While exploring an unknown planet, Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans), Commander Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba), and rookie Featheringhamstan (Bill Hader) are forced into a headlong departure when they are attacked by creeping creatures. buzz can’t steer the ship over a jagged peak, and the ship crash lands on an inhospitable world.
A year later, a small base sprang up around the ship, built by the ship’s crew who woke up from their naps of suspended animation. These industrious pioneers have also designed an experimental space plane that could achieve hypervelocity, allowing Buzz to take his crew home and complete his mission.
With each failed mission, Buzz returns to base to find that everyone has aged. When Buzz finally reaches hyperdrive, he arrives home to a grim reality… the descendants of his original crew have been wiped out by an army of malevolent robots.
Does that synopsis make “light year” sound kind of boring and hard to follow for a kids movie? it is.
if you find it hard to trace the plot, try to catch the movie’s “meta” introduction, which tells us that young andy from “toy story” (1995) first idolized his favorite toy (buzz, apparently not woody ) while watching a movie starring the space ranger, and that “this is that story”. so, just to be clear, we’re watching an animated movie about an action hero who was also seen by a kid in another animated movie; and his toy, based on the movie’s action hero, becomes a co-star in four films. someone pass the advil.
The opening sequence of “Toy Story 2” (1999) features a brief episode in which Buzz cleverly defeats an army of robots and meets the villain Zurg. the action-packed sequence cleverly sets up the climactic confrontation and starts the movie off with a bang.
As exciting as the preamble to “toy story 2” is, it couldn’t have handled a full movie in the same style and at the same breakneck pace. While the story here isn’t as pedestrian as the dramatized video game in “Toy Story 2,” it has an overall bell that the film’s handful of decent character moments can’t quite overcome.
“lightyear” serves as an origin story for buzz lightyear and a loose prequel to the “toy story” movies. gives us more details on how Star Command and its space rangers operate. However, despite some nifty weapons, like the laser blade, and sweet-looking ships, like the XL-15, much of the film is a pastiche of other sci-fi franchises, notably “Star Wars” and ” star trek”. /p>
buzz mission logs are an obvious rip off of the captain’s log in “star trek”. Also, the footage when Spaceship XL attempts to slingshot around a sun is remarkably similar to the slingshot sequences in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986).
Aside from their bright yellow paint job, the massive zyclops robots bear more than a passing resemblance to the super battle droids in the “star wars” prequels. the capital ship the zurg commands is reminiscent of an imperial star destroyer (the arquitens-class command cruiser in particular). Buzz and his team devise a plan to destroy Zurg’s mothership, which will disable all the robots. this plan is virtually identical to the one hatched by the gungans and the naboo to destroy the trade federation ship, which disables all the battle droids in “star wars: episode i – the phantom menace” (1999).
In addition to leaning into well-worn sci-fi tropes, the film attempts to explore some mature themes, with varying degrees of success. the challenges inherent in colonizing an alien planet are addressed indirectly, but the dome-shaped protection, called a “laser shield”, prevents much dramatic tension and potential action scenes. To its credit, the movie references some science, like relative speed and time dilation…pretty ambitious for a kids’ movie.
Also to his credit, the film subtly weaves a “moby dick” allusion into its plot. After repeated failed attempts to hyperdrive, Buzz realizes that his friends are getting older and having children and grandchildren. at some point you’d think the rumor would stop, he’d hand over the mission to a younger pilot and spend some quality time with his older friends. but no, the pride of the buzz (proverbs 16:18) will not allow that.
Breaking the hyperdrive barrier is the white whale of the buzz. He risks everything to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, the obsession blinds him to what matters most in life; he never says goodbye to hawthorne and his other friends because he is flying on a mission when they pass away. It’s a poignant moment for the audience as we get going and consider the brevity of life (James 4:13-17) and what awaits us in the afterlife.
However, after learning that his friends have died (Hebrews 9:27), the rumor doubles down on his quixotic quest. With the space program scrapped, Buzz steals his old space plane, thus violating the eighth commandment, “thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). When the command center asks who is in the cockpit, he lies (Proverbs 12:22) and says that he is part of the cleanup crew.
Apart from the secondary themes of obsession and aging, the main themes of the film, which are emphasized over and over again in the dialogue, are buzz’s independence and the team’s beatings of guilt for making mistakes.
Humming is not very nice at the beginning of the movie. he’s arrogant, controlling (he hates autopilots), and overconfident (buzz’s overestimation of his piloting skills is what causes the ship to crash, which is the incident that causes the film’s many complications). he makes condescending comments about the rookie and ignores the youngster’s frequent attempts to lend a hand. In essence, Buzz is John Wayne in space.
Buzz’s narcissism is on full display as he logs the mission. dictated as a dramatic reading, these often embellished recordings are just to make him look good in the eyes of his superiors. Hawthorne calls Buzz’s compulsion to log missions his and refers to his habit as “narration” (not to be confused with “monologues” in “The Incredibles”). The fact that Hawthorne tells him that no one listens to his recordings doesn’t deter Buzz from making entries in the log for the rest of the film. add stubbornness to the rumored list of negative character traits.
As mentioned above, the film’s writers work overtime to highlight Buzz’s independent nature. At one point, Buzz says, “I’d better do the job myself.” later, he says, “I’m always sure.”
Fortunately, the rumors come to see the value of teamwork. Gradually he gives up his desire to control everything. he learns to accept the ideas of others and even delegates responsibilities that he would normally assume himself. Buzz’s lone leader turned team player story arc culminates with this admission: “I can’t do it alone. I need help.” Buzz’s transformative realization is also relevant to those in the audience; we all need others in our lives and must learn to yield to a higher power.
some characters punish themselves for the mistakes they make. The first is Buzz, who wants to be court-martialed after crashing the ship. his compelling need to break the hyperdrive barrier is tied to the guilt he feels for hijacking the mission and putting everyone on the ship at risk.
Minor character Mo Morrison (Taika Waititi) expresses guilt over a mistake, as does Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer). izzy also experiences the crushing weight of the expectations she has placed on herself. she says, “I’m supposed to be as good as my grandmother.” Sadly, Izzy doesn’t realize that her creator has a unique purpose (Romans 8:28) for her life, a different path than her grandmother’s.
While guilt can be a helpful emotion, it can also consume a person’s life, which is unhealthy. The good news is that there is one (1 Timothy 2:5) who can remove the blame for past mistakes. if we confess (1 john 1:9) our faults, he promises to forgive the things we have done wrong. he died so we can have eternal life (Hebrews 9:15).
Saving the worst for last, the film features a homosexual relationship (Romans 1:26-27). After returning from a mission, Buzz notices a ring on Hawthorne’s finger. buzz must already know that hawthorne is a lesbian because she asks, “who is she?” (Otherwise she would have asked “who is he?” or “who is the lucky person?”).
while buzz checks on hawthorne after several missions, we see her in an apartment with another woman, and then with the same woman and some children. In a montage shot, we see Hawthorne kiss her female partner.
Surely, this is Disney’s influence on the story, as the company is blatantly pro-gay. It’s a very sad day when filmmakers impose an alternative lifestyle on impressionable young viewers. Unfortunately, unless they repent, their fate is sealed (Luke 17:2).
Offensive language/vulgarities: There are no swear words in the film. however, there are some instances of mild vain speech such as “shoot” and “blast”. various other fairly benign phrases, such as “you’re making fun of me,” “stupid bugs,” and “fucked up,” may worry some parents. a man mistakenly thinks that buzz wants someone to pull his finger, a fart prank done on the sly.
Alcohol/Drugs: There is no alcohol or drugs here.
nudity and sexual content: the film does not have scenes of nudity or sex. however, there is an awkward scene where buzz explains that he and izzy’s grandmother used to point fingers at each other (and say “to infinity and beyond”). Although Buzz’s actions were completely innocent and appropriate, some characters misread this as an act of impropriety. the only display of affection in the film is the aforementioned lesbian kiss.
Violence and Graphic Content: There is no graphic violence in the film, but there are several action sequences in which the characters fire laser guns at robots or slash creeper creatures with glowing laser blades. Giant flying insects are blown away or cut in half by lasers. an arrow is shot through a robot’s head. several robots explode and lose appendages or parts of their bodies.
There is a scene where Buzz arms his team with guns and other weapons from an armory. one character says that he is on parole and is not allowed to fire a gun. Buzz says that his desperate situation justifies breaking the law… and hands the person a gun.
During a battle with robots, some members of Buzz’s team throw grenades and shoot different types of weapons. again, no blood or gore here, but you could make a pretty big mound of scrap metal with all the dismembered or demolished robots.
“lightyear” is a disappointment on many levels. It contains the tiniest fraction of the movie magic that made the “Toy Story” franchise so popular with kids, parents, and critics alike.
thematically, the film is very adult and aesthetically, it is very dark. there is little levity and very few funny lines in the film. furthermore, the hero is not very heroic during the first half of the movie. then there’s that lesbian/feminist ideology, which really tarnishes the innocence of the film.
Although the production elements are top notch, the story is lacking. I expect a lot more from Pixar (the quality of his films has steadily declined since Disney bought the studio).
Still, “light year” is educational. teaches us the correct way to make a steak sandwich. it also leaves us pondering the big questions about life and the universe.
Like, what’s beyond infinity?
- Violence: Moderate
- Foul Language: None
- Foul/Coarse Language: None
- Nudity: None
- sex: none
- drugs/alcohol: none
- occult: none
editor’s note: christian spotlight advises viewers to skip this movie. We also sadly acknowledge that the Disney Company has for some time now become an active enemy of Biblical Christianity.
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