The Angus MacLane spin-off is disembodied, yet entertaining Pixar.
Buzz Lightning will be presented this Friday at the Annecy Festival
There was a problem from the start with the film Buzz Lightning. What was this Toy Story spin-off about? Was it a figure-centric story? Or that of the real hero who inspired him, as we might have thought at the start of the promo? No, the answer, ultimately quite simple, is given to us in a box preceding the feature film, which Disney also shared on social networks: “In 1995, Andy received a toy from his favorite movie. Here is this movie“.
In 1995, Andy got a toy from his favorite movie…
…this is that movie.
—Disney (@Disney) June 14, 2022
input, Buzz Lightning (Lightyear in VO) therefore needs to justify its existence. It must be said that we do not remember having ever seen a derivative work so far from the original material. The link with Toy Story is so tenuous that we are well beyond the anecdote or the detail, as we can see in the Marvel or Star Wars series which abound on Disney Plus. The character of Buzz is here only a pretext to offer us an animated film of adventure and science fiction, with action, suspense, humor, and even a gay kiss which makes a lot of talk and that Disney wears as a standard in this month of pride.
It is therefore not the Buzz that we know, but the movie hero who gave birth to him. This Buzz does not have the same voice (he is now dubbed by Chris Evans in the original version and François Civil in French), not really the same character, except that he is as bitter as his puppet version. Ah, and of course he explores unknown worlds (to infinity and beyond!) and speaks very solemnly to his logbook, which earns him the mockery of his partner, Izzy Hawthorne.
Putting all that aside, Buzz Lightyear is still a very entertaining film, visually stunning, full of crazy sequences and really funny moments (the cat-robot is brilliant, as is the old man Chantal Ladésou). Especially the first half, the most captivating, where the space ranger finds himself stuck on a hostile Alien-like planet after having missed his maneuver at the controls of a turnip-shaped spaceship. He now has only one mission, to bring everyone home.
People who criticize Buzz Lightyear’s gay kiss are ‘idiots’, says Chris Evans
This quest in two stages is first spectacular and visually brilliant, between Top Gun: Maverick, Interstellar and Star Warsthen skates seriously when our hero finds himself surrounded by a team of nickel-plated feet facing Zurg, his great enemy of Toy Story 2, and his army of robots. An agreed and uninspired plot which unfortunately contrasts with the ambition of the first part.
The film therefore scores points. And we could even call it a success if it were not necessary to judge it, inevitably, in the light of the saga Toy Story and the Pixar label, blunt as it is. Buzz Lightyear is neither a brilliant concept film, as the studio delivered to us in spades in the 90s and 2000s (Toy Story therefore, but also The world of Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, up there… the list is too long), nor a personal work, like the recent Luke and Red alert. Feature films not devoid of flaws but which had less merit to think outside the box.
Pixar jack-of-all-trades Angus MacLane credited on nearly 20 in-house projects (including Finding Dory), who is directing and scripting Buzz, did he have something strong or intimate to tell? Obviously not, apart from a nice moral on the meaning of life, the passage of time and the futility, even the dangerousness of the headlong rush (metaphor for our world on the edge of climate chaos?). A program that has conquered little Andy, and will undoubtedly appeal to kids all over the world, but that we can’t help but find a little light (year).