Finally freed from the purgatory of exclusively streaming Disney +, Pixar returns to cinemas in the hopes of cashing in on one of its original characters from the company’s first theatrical venture, Toy Story (1995). It’s explained that the film Lightyear was Andy’s favorite movie and the reason that he was so excited to bring home a Buzz Lightyear action figure in the first Toy Story. This particular film sees a Buzz, played controversially by Chris Evans, that learns that being vulnerable is not the same as being weak.

Buzz, the space ranger, is stranded on an alien world and each attempt to restart the ship’s fuel jumps Buzz forward in time four years. It’s an interesting premise, seeing Buzz as a man out of time and the other stranded crew have built a colony civilization over a century of work. There’s a band of misfits, who aren’t terribly funny, some laser action sequences, and a third act twist that’s telegraphed to the audience a mile in advance.

One can’t find fault with the animation, which is crisp and colorful, but the storytelling is definitely a few notches below infinity and beyond. It also seems like a plot hole to have Andy fall in love with Buzz and want his toy when the breakout charcer in the film is the robotic cat Sox (Peter Sohn). Lightyear is passable entry in the Pixar-sequel landscape, arguably feeling more like “content” than “filmmaking” (which is concerning for a brand that controls both Marvel and Star Wars).

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron is the Awards Editor and Founder of Awards Focus, in addition to being a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's Behind the Slate Screening Series for Emmy and Oscar nominees, The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series, The Hollywood Music and Media Academy FYC Series, and Emmy & Oscar panels for Society of Lyricists and Composers.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, Lovecraft Country & The White Lotus; and the Apple TV + hit series Ted Lasso.

In February of 2020, Byron hosted and organized the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

Byron is also a patent holding inventor, screenwriter, and songwriter (X-Men Apocalypse) in addition to being a proud member of The Society of Lyricists & Composers and BMI.

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