I have to admit that, after having slightly choked on the equally recommendable ‘Soul’ by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, I can’t help but enthusiastically celebrate the recent trajectory of a Pixar who, after exploiting his existentialist vision to the point of almost turning it into a cliché and squeezing his desire to transcend to the limit, has chosen to embrace lightness and simplicity in his latest productions.
This does not mean, under any circumstances, that the mastery that is usually associated with the work of the animated study Disney property has been lost along the way in this kind of transition. As an example, there are the charming and hilarious ‘Luca’ and, above all, ‘Red’, whose stories in code coming of age fell in love again without the need to take yourself so seriously themselves.
With ‘Lightyear’, Pixar not only returns to theaters that it should never have abandoned in favor of streaming; but it shapes an extraordinary space adventure with a vintage flavor which, honestly, may not be his most inspired piece of this “new wave”. But, even in these circumstances, what is nothing more than an impeccable pastime is worthy of being studied in detail at any film school.
Star Diary: Pixar has done it again
It is curious that thinking of a feature film like ‘Lightyear’ invites you to do so in the first instance not in the ins and outs of its making, but in something as abstract as its spirit. And it is that its intelligent premise opens the way to 100 very tight minutes translated into a love letter to classic science fiction that pays homage to productions such as ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Galactica’ in a cocktail of action, adventure and comedy that will delight the most advanced audience.
But, beyond filmmaker Angus MacLane’s obvious devotion to the genre, once again it is Pixar’s trademark narrative that elevates the title to unsuspected levels. We will probably find ourselves before the recent exercise of the least solid study in terms of message and discursive depthbut his thesis on error handling and load sharing is executed with enviable neatness.
In addition to displaying a tremendously precise causality that leaves no room for randomness when it comes to managing a constantly growing conflict, the film is an exhibition of economy of language, synthesis, planning and narration in images that, despite giving the sensation of developing with automatic pilot in some passages, is simply outstanding.
Unsurprisingly, ‘Lightyear’ is equally impressive on its technical side. The audiovisual level reached is dazzling, and allows to mold spectacular set pieces with games of textures, reflections and particles capable of disengaging jaws. A gift for the retinas to add the soundtrack of a Michael Giacchino as inspired as usual and that surrounds the story with an extra musical epic.
Although, as expected, the soul of the movie is condensed into an assortment of caring characters, full of nuances, and that in addition to finding its great revelation in Sox, channels some really emotional moments through a cast led by a perfect Chris Evans as the leading space Ranger.
This last one is nothing more than the finishing touch for a film that, surely, will not occupy the high positions of the lists with the best of Pixar, but that makes one wish that all the less round works in a studio were so darn brilliant how is.