Watch: The team behind Light-year explain the premise of Toys Story spin off
If you’re confused about what’s latest from Pixar, simply titled Light-year – now streamed on Disney+ – is actually let me rest your mind.
See how the animation studio’s own creative team likes to launch it: in 1995, Toys Story, Andy has a birthday party. And for that birthday, he gets a toy based on a character he loves, Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger.
“I’ve always wondered what movie Buzz would be from,” explains director and screenwriter Angus MacLane.
See More information: Pixar aims for the stars with its ‘Toy Story’ spin-off
“Why couldn’t we just make this movie? So that’s what we did.” Light-year is ‘the movie that Andy saw that changed his life… Andy’s Star Wars.’
Except this isn’t exactly the full story. The character Buzz Lightyear, the daring and adventurous Space Ranger, has made appearances outside the Toys Story movies before – i.e. in the 2000 direct-to-video movie Star Command’s Buzz Lightyear: The Adventure Begins and its spin-off TV series Star Command’s Buzz Lightyear.
Various versions of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin also exist at Disney theme parks. When the question arose of how Light-year can connect to these other weird chapters in Buzz’s story, MacLane told Yahoo: “I always thought this would happen after the movie.
“Like, the thing in the universe is it would be a post-Light-year occurrence. So the design aesthetic is a little different. In the same way as Nelvana’s design aesthetic Star Wars cartoons like droids and Ewokswas similar to Star Warsbut it had a different kind of flavor.”
Fans will then not be able to spot any easter eggs in Light-yearalthough MacLane jokes, “I will say, I made the blasters big enough that they want to change the blasters in Astro Blasters, they could make them a little more accurate for the movie.”
In truth, Light-year won’t quite be the nostalgia fest that many assumed it would be, even if we’ve been promised a showdown between Buzz and his nemesis Zurg that rivals that of Toy Story 2.
As the director explains, “We’ve made a list of all the things Buzz talks about in the Buzz Lightyear world of Toys Story. You know, the wings are made out of carbonic outlay of terilium, he mentions crystalline fusion. So there’s crystalline fusion used in the movie, but it’s not like, “Remember? it’s crystalline fusion, as he mentioned in Toys Story!'”
The film instead builds its own world that MacLane was keen to keep “open”.
He continues: “One of the values of the original Star Wars is that it felt like there was a world on all sides of this story.
“And for this movie, I really wanted to have him like – Buzz went to the Academy, but that’s not about it. He is a Space Ranger.
“And this is the adventure of what’s happening to him now. But there’s an adventure after or before it, and that leaves the world open and doesn’t close it.”
It could mean more Light-year movies down the line? We’ll have to wait and see.
Light-year is now streaming on Disney+. Watch a teaser below.