of the character. A somewhat unusual and unexpected approach to the world of Toy Story, early reactions have teased another delightful, emotional, exciting Pixar masterpiece.

Lightyear acts as both a Toy Story spinoff and an in-universe movie, as the story revolves around the origin of the fictional Buzz Lightyear, the character who inspired the action figure in the Toy Story franchise. Lightyear follows Buzz as he prepares to embark on his first test flight to explore new galaxies for Star Command. Marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew, Buzz must try to find a way back home through space and time. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda. Buzz might just be the only hope to stop him, and save the galaxy.

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Much praise has been heaped on the cast, the direction, and, of course, the stunning animation on display. Pixar has become known for being the top standard in bringing superb-looking and richly-detailed animated movies to audiences, and it certainly sounds like they have continued this trend with Lightyear.

Lightyear Will Hit Theaters Later This Month

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Unlike the rest of Pixar’s recent output, Lightyear will not debut on Disney+. Instead, the animated adventure will receive a more traditional theatrical release later this month. Directed by Angus MacLane, Lightyear stars Avengers: Endgame star Chris Evans as the voice of the title character. The Pixar outing will also boast a stellar supporting cast alongside the Marvel actor and includes Keke Palmer as Izzy Hawthorne, Dale Soules as Steel, Taika Waititi as Morrison, Peter Sohn as Sox, Uzo Aduba as Alicia Hawthorne, Mary McDonald-Lewis as Qurinside, Efren Ramirez as Diaz, Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside, and James Brolin as Emperor Zurg.

While many had expressed disappointment that Tim Allen would not return to voice Buzz Lightyear, a role he has played since the character was first introduced way back in 1995, Lightyear director Angus MacLane has since explained why they felt it necessary to change the voice, and why Chris Evans was the perfect choice to do so. “We needed a new voice for Buzz. He needed to have a nice, rich sound, able to be both dramatic and comedic – and most importantly, he needed to be heroic without coming off as arrogant or dense,” the filmmaker said. “That’s a tall order, and we immediately knew we had to ask Chris.”

Lightyear is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2022, by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.