For nearly 30 years now, Pixar fans have been scratching their heads over one major plot hole in the original Toy Story. If Buzz Lightyear doesn’t believe that he’s a toy for most of the movie, then why does he stop moving and act like an inanimate object whenever Andy or someone else walks into the room? Well, in the wake of the studio’s latest hit film Soul arriving on Disney Plus, one Pixar director has now addressed this long-running burning question.
Pete Docter – whose previous credits include Monsters Inc., Up and Inside Out – was asked about the Buzz plot hole while chatting with Huffington Post. He revealed that it wasn’t something that slipped by the Pixar team unnoticed and was actually much discussed back in the day. However, they ultimately elected to ignore the issue, as he explains:
“We went through a lot of discussion on Toy Story, the first one, about like, ‘If Buzz doesn’t know he’s a toy, why does he go rigid when a kid walks in the room?’ We had a lot of explanations and talk about that, too. And in the end, nobody cared.”
Docter went on to say: “I think the short answer is you just have to kind of try to guess where the audience is going to find importance, or at least push their interest there.” This viewpoint is something that’s carried on down the years, too, even up until Soul, as producer Dana Murray also explained to Huffington Post. “Our editor [for Soul], Kevin Nolting, on his big whiteboard in his office has ‘logic’ in a big X,” Murray added. “Stop going there,” she concluded, making clear that Pixar places story, character and emotion higher on their list of priorities than niggling plot logic.
That’s not really the in-universe explanation we were after, then, but it does help us understand how this discrepancy made it into the film. At least the next time we see the iconic Space Ranger, this issue won’t come up. Lightyear stars Chris Evans – not Tim Allen – as the “real” Buzz, telling the origin story of a brave test pilot who becomes the cosmic hero that the toy is based on and is due to arrive in June 2022.
In the meantime, let us know if you have an answer to this big – and still unsolved – Toy Story mystery in the comments.