Lightyear marks a meta first for the world of Pixar, as the movie tells the story of the real-life Space Ranger that inspired the toy. A spinoff of Toy Story, many have asked whether Lightyear will lead to more Pixar outings in this vein, and star Chris Evans has his own ideas about which character should be next.
“Look, I’m a big Woody fan, so maybe he’s next.”
Speaking with Variety, Evans stated that he believes, should Pixar continue with in-universe spinoffs following the release of Lightyear, that Toy Story staple, Woody (whose full name is Woody Pride), should be next on the list. Evans’ suggestion certainly makes a lot of sense, with Woody the lead of the Toy Story franchise opposite his enemy-turned-friend Buzz Lightyear.
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But how would a Woody spinoff work? Well, the most obvious direction for the movie would be to tell the story of “Woody’s Roundup”, the black-and-white television show that played a major part in 1999’s Toy Story 2. A marionette show that aired in the Toy Story universe between 1949-1957, Woody’s Roundup sees the intrepid cowboy embark on various adventures as sheriff of a small western town, saving critters and dodging death much to the delight of children everywhere. Until he’s replaced by a love for space rangers, of course.
Though simply telling a story set within the world of Woody’s Roundup is by far the most obvious choice, it is not necessarily the best. No doubt Pixar could come up with something special should they give Woody his own standalone outing. Perhaps a crossover could even occur, with Buzz’s adventures across time and space landing him in the wild west.
Lightyear Will Tell the Origin Story of the Real Buzz Lightyear
Lightyear tells a sci-fi action-adventure story and the definitive origin of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy. Lightyear follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.
Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Lightyear is directed by Angus MacLane and stars Chris Evans as the voice of the titular Space Ranger. Standing alongside him in the supporting cast are Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and James Brolin as the evil Emperor Zurg.
The first reactions to Lightyear have now emerged, with those lucky enough to have seen the Pixar adventure praising it as another masterpiece by the beloved animation studio. Applauding the cast, animation, and direction, early reactions tease another delightfully charming outing from Pixar and Disney.
Lightyear is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2022.