Lightyear is a 2022 American computer-animated science fiction action-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film is a spin-off of the Toy Story film series, serving as an alternate or ideal origin story for the character Buzz Lightyear. It was co-written and directed by Angus MacLane and produced by Galyn Susman, and stars Chris Evans as the voice of the titular character, with Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in supporting roles.
Lightyear tells the story of young astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who, after being marooned on a hostile planet with his commander and crew, tries to find a way back home while confronting a threat in the form of Zurg. Initially, the source material for Buzz Lightyear was introduced in the direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000), which was the pilot to a spin-off television series, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000–2001). After finishing work on Finding Dory (2016), MacLane, a science fiction fan, pitched the idea of making a film about Buzz Lightyear at Pixar. To evoke the science fiction films he grew up watching, the animators wanted to give the film a “cinematic” and “chunky” look. Michael Giacchino composed the film’s score.
Lightyear premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, 2022, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 17 in RealD 3D, 4DX, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX formats. It is the first Pixar film to be released in theaters worldwide since Onward in March 2020, and the first filmed in IMAX. The film has grossed $101 million worldwide against a $200 million production budget, and received generally positive reviews. Critics praised the film’s animation, voice acting, and entertainment value, but felt its story was too conventional and not up to Pixar’s usual standards.
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