Disney and Pixar’s All-New ‘LIGHTYEAR’ Is Going To Soar To Infinity And Beyond
Pixar has always had the ability to create animated worlds where imagination can run free and dreams can come alive. To a child watching a new animated film and being able to relate to the main character who also happens to be brave – yet a little quirky – that’s where possibilities happen.
As we reach an age where magic is lost, Pixar and Disney are working hard to keep this magic alive. One story, in particular, has proven that Pixar can overcome anything.
The year was 1999 and an employee at Pixar was doing a routine file clearance on the company’s server. This was during the time when commands had to be entered into the computer to make things happen. A deletion command was directed to Toy Story 2’s root folder and this resulted in character models and assets disappearing, which caused nearly 90% of the movie to be deleted. Design assets to the film began to disappear right in front of their eyes and the file servers were quickly shut down.
Could this have easily been the end of Buzz and Woody as we know it? What would this have meant for Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4? In the words of Buzz Lightyear – “The important thing is that we stick together!“
The film’s then Supervising Technical Director, Galyn Susman, was at home on maternity leave and had a copy of the newly produced film on her home computer. “We brought that computer in and the truth of it is, it’s just like our film. It’s a team effort. It was then the people who took that computer and found out what we had there – and what other people had on their computers – and we spent a weekend reassembling the film that actually saved the film.”
The all-new sci-fi animated action Pixar film “LIGHTYEAR” happens to have a similar takeaway: teamwork. This production will give fans a look into the origin story behind the iconic Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. This is the story that made Andy ask his mom to buy him a Buzz Lightyear toy.
The movie follows the legendary Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear, his commander Alisha Hawthorne and the rest of his crew stranded on an alien planet, T’Kani Prime, with gigantic bugs and relentless vines. The crash shatters their fuel cells causing them to stay put for a while. It’s going to take stamina and teamwork to get back home.
The film’s screenwriter, Jason Headley, says, “Nobody’s going anywhere until the resident scientists can create a new ‘hyperspeed’ crystal that holds up to a test flight. It’ll be years of trial and error.”
“We’re witnessing in this movie his first fall from grace. He’s never experienced that before,” says LIGHTYEAR Executive Producer, Andrew Stanton.
The film’s director Angus MacLane shared with Contrast that one of the lingering thoughts he had while working on the in-universe prequel was making sure to give Buzz Lightyear a utility belt. Where else is he going to keep his Space Ranger gadgets? Duh!
“Starting on Toy Story 2, one of my big concerns was was Buzz Lightyear going to get a utility belt? Thankfully, the answer was yes. They had already thought of that. And it was that kind of attention to insane detail that I carried with me 25 years later into this film. So I’m just pleased to get to share it with the audience.”
NASA Astronaut and consultant to the film, Thomas Marshburn, says LIGHTYEAR will not only inspire people of all ages but also attract people to science, technology, engineering and mathematics “in a very entertaining way.” He says this film “may very well be the seed that inspires [people] to have technical careers.”
The subject of space travel has appealed to the minds of humankind for millennia. Even Galyn Susman agrees; “When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. So, if anything, if a few kids watch this movie and say, ‘Hmm, maybe I can go to space someday,’ I think we’ll have accomplished something with that.”
Without giving away any spoilers, actor Efren Ramirez, who plays Airman Diaz in the movie, summarized this production best. “The fact is that we need each other to survive. We need each other to move forward in life. Because if you have that, then what have we got?” He continues, “You know, when Buzz Lightyear says ‘to infinity and beyond,’ he means it.”
Be sure to catch the all-new Disney and Pixar film LIGHTYEAR in theaters only on Friday, June 17th, 2022 – including IMAX!
Watch the latest trailer below