Lightyear is the movie that inspired young Andy in the Toy Story franchise to want his own Buzz Lightyear action figure. This movie is about Lightyear, a space ranger who ends up marooned on a hostile alien planet with both his commander and crew. He desperately seeks a way home for them all while also trying to protect the galaxy from what appears to be the ultimate threat.
Watching Lightyear is a very enjoyable experience. It looks and sounds fantastic, just as one would expect from a Pixar film. It definitely has a different approach to movie-making as this is supposed to be an outright action movie that Andy loved as a kid. This means that things aren’t quite as cartoony as in some of Pixar’s films. Instead, things are skewed a little more realistic, while still retaining an animated feel. Overall, it looks great. The accompanying sound effects match the quality of the visuals. There really is nothing to complain about with this film in terms of quality and this is no surprise from a Pixar film.
There are a few offerings in terms of Extras included with Lightyear’s home release. This includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and featurettes. In this case, there wasn’t a blooper reel for which I was thankful. The deleted scenes were interesting but I really found myself enjoying the featurettes. Everything that is included as an extra with Lightyear is worth watching I think. My only complaint is really, I want more! I love how the bonus features add extra depth to the movie-watching experience.
- Deleted Scenes Introduction – Director Angus MacLane introduces six scenes that are all drawn, set to music, timed and voiced, but are not included in the final version of this amazing film – which took five and a half years to make!
- The Dump – In one of LIGHTYEAR’s original opening scenes, we explore Proxima B, with its carnivorous plants, sulfur pits, weird bugs, hot climate, and lack of coffee! A familiar Space Ranger volunteers to risk all in an effort to return to Earth.
- Polly – Buzz relives childhood memories when he visits an aeronautic museum in which his father is memorialized. There, he finds Polly, his dad’s robot companion bird, who possesses a very revealing recorded message meant for Buzz!
- Meet Izzy – After young Izzy and her family (including her brother Maurice) move in next door to Buzz, the adorable, talkative girl bursts into Buzz’s home, warms up to Sox, and asks Buzz a lot of questions.
- Up in the Lair – After his spacecraft crash-lands and he winds up in the bunker of fledgling Space Rangers, Buzz is introduced to cheesy snacks and a character whose role was cut due to time. He also receives shocking information about his father.
- Tilted Ship – Star Command Space Rangers of the 56th Airborne Alpha Quadrant meet Buzz and the Space Ranger students. Buzz is given a truth serum so he’ll expose whatever he knows about his father’s connection to the aliens who have taken over Proxima B.
- Fathership – Buzz wakes up in what he thinks is his childhood home, where he meets his father, who was a time travel pilot, just as he is. But it turns out he’s on the mothership of the aliens who are destroying Proxima B – and hope to vanquish Buzz as well!
- Building the World of Lightyear – Visits to the Johnson Space Center in Houston and a very familiar cinematic archive gave the filmmakers inspiration as they embarked on the exciting journey of creating Lightyear’s breathtaking production design.
- The Zap Patrol – Meet the actors who gave voice to Izzy, Mo and Darby, the untrained, unprepared rangers who join Buzz on the adventure of a lifetime. While the misfits may not seem ideal for the mission, their unlikely friendship helps see them through challenging times.
- Toyetic – Learn why Lightyear is one of the most “toyetic” films ever. Join director Angus MacLane and others on the meticulous, fun process of creating toy models for spaceships and other production elements that led to the film’s richly textured animation.
- Lightyear Filmmaker Commentary – Join director Angus MacLane, writer Jason Headley, and director of photography Jeremy Lasky as they provide insight into the making of this remarkable animated feature while you watch it.
*bonus features vary by product and retailer
Lightyear is an enjoyable enough movie. I don’t think it is Pixar’s strongest, however. I enjoyed watching it and probably will return to it again at some point. Do I think it was big enough and exciting enough to merit Andy getting so excited about a Buzz Lightyear action figure and kicking off the events of the Toy Story franchise? I’m just not sure. It’s a good movie, but not a great one. I also think it perhaps came out too late. I wish it had come out during the peak of the Toy Story hype so it would be easier to connect with. I also am unsure I liked one big reveal about the villain as well. On the flip side, I really enjoyed the bonus features and overall found the whole viewing experience to be enjoyable. I think this one gets a hat tip. It was good but not great. It’s definitely worth getting if you want to learn more about the film and the making of and is now available in all formats for adding to your home entertainment library.
Mr. DAPs Hat Rating Scale
- No Hat – Didn’t meet expectations
- Hat Nod – It was ok
- Hat Tip – It was good
- Hat’s Off – Loved it!