Certificate: PG

Voices of: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Uzo Aduba

Release date: 2022

3 out of 5


Lightyear is – according to the filmmakers – the movie that Toy Story’s young Andy went to see that made him want to buy a Buzz Lightyear toy. So this Disney Pixar film is not about the action figure we know and love from the four Toy Story movies (that was voiced by Tim Allen), but the animated tale of the ‘real’ space ranger Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans) who inspired the plastic toy.

Once you get your head around that, the end product is a fun but forgettable sci-fi adventure that has Buzz Lightyear accidentally stranding himself and hundreds of spaceship passengers on a remote planet with no way of getting home. Buzz is determined to try, of course, but his attempts to create a fuel source that will propel them all home ends with him returning from practice missions minutes later only to discover that – while no time has passed for him – years have gone by on the planet, where everyone has built homes and lives and aged while he has been away.

The lapses in time are cleverly handled, and they eventually bring Buzz to a time where he encounters Izzy (Palmer), the young granddaughter of his space ranger pal Alisha (Aduba) and a rag-tag group who were on the outside when bland bad guy Zurg and his robots took over the planet and a protective dome trapped everyone else inside.

Kids who are too young for Marvel or Star Wars will enjoy the science fiction (even if at least one part of the time travelling plot may cause them to scratch their heads) and fall in love with Sox the robot cat (and grown-ups will, too), but adults will miss the wit and sheer joy we’ve come to expect from Pixar classics like the Toy Story movies (of course) and more recent additions such as Turning Red and Coco, which is sadly lacking here.

It all looks gorgeous, and Evans, Palmer, Sohn (as Sox) and Waititi (as accident-prone Mo) give fun performances, but this never quite soars to the galactic heights you would expect from hero Buzz Lightyear’s first space adventure.

Is Lightyear suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

There are some vine-like creatures that attack Buzz and his friends, but the threat is over quickly and later used for comic effect.

Very young children may briefly be scared of Zurg.

If you like this, why not try: