Lightyear, the newest feature film by Disney Pixar, released recently. The computer-animated story comes as a spin-off, as part of the popular Toy Story film series. The film follows the title character Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Chris Evans, marooned on a hostile planet, struggling to find a way to get back home with his crew.

The action driven science-fiction adventure film serves as an origin story for Lightyear, who many have seen in several films and television series, which are part of the Toy Story franchise. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000) introduced the source material for the film, which was also used in the television series plot for Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001).

The story centres around Buzz Lightyear, a legendary young test pilot and space ranger, who prides himself based on his confidence, experience, and rank. The core plot unfolds when Lightyear is tasked with a crucial intergalactic mission, with his commander and crew depending on him, to find a solution, for them all to go back to their home planet. The film sees Lightyear embark on an adventure, which is riddled with obstacles, every step of the way.

Adapted from Toy Story, the film about the astronaut Buzz Lightyear, and his adventure that teaches him about the advantages of having a dependable team and the importance of supporting each other, takes the time to introduce each character, while staying focused on the mission.

The ambitious film features Lightyear’s Commanding Officer and best friend Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba), Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy Hawthorne (voiced by Keke Palmer) and a commander from an alternate future with his own robotic army Emperor Zurg (voiced by James Brolin).The film also introduces Darby Steel (voiced by Dale Soules)and Mo Morrison (voiced by Taika Waititi) as part of a colonial defence force, while Tim Peake plays himself from Mission Control.

The direction Pixar has chosen for this movie has clearly worked in winning over fans of the title character, while Lightyear’s adorable robotic companion cat, named Sox (voiced by Peter Sohn), who at times feels like the highlight in several scenes, is sure to capture the hearts of viewers, with Sox suddenly becoming one of the hottest new toys internationally in fan merchandise stores.

The 105-minute film by director Angus MacLane, was produced by Galyn Susman, working in collaboration with production companies Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, with an estimated budget of US$ 200 million.

This comes as Pixar’s first film after the pandemic to release in cinemas, following Onward (2020). The film easily earned over 85 million at the worldwide Box-office on its opening weekend, supported by mixed to positive critic, with many appreciating the animation, score, attention to detail and skilled voice cast, while others voiced their disapproval that it fell short in delivering plot depth. The film went on to receive moderate ratings with 76 per cent featured on Rotten Tomatoes, 61 per cent on Metacritic and 5.3/10 on IMDb.

This is a charming and engaging film with smooth pacing that is sure to make fans of Lightyear, experience a sense of nostalgia, as they appreciate the animation and character driven story that delivers humour, drama, and action, in a hero’s journey, with a team of misfits, on the same mission.

By Nirupa Mohan Dore