If the earliest reception to Lightyear is anything to go by, director Angus MacLane and his team have managed to hit another Pixar home run. The only thing that might surprise fans going in, however, is the fact that their favorite toy from Toy Story is now voiced by Chris Evans, as opposed to the iconic Tim Allen.
It makes sense from a certain point of view. Tim Allen is the voice of toy Buzz, whereas the new film chronicles the story of the real Buzz Lightyear, even though he himself is a fictional character spawning a lineup of children’s toys. Okay, think about it like this: Much in the same vein as many other Pixar animated characters, Lightyear expects you to suspend your disbelief and come to terms with Buzz as a real character. The story is fiction, but this Buzz is hardly the person we recognize as Woody’s best friend, nor is he fundamentally a toy.
So, when you think about it in those terms, it makes sense why Pixar Animation Studios brought in a new actor to voice him. And as far as MacLane is concerned, each Buzz is irreplaceable in his own medium. The Finding Dory co-director took to Twitter today to lend his opinion on the different incarnations of Buzz, writing,
“Tim Allen is, and shall always be, Buzz Lightyear the toy from Toy Story. Patrick Warburton is, and shall always be, Buzz Lightyear from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Chris Evans is, and shall always be, Buzz Lightyear from Lightyear.”
Lightyear once again pits the titular character against the evil Emperor Zurg, though in a narrative that injects new blood into the lore surrounding Buzz as a ranger of Star Command.
The movie will take off to infinity and beyond, aka your local theater, in two days on June 17.