In 1995 a young boy named Andy got a toy from his favourite movie for his birthday. This is the review of that movie.
First and foremost a big shout out to Disney Australia for the invite to see Lightyear a little bit earlier and let you all know my thoughts on the film.
Lightyear is the movie said to have inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy from the iconic Toy Story series. We open with Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger waking from hyper sleep to explore a strange new planet their joyfully named ship “The Turnip” has landed on. Joined by fellow Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne and the rookie Featheringhamstan, the three explorers quickly find out the planet is not a safe haven for them and they must retreat. Unfortunately, the retreat doesn’t go as planned and the entire crew of the Turnip is left stranded on the planet.
We get a good look at Buzz in all his Space Ranger glory early on here. Chris Evans has taken over the mantle of Buzz Lightyear in this instalment and I have to admit earlier on I missed the style and humour that Tim Allen brought to the role in the Toy Story movies. But having taken the night to really let the experience soak in I have reminded myself that this isn’t a Toy Story this is Buzz’s story. Chris Evans does a fantastic job as the titular character in Buzz Lightyear. He showcases Buzz’s mannerisms and tenacity while also throwing in a bit of fan service there that I am sure you will pick up along the way. I would dare to say Evans may even be a bit of a fan himself.
After the crash landing, we find out the crew are all the best in their fields and have begun building a new life for themselves on this new planet, creating a thriving community and even beginning the arduous task of re-designing the fuel required for them to get back into space. Buzz has offered his services as a test pilot but an unknown side effect of his trip into hyperdrive sees him coming back to the planet four years later for only a four-second hyperdrive trip. Buzz’s partner Alisha Hawthorne is there to greet and tell him the news. Even though the first trip wasn’t a success Buzz is adamant he needs to finish the mission and get everyone safely home.
This is an interesting part of the story as we watch Buzz viewing Alisha’s life from the outside looking in. Every time he returns Alisha is a little older and a little more has happened with her life until his last trip where the inevitable has happened and Alisha isn’t there.
True to their formula Disney Pixar pull on the heartstrings with a stirring score, a sombre setting and some light-hearted laughter in these moments that make you smile through the occasional tear leaking its way down your cheek. As always there is light at the end of the tunnel and we see Buzz grow as a character and as a person through the help of a rag-tag group of recruits headed by Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy Hawthorne.
Lightyear is a feast for the senses best experienced on the big screen at least once. Some stand-out performances from Evans as Buzz and Keke Palmer as Izzy and one of the best sidekicks in the business SOX the robotic cat, voiced by Peter Sohn, I want one. Taika Waititi also stars with his take on the recruit Mo Morrison but let’s face it, everything Taika touches at the moment is golden.
Ultimately Lightyear is a story about growth, love, family and being the best version of yourself in the face of adversity. While things don’t always go to plan, we can all learn from our mistakes and grow with the love and support of those around us. Disney Pixar knows its formula for success and once again they have used it to a tee. I laughed out loud, the visuals were a step above and I may have even let a tear or two dampen my eyes.
Disney’s Lightyear is in cinemas from 16th of June.
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