When the first Toy Story film was released, I was only six months old. I don’t exactly remember what I was doing at that stage of my life, but I’m assuming it was babbling a bunch of nonsense and keeping my mum awake throughout the night.
While I wasn’t exactly the target demographic for the first Toy Story film, I did grow up watching the franchise. Woody and Buzz were a major part of my life, and every time I left the house, I would picture my toys coming alive just as they do in the film.
So, my excitement was unparalleled when I found out that — 27 years later — Buzz would be getting his own origin story in the form of Lightyear. The Pixar animated movie is geared towards children, but it’s the adults who are truly going to feel a wave of nostalgia in the movie theatre.
Starring Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz, Taika Waititi as Mo and Keke Palmer as Izzy, to name a few, Lightyear is the story of the real Buzz Lightyear — the man the toy was based on.
The legendary space ranger is shown to embark on an intergalactic adventure alongside recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby and my favourite character of all, his robot companion Sox.
It’s emotional, heartwarming and brilliantly made, and is exactly what Buzz deserves.
“I loved Buzz Lightyear, I loved Toy Story, you know, when Toy Story came out, it kinda kicked the doors down in terms of a new approach to the medium. So I was thrilled and excited to know that there was more to come,” Chris Evans said at the Lightyear global press conference.
Evans, who is known for playing Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, added a new catchphrase to his repertoire, one that we’ve been familiar with for years: “To infinity, and beyond.”
In the Toy Story franchise, Buzz Lightyear was originally voiced by Tim Allen, and to say Evans had some big shoes to fill would be an understatement. Allen’s voice became synonymous with the astronaut and having someone else take the baton left people sceptical. However, Evans delivered the iconic catchphrase beautifully, and the moment I heard it, I felt myself becoming a child again.
“As proud as I am to play this role and as honoured as I am to be a part of this universe now, that line belongs to someone else,” Evans said.
“It almost kinda felt like I was wearing someone else’s clothes or something, you know? So you do your best to honour it and put your own spin on it.
“But let’s be honest, that’s Tim Allen’s line.”
It wasn’t just Evans who stood out. Waititi, who is known for his witty banter, stole the show as Mo and had me in fits of laughter. No one plays clumsy, endearing characters better than him, and Lightyear is proof.
“Mo, I feel is very similar to how I was in my early — in the early days,” said Waititi.
Describing the character — and himself — as “a little aimless”, Waititi said: “I was interested in a thousand different things and I wanted to do everything all at once.
“But … I never really finished my projects. And that was something I learned how to do later on.
“So that, yeah, it was easy to tap into that because, you know, I feel like I’m someone who works a lot, but also wrestles with this part of me who doesn’t wanna work at all ever again. And so, you know, those are the two sides of me that are always in constant conflict.”
Lightyear is a must-watch. Not just for those under the age of 12, but those who grew up on Toy Story. Disney Pixar once again perfected the art of storytelling, and they truly did justice to our favourite space ranger.
Lightyear is out in HOYTS Cinemas nationwide now.