Lightyear (2022)
June 30, 2022 5:16 AM - Subscribe

Legendary Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits and his robot companion Sox.
posted by Stark (17 comments total)
This was so mediocre that it actually made me angry.

I didn’t really care about any of the characters. The side characters were particularly underdeveloped. Also, what happened to the rookie at the start?

Many plot points didn’t really make sense or relied on the characters being stupid or unrealistic. The classic example here is the surprise about the time dilation (these are space rangers!) followed by the repeated attempts. After the first failure why not slow down a bit, maybe figure out a better way to test?

The one time it did tug at the heartstrings was such a transparent rip off of the start of the much superior Up that I felt annoyed that it was even slightly effective.

This could have been an interesting kids action / sci-fi film, but everyone involved seems to have been distracted for the entire development process.
posted by Stark at 5:23 AM on June 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Um... wow.

I came here to say My 10 year old son and I really enjoyed the movie. Socks stole every scene.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:48 AM on June 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Heh. To be fair I did generally enjoy Sox and he’s probably my favourite character. I’d hope he kept a backup of the formula for the hyper speed crystal though!
posted by Stark at 6:31 AM on June 30, 2022

Sox was the best part of the movie. The hairball...

I am guessing that in a few years, Disney World will temporarily shut down Mission: SPACE at EPCOT to revamp it into a Lightyear ride. Especially given a few of the last shots in the movie (the launch specifically).
posted by WildMuffin at 9:43 AM on June 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

My kids loved it. I tried to pretend I was watching it in 1995 to see how I’d have felt about it back then and decided it’s fine. Adequate. I love that my kids loved it though. I liked the Zerg twist. As a campy space opera I think it holds its own.
posted by annathea at 10:38 AM on June 30, 2022

When there was the initial press cycle about "LGBT content" in Lightyear for some reason my dumb ass just assumed Buzz Lightyear was gay and I believed that for weeks. I was like, wow, so cool! I always GOT a queer vibe from Buzz Lightyear now that I think about it!! Coming out just in time to make it into Pride month!!! Amazing!!!!

I later discovered that I drew a laughably incorrect conclusion from the headlines but I have to admit I've pretty much decided to live in my headcanon and never see this movie. I like Gay Buzz and I'm not moving on.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and it turned out Buzz is gay after all. Otherwise I'm not really interested, I have made a really excellent Gay Spaceman movie in my head and I would prefer to live in blissful ignorance.
posted by potrzebie at 11:01 PM on June 30, 2022 [8 favorites]

My least favorite Pixar movie with the exception of Cars 2, I think. To think this made it to cinemas while Turning Red was denied!
posted by adrianhon at 1:21 AM on July 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Buzz is involved with Jessie the cowgirl in Toy Story 3, but also he likes to dress up for tea parties and call himself Mrs Nesbit.

I do like the fan theory that Lightyear was the movie that Andy saw, but it bombed hard, and that's why there are thousands of unsold Buzz Lightyears in Al's Toy Barn in Toy Story 2.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:58 AM on July 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm trying to figure out how the toy villain was Emperor Zerg, when Zerg in this was not functioning as the head of an empire at all.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:02 PM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

“Emperor Zerg”…

Yeah, this retcon was not coherent- if this was the movie that Andy saw, and he got the toy shortly after, there was no “empire”.

But, if you stuck around for the post credits scene, then… that could be followed-up in a sequel…. But that doesn’t jive with the timeline and “Buzz universe” as described in Toy Story.
posted by rozcakj at 7:37 PM on August 7, 2022

I haven't seen every Pixar movie but this is the first one I've seen that felt sabbily written. Lots of kiddie/family movies, like the HTTYD's, or the Lord and Miller stuff, or even some other Pixar movies, have very paint-by-numbers plot beats and character moments, but they rise above that dippiness some way or another.

But idk like, for example, the red cones trap where they need to work as a team, it was just so threadbare, so bare bones, and the whole movie is like that. I mean come on. The first twenty minutes of the film, where it struggles to get to the first act, which involves escaping from a planet, except it's not really escaping, that's not what it's about at all, it's about test piloting, which involves just flying a rocket really fast back to where it began, which is important because... And like the tentacle gag...

Like a lot of moments of this movie I was thinking: Where is the person at Pixar who would see some of this and say, "Okay that's the rough idea, now work that up into something less stupid that feels natural we can actually put on screen. :)"

The cat is good. The characters are likable sometimes. I liked Zurg's armor and most of his evil robot actions a lot. It had some okay moments. It's not like it's unwatchable (once you get past the first few minutes), it just felt so lackluster a lot of the time.
posted by fleacircus at 11:12 PM on August 28, 2022

The first twenty minutes of the film, where it struggles to get to the first act, which involves escaping from a planet, except it's not really escaping, that's not what it's about at all, it's about test piloting, which involves just flying a rocket really fast back to where it began, which is important because...

Because they were testing the crystolic fusion energy source, which would allow them to go home, if it worked correctly.

Quite a lot of the movie is about developing the crystolic fusion energy source. Sox is the one who finally cracked the solution after studying it for years while Buzz was doing test flights.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:09 AM on August 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

:rolleyes: Yes, it's a dumb chain of motivations hastily sped through.
posted by fleacircus at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2022

Yeah, from the colony's point of view, Buzz racing to leave them stranded for 4 more years over and over is totally indistinguishable from "Buzz ran away and abandoned us yet again."

That could maybe have been part of a "Buzz eventually sees himself from their point of view" arc, but they pretty much ignored what his whole project looked like to everyone else.
posted by straight at 10:46 PM on December 28, 2022

However in spite of all that, the movie managed to eke out a thumbs up from me, mostly on the strength of all it's buttons and switches and levers. So many great buttons and switches and levers and other pre-touch screen interfaces.

And I liked that the weird H shape of the mother ship was a plot point, even if it was a bluntly telegraphed one. Izzy's spacewalk was a thrill even though I'd seen similar scenes before.
posted by straight at 10:58 PM on December 28, 2022

An answer six months in the making. I just started a rewatch and realized the rookie is actually the guy who takes over command of the colony after Buzz's friend retires/dies.

I entered this movie last fall with some trepidation that it was a Disney pushed money grab of the Toy Story franchise, but actually found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Buzz's motivation to sacrifice a life with his friends and the rest of the colony being built on the guilt of stranding them was something I appreciated. I also loved the idea of a story that played upon gravity-time, something you just don't see in sci-fi this mainstream (Ender's Game is pretty much it, and it's just an off hand thing really there). I also was a sucker for "Voices from a Distant Star" anime short which plays with gravity/speed of light/time passage, too.

This really was a beautifully animated film and a delightful surprise.
posted by Atreides at 10:48 AM on January 10, 2023

Also, what happened to the rookie at the start?

Whoops, the question got erased. :x
posted by Atreides at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

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