Disney & Pixar present- "LIGHTYEAR!"

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Sabrblade

Continuity Nutcase
Citizen
I can't help but notice in that trailer not a single shot of the 00's cartoon. I assume they at least allow a shot of it in a montage in the full documentary, unless they really hate that show that much. I know people have said before that the original Toy Story creators didn't really like the cartoon, but to not even mention it in a documentary about the history of Buzz is going a little far, right?

Mind, I don't know how much of this is a "history of Buzz" and how much is a "making of the new movie". 50/50? 70/30?
So I just watched this documentary and, yeah, there was zero sign or mention of the TV series when going over the history of Buzz Lightyear as a character. The documentary was written as though the TV series never existed.
 

Axaday

Active member
Citizen
The trailers made the movie look so much more interesting and fun than it actually was. The impression and expectation for the movie that I got from the trailers was that it would play out something like this:

In the future, Star Command is launching a new deep-space program with renowned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear piloting the new Crystallic Fusion test flight. He takes off and, believing the test fight a success, he returns to find that the place he just launched from a short time ago is drastically different. The environment is wilder, there are ruins everywhere, and dangerous robots patrol around. He tries to contact Star Command and ponders "Why don't they answer?", leading him to believe that he was somehow thrown off course of his flight path and instead landed on a far distant, hostile alien planet.

As he tries to get the lay of the land, he is attacked by some of the robot patrols. He does his best to defend himself until he is helped by a mysterious fighter who fends off the machines and saves his life. Removing their helmet, Buzz initially mistakes his rescuer for one of his friends from Star Command, whom he had just saw right before his test flight. But the rescuer explains that she is actually the granddaughter of Buzz's friend, who wasn't yet born when Buzz last saw her grandmother. Buzz then realizes that he somehow ended up traveling several years (decades, even) into the future.

Realizing that everyone and everything he knew and inadvertently left behind are now gone, he is at a loss for what to do and believes he's failed everyone. But when he learns more about the grave situation the granddaughter and her fellow rebels are in with the invasion of Emperor Zurg, who had attacked Star Command in the years that Buzz was gone, Buzz sees a chance to redeem himself and sets out to help the rebels take down Zurg once and for all. And, along the way, maybe find out what went wrong with the test flight, and either find a new place and purpose for himself in this new time period or even see if there is a chance for him to make it back home to his own time and stop Zurg's invasion in the past.

THAT's the kind of movie I was wanting to see going into this! One test flight, one mistake to fix. That's all that was needed. Not a series of mistakes constantly made over and over again.
That's pretty well exactly what I expected too. I think the trailers intentionally set that up.

I really enjoyed the movie.

From this distance the only part that I would have done differently was that Buzz seems surprised by the first time dilation. He's a space ranger protecting a colony ship. He knows about time dilation. He definitely didn't make that first test flight without realizing what would happen.

As to the "real" science, it is a movie and a cartoon movie at that. I'm surprised they even acknowledge time dilation. It's fine. They didn't make the movie to teach science. And the final act is predicated on backward time travel that they were never going to explain with hard science. So it is soft sci-fi masquerading as hard. It's fine.

I saw the movie a couple months after my mom died. The plot line about Commander Hawthorne hit very solid on me.
 

Sjogre

Member
Citizen
Honestly, I think that having just one jump forward, at most two, would have made for a stronger film. It would have meant exploring what happened to Hawthorne through flashbacks or the like, but it would have avoided the issues caused by having Buzz keep going forward without taking a moment to talk to Hawthorne and the other colonists.

Overall, though, I liked the movie. Not the best movie I've seen this year, but still fun.

The big thing, though, is that while Zurg's identity worked for this story, it doesn't for damn near any other story.

So, theory: Every adaptation of the Buzz Lightyear property, within the context of Toy Story and real life, has given Zurg a different story. The nineties reboot movie/Lightyear made him an older Buzz, but the toyline made him Buzz's actual dad, while the cartoon went a different direction.

Also, I'm pretty that Lightyear started out as an unrelated movie about an astronaut jumping further through time before having the Space Ranger IP slapped on top of it.
 

Dake

Well-known member
Citizen
I liked it.

I think the whole point was that Buzz was so focused on the mission and doing it himself (without help), that's why he just kept going back out again and again. The lessons to be learned were to know when to let go, trust the (good) people around you, and you don't need to do everything yourself.

As to the time gaps themselves, yeah, they stretched the maths a bit. You'd have to travel at .9C for over a year to have 4 years elapse. Of course, there's the added time dilation of being out of a planet's gravity well (though I'd think that would be offset by the time spent going around the star). But poetic license and all that; it's not like the final solution is real by physics as we understand them - there's no going backwards.

Also, I'm pretty that Lightyear started out as an unrelated movie about an astronaut jumping further through time before having the Space Ranger IP slapped on top of it.

If this was true it would've had to have been waaaay early in the draft. It's not like Starship Troopers or something where they just made a few dialog changes and slapped the name on it. Considering the lead time required for animation, this was planned this way for a long time.

Maybe it just was too meta for folks. A friend of mine's kids didn't like it because it was too "nerdy" (which honestly shocked him since they like most sci-fi franchise stuff they've been exposed to), but if that's representative of the general opinion amongst kids then that would explain the lack of multiple theatrical viewings.
 

ZacWilliam1

Well-known member
Citizen
W finally watched it this morning. Me and my 8yr old both enjoyed it.

It wasn't awesome to the point where I'm dieing for a sequel or want to rush right out and buy product based on it. But it was a good solidly enjoyable movie. Honestly didn't see the twist coming but it made perfect sense when it did.


-ZacWilliam, the only thing I would change is that if the gimmick is it was "kid-Andy's favorite film"I would have played up the retro feel both in plot and visual stylings so that felt true (because this film as is pretty much does nothing with that part of its concept.)
 

Axaday

Active member
Citizen
-ZacWilliam, the only thing I would change is that if the gimmick is it was "kid-Andy's favorite film"I would have played up the retro feel both in plot and visual stylings so that felt true (because this film as is pretty much does nothing with that part of its concept.)

I'm not really sure how 1995 Sci-Fi looked different than now.
 

Dake

Well-known member
Citizen
Ironically!... less CGI.

It's not CGI, it's "live-action" in the Toy Story world (which happens to be CGI in our world).

And likely much less homosexual relationships.

For the worse but true. As much as the nutters are yelling about an incredibly mild same-sex relationship in the movie in 2022, 1995 audiences would've lost it. But, I choose to believe that since Andy lived in a world where toys come to life, it's clearly a better world all around so that tiny little bit of characterization was a completely normal, non-event.
 

Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
I think the biggest problem with this movie is that it is a Buzz Lightyear movie. Pixar simply can't seem to avoid turning everything they touch into a Pixar Movie™ with Big Themes and such (well, not since Cars 2 at least), and that feels like 180° off from what I'd expect Buzz Lightyear's source material to be. Regardless of whether you've seen the TV cartoon or not (I haven't, but I'm aware of it and I did see the pilot movie, exactly once, and don't remember much), I think we were all expecting something far pulpier. Back when it first came out and I caught wind of some discourse surrounding this point, I commented that maybe they should have just claimed it was the Toy Story universe's current-day live-action reboot. You know, like their equivalent of the Marvel movies. Now that I've seen it, I'm going to have to revise that to say "like their equivalent of Guardians of the Galaxy in particular", because that movie took probably the wildest interpretation of its source material out of all of them... and it still felt more like a real pulpy sci-fi adventure than this.

I know that ever since The Sweatbox leaked, Disney has taken extreme measures to ensure no one ever breathes a word about what goes on behind the scenes at their studios, but I sure would love to know if this was even originally pitched as a Buzz Lightyear movie at all. In a lot of ways, it feels like it would have worked better as an original IP.
 

wonko the sane?

You may test that assumption at your convinience.
Citizen
It probably WAS pitched as an original IP, but they figured there was better money to be had rebranding it as buzz lightyear.
 

Dake

Well-known member
Citizen
Please see just seven posts ago. :)

If it was pitched as its own thing, it would've had to be a looong time ago because they don't just change up animation like that.
 

Steevy Maximus

Well-known member
Citizen
I think the fundamental issue with Lightyear was that it was too smart, tried to be too clever and too character-centric for what it needed to be, and what it WOULD have been if released back in 1995. Most of the issues I see in Lightyear are issues films (and especially, adaptions) have had a lot of in the past decade or so- they are afraid to embrace their property's intrinsic nature. That's how we got a Snake Eyes movie where the character only appears in his classic look for the last 5 minutes. Or a Transformers film that only featured Dinobots for about 15 minutes out of a nearly 3 hour film.

Buzz has a suit of gimmicks, yet he only appears in his classic suit in the last few minutes of the film. They spent the time and energy designing over a DOZEN, FANTASTIC, space ships...which amounts to maybe 10 minutes of the entire film's run time. And the final villain reveal undermines everything about him and eliminates him as a viable long term threat.

The film needed more action and better use of the ample material it had for building a compelling universe. As is, it is never clear why the "Space Rangers" were on their own for so long, or if there were more of them out there.
 

Sjogre

Member
Citizen
Yeah. The movie wanted to tell a small, personal story about accepting failure and consequences. Unfortunately, it was also supposed to be a bombastic origin story that launches a franchise, so kind of a poor fit.
 

Sabrblade

Continuity Nutcase
Citizen
On a more serious note:

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This is the original lore of Buzz Lightyear as featured in the original Toy Story movie, along with Buzz's other monologue about Zurg's supposed Death Star knockoff:

"Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals this weapon's only weakness."

And then there's the Buzz Lightyear video game scene (full of obvious Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey sound effects) at the beginning of Toy Story 2:


It really says something when the movie toted to be the in-universe film that all of this in-universe merchandise lore was based on, features almost none of it.

Like, setting aside the old Buzz Lightyear of Star Command cartoon (which even Pixar has done by continuing to pretend like it never existed), we are told in the first Toy story movie by action figure Buzz that the fictional Buzz Lightyear character he is based on is stationed in the Gamma Quadrant of Sector 4 as part of the Space Ranger Corps' Universal Protection Unit, with the mission of defending the Galactic Alliance from Emperor Zurg.

Well, what exactly is the Gamma Quadrant? Sector 4 of what?

What is the Universal Protection Unit? How about the Space Ranger Corps? Are there other units or divisions outside of the Protection Unit? What all do they do? And how does Star Command factor into the Corps and its various units?

What is the Galactic Alliance? Who are all its members? Why does Zurg want to invade it? What is he the emperor of? Does his his empire occupy just one planet or a whole section of space?

There was so much story potential to flesh out all of this (even if it meant parodying Star Wars and Star Trek to an extent), but next to none of this Buzz Lightyear mythology was even in the movie that was supposed to be about Buzz Lightyear!
 
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Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
Oh, and also I can't get past this nonsense: Jumping into hyperspace causes relativistic time dilation as just a normal consequence of how it works, but not only do they use it as their sole means of traveling between habitable worlds despite that, a lifetime spacer like Buzz went his entire life not knowing this? So he's just... never made a single round trip through space his entire life before? Only ever going to new places?

"Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals this weapon's only weakness."
Well, they couldn't use that because it's literally just the plot of Rogue One. 😛
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
I think the fundamental issue with Lightyear was that it was too smart, tried to be too clever and too character-centric for what it needed to be, and what it WOULD have been if released back in 1995.
Ehhh....I think maybe it WANTED to be all those things. But...it was NOT any of those things.

Let's ignore that they tried to force a character that's designed around Buck Rogers/Flash Gordan aesthetics into a "harder" sci-fi story more like Gravity or The Martian or Interstellar. Let's even ignore that this is supposed to be a period piece, which feels EXTREMELY tacked on and NOTHING in the movie even winks at that except the opening crawl.

This movie just has some fundamental script problems. It WANTS to play with some of these high-concept ideas...but it focuses on those ideas to the detriment of the rest of the plot. The writers only seems to have half-thought out some important parts of the plot. Or they merged a BUNCH of scripts together, which feels possible. Calling this script half-baked is a insult to half-baked movie. This movie raises SEVERAL questions that it seems to have either not thought through at all, or just seems uninterested in. Half the things in the movie just happen because "The script says so". In a lighter, more cartoony movie, maybe some of these questions could be brushed aside, but it keeps presenting itself as "serious science fiction".


I'm going to pick this apart pretty hard. This is nothing you haven't read before. Skip it if you like:

Let's take something really simple that I don't believe was ever addressed: What was the original mission here? Where was this Turnip with all these people going? Were they just exploring alien worlds? The movie seems completely uninterested in sharing what these characters motivations were for even STARTING this journey.

And the rookie at the start of the movie? The one the movie says BUZZ should care about? Yeah...gone, never shows up in the rest of the movie. The MOVIE doesn't even care about this guy enough to focus on him, WHY SHOULD WE?! They could have just made him the future-Commander later on, to give him a reason to dislike Buzz, but NOPE!

And NO ONE comes looking for them? After DECADES? Were they not in communication with Earth? Were they not supposed to send reports back to Earth at different points to report on these alien worlds? Are there NO OTHER spaceships out there also exploring OTHER corners of the galaxy they could contact for assistance, somehow? If Star Command doesn't exist yet, then FINE, but SOMEONE on Earth should have noticed they were missing, unless Earth is destroyed in this universe.

And then there's the planet itself. It's BORING. No alien ruins, no interesting monsters, NO NOTHING! There's nothing on this planet to make the audience interested in staying here. Why does a ship full of explorers and scientists WANT to stay on such a boring planet? Are they studying something?

There are the alien vines that keep dragging people away....which is played off as a joke and gets forgotten about halfway through the movie. Originally, I thought maybe the planet was sentient or something and trying to WARN the crew about a disaster about to happen. But...nope. We learn nothing about the vines. They could have been cut out of the movie entirely and we would lose NOTHING!

Same thing goes for Airman Diaz. Do you remember Airman Diaz? Short pudgy mechanic guy who kept getting grabbed by the vines? WHY WAS HE IN THIS MOVIE? This character was pointless. Buzz doesn't even mourn his death.

And...why can't they just repair the main ship? They have the resources to make DOZENS of prototype starships. And nearly UNLIMITED amounts of fuel, not only enough to make a bunch of new fuels for the prototypes but to power their base and cars and weapons.

How is it that a bunch of scientists and explorers have never HEARD of the concept of time dilation? And why didn't it seem to affect the Big Ship? Did they have...paradox absorbers on the Turnip? This could have been SO EASILY solved by just having the explanation take place BEFORE they built the first prototype. But, they wanted a dramatic reveal, so the world-building suffered.

And these ship designs are completely wasted on this movie. These are cool ships. But, the movie is MUCH more interested in the FUEL instead of the SHIPS. We aren't even given any reasons why these ships are better than the old ones. We can ASSUME they made small, incremental improvements...but we have NO IDEA what they ARE. And all of them having the same color scheme means they all blend together during the movie. I could see some people not even noticing they were different ships.

And...the fuel...couldn't they have tested if the fuel worked on the planet BEFORE sending Buzz out on a ship? Wasn't there some way to test the fuel mixture so they wouldn't have to wait YEARS to see if it worked? Couldn't have they used it on one of their cars or just tested it in a lab first? Just...set it on fire and see if it actually BURNS before putting in a spaceship, maybe?

And...couldn't they have sent a hyperspace MESSAGE back to Earth instead of a whole spaceship? I feel like it would have taken less energy to send a radio transmission instead of a spaceship via hyperspace. But...I guess they can't communicate with Earth..."Because the script says so"! But, at least they could have tried a few different plans at the same time, instead of putting ALL their eggs in one basket. But, NOPE! These are the least experimental and curious scientists in movie history!

They had the resources to make full-on test-tube babies onboard this ship? And they way it's presented, it's not somebody donating some sperm, this is probably supposed to be a mixture of the two ladies. They had near cloning capabilities onboard this ship? And it still works FINE after the crash? THIS is the ONE thing the scientists aboard the Turnip succeed at?!

The movie makes a big point about everyone accepting just living on this planet forever. They've made FAMILIES here. So...did NO ONE on this ship have loved ones on Earth? Did no leave behind wives, or children, or siblings, or parents, or friends, or ANYONE they cared about seeing again on Earth? What about those guys? Or was this a suicide mission from the start? Yes, fine, it's sad that some kids won't be born in this new timeline...but it's also sad that none of the people on Earth will ever know what happened to their loved ones on this ship!

And...that's another thing. Would changing the past OVERWRITE this timeline or would it just create a SPLINTER timeline? The movie never brings up the possibility. I'm willing to accept these time travel rules only allow overwriting...but this seems to be new territory for EVERYONE. I don't think anyone actually KNOWS what the rules are. So they literally could have had it both ways! The people in this timeline could have survived AND everyone gets to meet up with their families back on Earth! But, no! "Because the script says so"!

A entire team of scientists working DECADES can't solve the fuel chemistry for hyperspace travel...but a "toy" cat can? How incompetent ARE these scientists?!

And...the future-Commander's motivation for stopping the tests seems pretty weak. They don't seem to be running low on resources. It seemed like they were setting him up to be going mad with power...but they don't go there. If he had been someone Buzz had insulted back when he was a kid, it'd at least be for some personal motivation. But, he just stops it because..."The script says so". It just comes out of nowhere and doesn't really add much to the movie, except getting Buzz to be on the run. We're given VERY little information about why the future-Commander does the things he does.

The reverse-sandwiches are stupid. It's a joke, but its too goofy of a joke for this movie. It doesn't work in this setting. Arguably, it causes too much tonal whiplash.

Same goes for the confetti.

The room everyone gets stuck in so they all have to work together could ONLY exist in a video game. Leaving the power source for your lockdown in the same room that's being locked-down makes no sense. Again, it's because "The script says so"

And SO MUCH of this film's pacing feels slow and talky...just to BE slow and talky. We spends several scenes watching characters EAT or long, slow establishing shots of the view. It's just feels padded.



Oh, and as for this movie being "character-centric"...no...no, it really isn't. BUZZ gets focus and development, sure ...but NONE of the OTHER characters do. Everyone just..goes along with everything that happens. No one else has their own goals, or motivations, or ideas, or anything. They leave a character behind as a joke! And they're all so bland! In a movie all about how we should care about people more than the mission...they spend 80% of their time on the mission. They didn't make us care about these characters. Even some of the likable character like Buzz's friend and her daughter were kind of forgettable and bland, and I chalk up their entire likability to the performances of the actors. Why should we, the audience, care if they get erased?

And even Buzz's development is...really cliche. "Care about other people...or ELSE!". Even his reason for keeping others at a distance feels over-safe and bland, being a screw up in the past. And we don't even get a flashback to SEE it, it's all done through dialogue. It's unsatisfying.



And probably the biggest complaint about the movie...where did the ship full of alien robots come from? This was most likely a sequel hook...but if so it was teased VERY poorly. We are given NO CLUES about where this came from or what it means. Was it made by the crew on the planet? And it's just WAY too big of a script convenience the way it's presented. "Oh, here's a army of robots you can use that obey your every command!" Maybe a sequel would have redeemed it, but it's VERY unsatisfying in this movie.

What did future-Buzz EAT onboard the alien robot spaceship for decades, anyway? This is nitpick, but meh.

TLDR, the movie's got problems, just as a movie. Not JUST a Buzz Lightyear movie.

There ARE enjoyable bits. The animation is, of course, REALLY good. It might be a little TOO detailed and desaturated in places, but it works for the movie it's trying to be. Sox is amusing. The voice acting is good.

But...I would have changed EVERYTHING about this movie. It's...fine, as is. But, it's flawed. The bits that AREN'T a pile of cliches are poorly thought-out. There are dropped characters and plot-points spread throughout the whole runtime. It's a mess of a script. But, it's a mess of a script being done by one of the best animation studios out there, so there's still SOMETHING to enjoy.

All I have to say is...Poor Pixar. They get trapped in streamland for YEARS, then the first movie they put out in theaters underperforms.
 
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Fero McPigletron

Feel the fear!
Citizen
Yeah, I thought the grabby vines were a sign of some sort of intelligent lifeform.

Oh, Sox solved it cuz he's super cute and can do no wrong and I want an alternate timeline where the other Sox survived.
 
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