The pandemic has done a lot of damage to Pixar. The outburst occurred the same weekend that ‘Onward’ was released, leaving a great movie in an unfair bad place and in a limbo that made it go unnoticed when it came to streaming. Her subsequent efforts, ‘Soul’, ‘Luca’ and ‘Red’, went directly to Disney +, something that could still be half justified in the case of the first but less so in the later two.
It is difficult not to notice the fact that these three films are just original productions, not based on other films of the company, and with non-normative stories and/or protagonists. Secondly, Pixar’s return to theaters came with a spin-off film of one of its most successful franchises and aimed at a young male audience -although the controversy over the presence of a 2-second lesbian kiss tried to hide the opposite-. It didn’t work out, and now ‘Lightyear’ premieres on Disney+ in search of a second chance.
To infinity and little more
The film, as we all know, takes reference from the famous toy from ‘Toy Story’, but it is not based on the toy but on the “real” astronaut who inspired it. In fact, the film begins with a cartouche assuring that this movie was young Andy’s favorite movie in 1995 and that seeing it was what caused his obsession with the toy (which, on the other hand, you already have to have courage for this to be your favorite movie the year that children’s classics ‘Pocahontas’, ‘Babe the brave little pig’ or even ‘ Casper’).
‘Lightyear’ is fits firmly into the space science fiction genre, with its bit of classic adventure movies, putting this astronaut and his crew on an alien planet where they get stranded. As everyone tries to survive and settle down, Buzz Lightyear puts all of his efforts into trying to restore the power source that can bring them all home.
The film has ambitions, it cannot be denied, pulling science fiction elements that sound interesting on paper. Visually has the bill that can be expected from such an established studio and accustomed to technical excellence, although he also fails to impress enough to avoid noticing how little his sci-fi adventure matches the formula that Pixar imposes almost by system, having a dilapidated first act that does not establish the emotional keys that the film wants develop.
‘Lightyear’: needs more fuel
This doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie -really bad from Pixar, I could only count ‘Cars 2’-, but it does make it one that it fails even to justify its own existence beyond business needs.
Something that, on the other hand, has fallen on other of his crudest attempts to give continuity to his most recognizable properties, such as ‘Monsters University’ or, to a lesser extent, ‘Finding Dory’. Again, Pixar seems to be having trouble playing the same game that its parent company, Disney, already controls.
That’s why it’s hard not to feel a certain aftertaste of disappointment with a film that remains “no more” and has a theatrical release, but his other films that show the studio’s excellence -and even try to evolve its possibilities- are content with streaming. That way of devaluing the brand is precisely the one that leads to commercial disappointments, not the supposed rejection of the “progressive dictatorship.”
In Espinof | All the Pixar movies ranked from worst to best