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Lightyear Lightyear

Disney released today the first full trailer for Pixar’s Lightyear. Not to read too much into the timing of the trailer, but it’s more than a little curious that it dropped on the day of Oscar nominations.

Is Disney perhaps sending the message that Lightyear is its key animation awards contender in 2022?

Lightyear does look like a big film, with intense action, high-tech gadgetry and spacecraft, and epic vistas. On the other hand, the trailer doesn’t shed any light on an earlier question I had about the film, nor does it reveal the kind of emotional stakes that have become synonymous with the Pixar brand. It’ll be fun to discover on June 17 exactly what type of film Pixar has made.

What we do know is that Pixar is touting Lightyear as the “definitive origin story” of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy in the Toy Story films.

“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about,” says director Angus MacLane, 46, who has been working at the studio since the days of Geri’s Game and A Bug’s Life. “In Toy Story, there seemed to be this incredible backstory to him being a Space Ranger that’s only touched upon, and I always wanted to explore that world further. So my Lighytear pitch was, ‘What was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy?’ I wanted to see that movie. And now I’m lucky enough to get to make it.”

In addition to the previously announced Chris Evans in the title role, additional cast were announced today. Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi voices a group of ambitious recruits. Pixar veteran Peter Sohn, who directed The Good Dinosaur, voices Buzz’s robot companion (and guaranteed Disney merchandising bonanza) Sox.

Other voices include Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Michael Giacchino is scoring Lightyear. He’s scored plenty of other Pixar films including Up, The Incredibles, Inside Out, and Coco. The film is produced by Galyn Susman (Toy Story That Time Forgot).

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