Lightyear Reviews Round-Up: Another Pixar Masterpiece or Disappointing Disney Cash-Grab?

The reviews for Pixar’s surprise Toy Story spinoff, Lightyear, are now in. So, has the beloved animation studio managed to once again prove why they are considered to be the best in the business? Or has Pixar stumbled in trying to create something special off the back of one of their most treasured franchises? Well, we shall begin with those who felt the former, as Charlie Ridgely of rates Lightyear a hugely impressive 5/5, concluding that the movie absolutely manages to go to infinity and beyond.

“Lightyear aims for infinity and more than delivers, taking us a little further beyond what we’d expected.”

The high ratings continue courtesy of Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, who gifts Lightyear a 4/5 and praises the Pixar outing for its efforts in crafting something that harks back to the sci-fi adventures of old.


“Lightyear is a treat: a time-travelling, space-ranging, animated adventure in the spirit of classic sci-fi.”

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. Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant similarly gives Lightyear a 4/5, and felt that the spinoff expertly expands on the world of Toy Story.

“Lightyear is a clever expansion of Pixar’s beloved Toy Story franchise – packed with fun moments, warm sentiment, and downright gorgeous animation.”

Lightyear Lands in Theaters on Friday


Unfortunately, not everything can be as positive as these upbeat beginnings, with some critical reactions to Lightyear being far more middling. Entertainment Weekly’s Patrick Gomez blames the stunning back catalog of Pixar for making Lightyear seem inferior.

“Kids will love Lightyear. Adults will enjoy it. The only reason it falls short of what we’ve come to expect from Pixar is that they’ve set their own bar so damn high.”

Owen Gleiberman of Variety echoed these sentiments, feeling that Lightyear does not live up to the sheer quality of the rest of the Toy Story franchise. And blames Disney for it.

“Taken on its own eager-to-please terms, the movie is a winning diversion. But given that it’s a spinoff of the Toy Story series… it should be noted that this is one of those Pixar movies that feels like it has 50 percent Disney DNA.”

Total Film’s Jamie Graham, meanwhile, had good things to say about Lightyear, but ultimately felt that, this being Pixar, it should have fared better.

“Does Lightyear take us to infinity and beyond? Sadly, no. But it does engage, thrill and amuse, and at times delivers an emotional wallop.”

Things get worse, though, from Alonso Duralde of TheWrap, who describes Lightyear as “disappointing” and slams the movie for failing to capture the delight of its Toy Story predecessors.

“Rather than play like a significant departure from the “Toy Story” films that spawned it, “Lightyear” instead emerges as a disappointing runner-up, capturing but a fraction of the comedy, thrills and poignancy of its predecessors.”

Finally, we end with a scathing reaction from Robbie Collin of the Daily Telegraph, who gives Lightyear a brutal 1/5.

“The problem with Pixar’s latest feature isn’t just that it’s the animation house’s dullest, dreariest, most spiritually empty to date. It’s that it fails even on its own painstakingly contrived open-goal terms.”

Audiences can judge Lightyear for themselves when the Pixar outing lands in theaters on June 17, 2022. Directed by Angus MacLane and starring Chris Evans as the voice of the title character, Lightyear follows Buzz as he prepares to embark on his first test flight to explore new galaxies for Star Command.