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Review | Lightyear: Toy Story Not Toy Story, But Just As Good

In 1995 a boy named Andy was given a Buzz Lightyear doll. The toy was based on his favorite movie. This is the movie.

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So begins lightyear, the long-awaited spin-off of one of the most acclaimed franchises in animation history, Toy Story. After 4 films of indisputable commercial success, the Disney/Pixar decided to innovate by investing in one of the most beloved characters of the public, but not in another adventure of toys that come to life. No, the bet this time was to explain the origin of the popular doll Buzz Lightyear, which would have been based on a famous science fiction movie within the Toy Story universe. But for all the popularity of the franchise and the character himself, would this idea be enough to generate a film that would live up to the success of the previous films?

In the movie we meet the space ranger Buzz Lightyear (in the original dubbed by Chris Evans, and Marcos Mion here in Brazil). On a mission to explore a hostile planet, he ends up making a mistake that causes his entire crew to be trapped on it, without the possibility of using its hypervelocity thrusters for interplanetary travel. Lightyear then embarks on a journey to fulfill his mission and bring everyone back home. For that, he counts on the help of his partner, the patrol officer Hawthorne, and the robotic cat Sox, but with each attempt to reach hypervelocity, the discrepancy between the time that passes for him and for the people inside the planet, that start to create a community of their own, increases. Will Buzz's quest still make sense when he finally achieves what he seeks?

This is the plot of Lightyear, summarized as best as possible, since the film has many other elements and twists, but it would be a shame to spoil the surprises. But in case anyone thought the movie was a kind of “Interstellar for children”, will be neither close nor far from the truth. For the truth is that there is indeed a dialogue with the ideas presented in the film by Christopher Nolan, and they are, yes, presented in a clear and appropriate language for children, but in the same way that there are similarities, there are many other references present in Lightyear that, if they are not exactly original, are still worked so well made that it is very unlikely that anyone will not like the film (knowing that we are talking about a children's work, obviously).

So without further ado, let's get this straight: Lightyear is great! It enchants, surprises, excites and entertains in enormous proportions. His characters are incredibly well developed, not just Buzz, but pretty much everyone. Hawthorne and his family, in particular, are shown in such a human and touching way that we forget we're watching a children's animation (but then again, that's exactly how non-heteronormative families should be portrayed). Buzz's insistent quest, which seems doomed to failure, is supported by Buzz, who becomes the only friend he trusts, and this has immense importance for one of the reflective moments in the film's final moments. And yes, the film is children's, but it brings up several interesting questions for reflection, especially for its target audience, but that wouldn't do any harm if they were considered by adults as well.

And all this washed down with lots of action and fun, the latter guided not only by the robot cat Sox, but also by the Junior Patrol, a dysfunctional group of budding patrollers that acquire importance from the middle of the movie, and that are characters that are very beyond mere comic relief (mostly Hawthorne's granddaughter). The animation is of an absurd quality, obviously keeping the typical Pixar style (that is, far from something ultra-realistic), but with a wealth of details, expressions and movements that it is practically impossible to defect.

Lightyear is a pleasant surprise. The film complies with all the objectives it seeks. Its plot is simple and does not carry great originality, but it works very well and is loaded with elements that bring richness to the film. Its characters are charismatic and fun, its twists keep the public's interest, and the delicacy and sensitivity with which various subjects were approached deserves applause. And I don't think any Toy Story fan could ask for more from this movie. Just one and last mandatory comment to be made about him: To infinity and beyond!

By: Wallace William

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