Original title:Lightyear
Director:Angus MacLane
Running time:109 minutes
Release date:17 june 2022
The true story of the legendary Space Ranger who has since inspired the toy we all know. After being stranded with his commander and crew on a hostile planet 4.2 million light years from Earth, Buzz Lightyear attempts to bring everyone back safely. To do so, he can count on the support of a group of ambitious young recruits and his adorable robot cat, Sox. But the arrival of the terrible Zurg and his army of ruthless robots won't make their job any easier, especially since he has a very specific plan in mind...

Mulder's Review

"In 1995, a boy named Andy received a toy from his favorite movie. This is that movie."

Discovering a new animated film from Pixar Studios is often a real pleasure as we know that it will be a mastered entertainment both in terms of animation (one of the best current if not the best) but especially a story developed with undeniable care and a willingness to entertain a family audience while addressing certain important themes from an original angle. Lightyear is conceived as a real Hollywood science-fiction blockbuster with its numerous impressive scenes of space battles, its omnipresent humor (the Sox cat robot is simply irresistible) and its characters with different behaviors who must combine their personal knowledge to succeed in a mission. 

Conceived as a spin-off of the cult film saga Toy Story, this film focuses on the story of the legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear whose toy Andy in Toy Story has. After a first scene explaining the reason why Buzz's spaceship is stuck on a hostile planet after having undergone enormous damage following a mistake on his part, in particular at the level of the hyperspeed crystal necessary for supersonic travel. We follow the journey of this ranger who finds himself propelled as a test pilot to try to reach the supersonic speed that will allow his crew to leave this planet.  Things get even more complicated when each test takes him four years later and his base finds itself facing a terrible robot named Zur who has an army of robots under his command.  Buzz, with the help of his hyper-intelligent robotic cat and an untrained team of Izzy, Mo and Darby, is the only one able to fight Zurg and his army.

Lightyear is director Angus MacLane's second film after he co-directed Dory's World (with Andrew Stanton). We feel a real desire of the director to give a real substance to Buzz and to play on the nostalgic effect of the spectators who saw and appreciated the Toy Story saga. The important themes of the Pixar studios are well present on the screen, notably the surpassing of oneself, friendship and family. It is easy to understand that the Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story is a toy with the effigy of this animated film as the text in the credits of this film so well announces. However, far from wanting to tell us a story already seen and reviewed, the scriptwriters have managed to find the epic breath of the great science-fiction films and we will think in particular of Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien but also of Starship Troopers with these hostile monsters of all kinds of this hostile planet. 

It would even be interesting to compare the numerous common points between this movie and Top Gun Maverick (test pilot, a suicide mission, the theft of a ship, as a punishment becoming a trainer). It is not a coincidence that the voice of Tim Allen is not used in the original version, but that of Chris Evans, whose version of Captain America is still remembered. This strategic choice proves to be a winning one as Chris Evans, through his Marvel character, represents a fearless, courageous and strong hero always ready to surpass himself to succeed in his mission. In the same way, the perfectly mastered script by Jason Headley, Angus MacLane succeeds in creating a disturbing and futuristic atmosphere in which robots have taken over.

We will also appreciate the care given to the original voices with Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, Isiah Whitlock Jr. as well as the French ones with François Civil, Lyna Khoudri, Michael Gregorio, Tomer Sisley, Chantal Ladesou. To have a robot cat as irresistible as intelligent which has in more the voice of Michael Gregorio has what to make addicted all the geeks impassioned of new technologies. The presence of Sox almost eclipses Buzz's at times, as this character is one of the most successful of all Pixar animated films.

Once again, this Pixar animated film benefits from several reading tracks and will appeal to both young and adult audiences. Between the numerous winks, the nostalgia that comes out of it and the endearing characters, certainly (Lightyear is an undeniable success for Pixar Studios and especially after two films released directly on Disney+ Luca (2021), Turning Red (2022) we can only be happy to find this memorable animated film in a movie theater.

Directed by Angus MacLane
Screenplay by Jason Headley, Angus MacLane
Produced by Galyn Susman
Starring Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Cinematography : Jeremy Lasky (camera), Ian Megibben (lighting)
Edited by Anthony J. Greenberg
Music by Michael Giacchino
Production companies : Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date : June 17, 2022 (united States), June 22, 2022 (France)
Running time : 109 minutes

Seen on June 19, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 1 seat L19

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