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Angus MacLane
Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, James Brolin
Writing Credits:
Angus MacLane, Jason Headley

While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend
$50,577,961 on 4255 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English DTS-HD HR 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
English Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 9/13/2022

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Angus MacLane, Writer Jason Headley, and Director of Photography Jeremy Lasky
• “Building the World of Lightyear” Featurette
• “The Zap Patrol” Featurette
• “Toyetic” Featurette
• 6 Deleted Scenes
• Preview
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Lightyear [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 18, 2022)

In 1995’s Toy Story, we learned that the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger action figure enjoyed massive popularity. With 2022’s Lightyear, we see the project that ostensibly inspired the toy in the movie’s universe.

When Space Rangers Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) and Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) check out potential life forms on T'Kani Prime, they end up stranded there after an accident. Buzz blames himself for this and devotes years to attempts to get off the planet, all while the crew of his ship forms a colony.

Buzz’s hyperspeed flights mean that he doesn’t age while those on T’Kani Prime grow older. Eventually Alisha marries and has a son who then spawns his own daughter Izzy (Keke Palmer).

As this happens, the inhabitants deal with a threat from a malevolent force named Zurg (James Brolin). Eventually Buzz recruits Izzy and some outcasts to deal with this issue.

Lightyear became the first Pixar movie to hit movie screens post-pandemic. 2020’s Onward hit theaters less than two weeks before COVID shuttered multiplexes, a factor that clearly damaged its box office.

Disney sent the next three Pixar flicks - Soul, Luca and Turning Red - straight to their streaming service. The studio apparently felt business returned to normal enough by June 2022 for Lightyear to avoid that fate.

Much to Disney’s presumed consternation, Lightyear failed to find much of an audience. With a budget of $200 million, the movie brought in a mere $226 million worldwide, so it clearly lost money.

This inspired vast amounts of second-guessing about why the film semi-flopped. Some snowflakes harped on the “gay content” in Lightyear, which consists of the most innocuous interaction imaginable.

In reality, I think the biggest issue stemmed from my belief that Lightyear offers a story no one wanted. Over the last 27 years, did anyone clamor for a feature film that re-enacts the origins of the Buzz doll?

If so, I missed that. That also assumes people understood this premise, which I don't think most did.

The ads failed to make it clear. Only the fact the actual movie offers text at the start explains that Lightyear provides the movie that made Andy want a Buzz doll explains this - and I'll bet Pixar added that blurb last minute because the concept confused so many people.

As it should. Writer/director Angus MacLane eventually stated that he views Lightyear as a hit in the mid-1980s that Andy watched over and over on VHS as it became his favorite movie.

Note that this doesn’t tell us why Buzz was a hot property in 1995. I always felt Buzz came from a 1990s cartoon hot at the time, but who knows? It’s a mess.

Honestly, they should've just not bothered to attempt to place Lightyear in the Toy Story universe this way. They could've simply made the movie as a standalone - which it kinda is anyway - without the bizarre attempts to retrofit it, as those elements create way more confusion than they’re worth.

But in the end, none of this matters if the movie succeeds. Because it just seems okay, the continuity questions become more prominent since we're more likely to criticize bad choices when the final product leaves us semi-cold.

Lightyear doesn't deliver a bad movie by any stretch, though "middling" seems fair. It's moderately entertaining but nothing special.

I maintain the movie's biggest issue is that no one actually wanted it. It's a spinoff with little to no demand, and it struggles to overcome that obstacle.

Again, none of this makes Lightyear a bad sci-fi adventure, even with the continuity issues it creates. If one ignores its perplexing place in the Toy Story world, it functions as a watchable action flick.

However, Lightyear never threatens to rise above that level of semi-mediocrity. It feels like a fairly generic sci-fi flick, one without the cleverness and excitement it needs.

Perversely, this possibly makes sense in terms of the notion Lightyear provides a 1980s movie. We got plenty of not-especially-good films of this sort back then, and it would fit in with those.

However, I don’t believe Pixar set out to make a mediocre flick. While that might give Lightyear a sense of verisimilitude given its meta concept, I doubt the filmmakers became that committed to the idea.

No, Lightyear simply delivers a spotty adventure without any obvious desire to do so. I won’t call this the worst Pixar movie, but it remains largely forgettable.

Footnote: a short tag scene pops up early in the end credits and another appears at the very finish.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Lightyear appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie came with a terrific visual presentation.

At all times, sharpness excelled. The film offered tight, concise imagery without a hint of softness along the way.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmer, and edge haloes also failed to appear. In addition, source flaws never created distractions.

Because Lightyear wanted to emulate a movie from the 1980s, it added fake grain. This seemed like a subtle but suitable decision.

Colors offered quality material, as the movie’s palette came across with punch. Though much of the film opted for the usual orange/amber and teal, the settings came with enough variety to add spark to the proceedings.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows were smooth and clear. This turned into a top-notch image.

In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack added pizzazz to the proceedings. As expected, the battle or flight-based scenes offered the greatest sense of activity and involvement, as those used the elements to swarm and move around the room in an engulfing manner.

Other scenes created a good sense of the story as well. Even basic environmental sequences worked well and delivered a nice experience.

Audio quality succeeded as well, with natural, concise dialogue. Music seemed full and rich, while effects appeared accurate and distinctive, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack suited the film and added excitement.

As we head to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Angus MacLane, writer Jason Headley, and director of photography Jeremy Lasky. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, connections to the Toy Story universe, animation, alternate/abandoned concepts, music, cast and performances, various design choices and related areas.

Pixar commentaries tend to focus on story and development more than most, and that makes them more insightful than average. This track follows that trend.

While we learn a lot about the technical side, I enjoy the emphasis on story/character domains, especially because we find into about the ways these domains evolved. Expect a pretty solid chat.

A few featurettes follow, and Building the World of Lightyear runs 14 minutes, 29 seconds. It offers notes from MacLane, Lasky, sets art directors Garrett Taylor and Greg Peltz, producer Galyn Susman, color and shading art director Bill Zahn, tailoring and simulation supervisor Fran Kalal, sets supervisor Nathan Fariss, set dressing lead Christina Garcia Weiland, director of photography Ian Megibben, character designer Grant Alexander, production designer Tim Evatt, shading supervisor Thomas Jordan, and actor Chris Evans.

“World” examines all the design work that went into Lightyear as well as the execution of these choices. Expect a solid little overview.

The Zap Patrol lasts nine minutes, eight seconds and brings remarks from Susman, MacLane, Evans, and actors Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer and Dale Soules.

Here we cover cast, supporting characters and performances. A few insights emerge but much of this feels fluffy.

With Toyetic, we get a 10-minute reel that boasts notes from MacLane, Susman, Taylor, Alexander, Peltz, consumer products director Jennifer Tan, consumer products associate creative director Chris Meeker, and Lego Creative Head Jesper C. Nielsen.

This program examines the influence of toys on the film. This sounds like an ad for merch – and it occasionally is - but it expands into a broader focus than that.

Including introductions from MacLane, six Deleted Scenes take up a total of 26 minutes, 49 seconds. Rather than offer minor variations on existing material, the scenes deliver some pretty radical variations. That makes them enjoyable and intriguing.

MacLane brings useful insights as well. He doesn’t always tell us why the scenes got dropped/changed, but he adds worthwhile statements.

The disc opens with an ad for Beyond Infinity. No trailer for Lightyear appears here.

As a sci-fi action flick, Lightyear comes with moderate pleasures. These fail to make it better than average, though, as it falls short of the better efforts from Pixar. The Blu-ray comes with excellent picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. Though not a bad film, Lightyear seems forgettable and unnecessary.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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