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⭐3.5 Stars ⭐

Lightyear is a very confused movie. Does it want to be the “true” story of Buzz Lightyear the man? Does it want to be the movie Andy saw that made him fall in love with Buzz Lightyear? Does it want to be it’s own rousing space adventure separate from the canon of Toy Story. In actuality it’s none of these things. At least not very successfully. As a movie Andy watched, it fails catastrophically. Not only is it not at all a movie in the spirit of the age Andy would have been (mid-90s Pixar, remember?), it butchers the existing mythology of Buzz Lightyear. And yes, I know I’m complaining about the mythology of a fake toy product, but Buzz had an existing mythology. Not just in the surprisingly good and painfully underrated movie and TV show Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, but in the Toy Story movies themselves. An example minus the spoilers is the twist involving the films villain Zurg. It’s not a bad twist, in any other movie it would be interesting and it’s been done interesting before. The problem is, it isn’t Zurg. This isn’t the Zurg we know, and it’s sure as hell not the Zurg Andy knew. So I probably hated this movie right? Well…no? It’s complicated. The thing is, it’s actually a good spacefaring family adventure, and as just that without the Buzz Lightyear name it’s a helluva lot of fun. The cast of characters are colorful and fun to be around, it looks fantastic, has an interesting story with some shockingly emotional moments, and most importantly Sox the cat is godamn hilarious and I want one! The problem is it carries the burden of the Buzz Lightyear name, and that name carries a lot of weight with it, and it fails to honor that. So yeah, as a fun space adventure for the whole family, I actually really recommend it! Just maybe pretend it’s someone else’s name on the cover. Mrs. Nesbit perhaps?

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