So far, the 2022 summer movie season is proving to be a frustrating and unsatisfying trip down memory lane.
Originally, looking at the release schedule, I was excited to revisit some iconic characters that were first introduced decades ago, including Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (1986), Dr.’s Grant , Sadler and Malcolm (1993) or even the intrepid space ranger Buzz Lightyear (1995).
Speaking of Buzz, after the success of 2019’s “Toy Story 4” which served as sort of a coda for the animated franchise, it makes perfect sense for Disney to try to squeeze more money out of parents’ pockets by turning to an individual character. adventures.
3 out of 5 stars
As viewers are reminded at the start of “Lightyear,” it’s supposed to be the movie that inspired young Andy to ask his parents to buy him a Buzz Lightyear action figure in 1995, an event that started the movie. ‘Toy Story’ set. universe.
Why then did I walk away from a recent screening talking about a single character from the film, who – spoiler alert – was definitely not Buzz?
That’s right, “Lightyear,” the latest animated wonder from Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, is an animated space adventure perfectly suited for young kids and teens. However, the film’s target audience should be parents, or more specifically, longtime “Toy Story” fans who have since grown up to have children of their own. And for viewers in their thirties and up, “Lightyear” is a huge disappointment minus the debut of SOX, a robotic cat and personal companion given to Buzz by his best friend, Alisha Hawthorne, after Buzz accidentally fails their entire space crew on a distant planet with sensitive vegetation.
SOX the cat is the only reason to go see “Lightyear” in theaters and not wait for the film’s premiere on the Disney+ streaming platform.
In fact, I want to see an entire SOX-centric movie, just so we can see what other cool stuff the robot cat has hidden in its AI brain, besides its hysterical flashlight function and its ballistic ball toolkit. fur.
Yeah, you’re right, I’m pretty hard on an animated movie, but damn if there’s one thing the “Toy Story” franchise has taught us, it’s that animated movies can be good. more than a bunch of pixelated dots messing things up.
I’ve cried watching “Toy Story” films before because Buzz and Woody and the whole toybox embodied and illustrated larger themes that young viewers would encounter later in life as they matured.
Forgive me if I expected more.
I wanted more of Buzz’s personality. I wanted more action on alien terrain. I wanted to be thrilled to finally learn the identity of Emperor Zurg, which is actually a highlight of ‘Lightyear’, but also a missed opportunity, given that the reveal lacks the emotional punch of saying Woody deciding to stay behind and forge his own path in “Toy Story 4.”
If anything, the takeaway from “Lightyear” is that the movie somehow, somehow accomplishes its mission. This is a prequel to a movie that a boy saw that made him want to own a toy based on his favorite character from that movie. And it did that.
I say somehow, somehow because the toy I want most after seeing “Lightyear” isn’t a shiny new Space Ranger figure.
I want SOX.