Last night Disney rolled a week of Comic-Con into about two hours as it blasted out a massive quantity of announcements. We got release dates and first looks at several projects we knew were on the way. We also got a massive number of announcements of brand new films and series, most for Disney+, but a few set for theatrical release. One of the most surprising was Lightyear, a new Pixar feature that is inspired by, but not based on, the character of Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story movies. This new version of the character will be voiced by Chris Evans and if you're excited by the prospect of Chris Evans voicing a character in a Pixar movie, I promise you nobody is more excited than he is.
Chris Evans posted to Instagram following the official reveal of Lightyear last night, and in his post you can practically see the smile on his face that he likely had while writing the text. He is clearly over the moon about working for Pixar and he wants to assure fans that, while this idea might seem a little off the rails, it's all going to work out fine.
It has to be said that the entire concept behind the new Lightyear film from Pixar is, depending on your point of view, either utterly brilliant or completely insane. The movie is not a Toy Story spinoff starring Tim Allen's character. Rather, it was presented last night by Pixar's Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter as being the science fiction film that spawned the toy line of which the Toy Story character is a part.
I have to say, personally, I think the smile on my face when Lightyear was being revealed was similar to what Chris Evans was feeling. Is this concept a little bizarre? Without question, but I think it's also brilliant. The plan for this seems to be that Lightyear will be a more or less straight forward science fiction action-adventure story, not a comedy like Toy Story. That's something that we haven't seen from Pixar before, and that's exciting.
Pixar could have come up with an entirely original concept for a science fiction movie. The fact that it didn't do that may be the reason a lot of fans are weirded out by the whole thing, but Chris Evans isn't trying to be vague here or manage expectations. He's telling people to get excited. He clearly believes that everything about this wild idea is going to work. It's not going to somehow damage how people view the Toy Story movies, it's only going to add something new and fun.
Lightyear is currently set to go to infinity and beyond as a theatrical release on June 17, 2022.