So what do you do when you’re a big corporate entity that closed off one of the biggest animated franchises less than 5 years ago and want to pump more content out? You make a spin-off! And that’s exactly what Disney did with Lightyear.
The animation is very well done so I’ll give Pixar props for that – how far they have come from the OG Toy Story to now. It has a nice blend of bright dynamic colours mixed with almost hyper realistic looking detail (if it wasn’t for the fact that all the characters still have weird heads). But good looks and sequences is all I can really credit for this film. As for everything else? It’s kind of basic. The time travel/hyperspeed story has been over done so many times and it gets boring – nothing will beat Interstellar so stop trying. Killer robots! Insectoid monsters! Police tyranny! So original (not).
This is essentially the kids version of Starship Troopers and Terminator combined. Sure, the massacre of native insects and robots is way too comfortable to be shown to the minds of 8 year olds, but really the only thing that sells this film is the action.
Buzz is just so typical. Sure he was a bit of a dick in the first Toy Story and gets the status of a lovable character throughout the series, but in Lightyear, he’s just another man in a space suit with nothing but his quota to ‘finish the mission’ then completely scrap said mission. What many films fall to currently is focusing way too much on the side character that has no training or actual substance to their personality. Elisha is just plain and there to remind Buzz ‘you don’t have to do things alone’. Try asking him for help when you’re getting shot at by lasers, you idiot.
Ah yes, the wacky characters. Oh no, don’t have some actually decent space rangers, just give us outcasts that literally contribute ‘NOTHING’ to moving the plot forward. I at least thought Zurg was going to be more threatening in this but him literally just being an older version of Buzz? Like I didn’t see that from a mile away. Hell, the robotic cat is more threatening than he is, and that’s the only character you can actually root for – a bleeding robot cat!
With a stiff story, some boringly crafted characters and fancy animation graphics, Lightyear becomes another Disney flick that is great for the family, and possibly die hard Disney fans, but not all that pleasing for people who like decent films. Yes, this is a film directed at kids, and yes, a lot of parents bring their youngest of children to this. However, I do wish they would learn to actually parent and keep their spawns of hell in their seats – it’s a cinema, not a day-care.
Want films that you can actually enjoy without being tormented by screaming gremlins? Lucky for you have a few picks! Have a read of my review for The Northman: A brutal, Nordic Viking epic of betrayal and blood shed. Or perhaps you want to read another one of my screenmuse rants – have a read of my article for the god awful Firestarter (warning; it’s not good).