The Scene That Got ‘Lightyear’ Banned in 14 Countries

Lightyear has landed, and for Toy Story fans, there’s nothing more exciting than the return of our beloved Buzz Lightyear to the silver screen.

Of course, things are a little different this time around. For starters, this isn’t a Toy Story film. Rather than hanging out with the Buzz we’ve all come to know and love, this is the Buzz’s origin story — as in, before he was made into a toy.

The film has been making headlines since it was announced. Not only is Tim Allen not voicing this iteration of Buzz Lightyear, but the film has found itself banned in 14 countries due to a same-sex kiss ,which takes place in the film

Here’s everything you need to know about Lightyear.

Why Isn’t Tim Allen Voicing Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear?

Actor Tim Allen has been the voice of Buzz Lightyear since the first Toy story film premiered way back in 1995, but for Lightyear, Allen has been replaced with Captain America star Chris Evans.

While many have speculated that Allen’s controversial political opinions are the reason Disney chose to replace him for Lightyear, director Angus MacLane has cited the film’s differing tone as the reason.

“Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief,” MacLane told Vanity Fair. “In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undercut the drama. Chris Evans has the gravitas and that movie-star quality that our character needed to separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story.”

In the same interview, Evans stated that he “used Tim Allen as a guideline”, explaining: “He did such a good job, and I’d be a fool not to acknowledge the work he did. But I couldn’t just do a shameless impression. I had to somehow create my own understanding of the character, and try to make some fresh tracks in the snow while paying homage to the great work that he did.”

Meanwhile, Lightyear producer Galyn Susman said at a press conference that the decision was simple:  “Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy. We weren’t making a Toy Story movie. We’re making Buzz Lightyear’s movie. And so first and foremost, we just needed a different person playing that Lightyear, separate from the toy.”

Who Is Starring in Lightyear?

With Tim Allen out, Chris Evans is set to take on the role of Buzz Lightyear in the action hero’s origin story.

Posting to his Instagram, Evans wrote that working with Pixar was “a dream come true”.

“I’ve been a massive fan of their films since the very beginning,” he wrote. “My team could barely contain their excitement when they told me that Pixar had a pitch for me.”

Evans went on to say that when he heard that the role was Buzz Lightyear’s he “didn’t know what that meant, since Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear, and no one could ever tough his performance”.

Still, he “didn’t stop smiling through the ENTIRE pitch”, and is very happy with the final result that is Lightyear.

“Everyone can rest easy,” he said. “And get very excited.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chris Evans (@chrisevans)

Aside from Evans, the rest of the voice cast is as follows:

  • Keke Palmer as Izzy Hawthorne
  • Peter Sohn as SOX
  • Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison
  • Dale Soules as Darby Steel
  • James Brolin as Zurg
  • Uzo Aduba as Alisha Hawthorne
  • Mary McDonald-Lewis as I.V.A.N.
  • Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside
  • Angus MacLane as ERIC
  • Bill Hader as Featheringhamstan
  • Efren Ramirez as Airman Díaz
  • Keira Hairston as Young Izzy

Who Directed Lightyear?

A longtime animator, who’s worked on some of Pixar’s biggest hits, like Monsters, Inc.Finding NemoThe Incredibles and Up, Angus MacLane is Lightyear‘s director.

MacLane is familiar with the Toy Story franchise. He was an animator on Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, and has previously directed two Toy Story shorts, Toy Story of Terror, and Toy Story Toons: Small Fry.

This will be one of MacLane’s first major directorial credits, and his first solo credit for a feature film. He previously co-directed Finding Dory in 2016 with Andrew Stanton.

Who Wrote Lightyear?

Angus MacLane, who is also Lightyear‘s director, co-wrote the script for the film, alongside Matthew Aldrich and Jason Headley. Aldrich previously co-wrote Coco, and Headley co-wrote Onward.

What Is Lightyear About?

The film’s official logline is: “While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.”

Is There a Trailer for Lightyear?

There is indeed. Watch the trailer for Lightyear below:

Why Is Lightyear Banned in 14 Countries?

Lightyear features a same-sex kiss, which has led to 14 countries banning the film’s release.

The kiss, which features space ranger Alisha kissing her partner, has been at the centre of a lot of controversy, even prior to Lightyear being banned. This is because Disney had actually cut the kiss from its final theatrical release, before Pixar employees protested the decision via an open letter. Within the letter, they accused Disney of censoring anything that was “overly gay”. Disney caved, and the scene was restored.

The inclusion of the scene, however, has prompted 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia, to ban the film from being released.

The UAE said in a tweet that the film “is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards”.

Homosexuality is still considered a crime in many of the countries that have banned the film from release.

It’s also looking unlikely that the film will secure a Chinese theatrical release, which is big news, as China is the biggest film market in the world.

When Will Lightyear Be Released in Australia?

Lightyear is in Australian cinemas right now.

Where Can I Watch Lightyear?

Lightyear is screening in HOYTS cinemas now, and you can buy tickets here.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.