Pixar's newest movie, Lightyear, is hitting theaters this weekend and aims to explore the origins of beloved Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear. This movie is the sci-fi spectacle that Andy's toy was based on in the first place, described by its filmmakers as "Andy's Star Wars." The connections to Toy Story are apparent for Lightyear, but it isn't getting the same critical reception as its franchise predecessors. Lightyear has received mostly positive reviews so far, but not nearly as positive as the four Toy Story movies.
As of Tuesday evening, Lightyear holds an 82% score on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. That's a great score by most standards, but it looks a little worse when you compare it to Toy Story. The first two Toy Story films have perfect 100% scores on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning every single logged review for them was positive. Toy Story 3 sits at 98% on the site while Toy Story 4 has a 97% score.
Lightyear may not have a score as high as the other Toy Story movies, but it still carries on the tradition of acclaimed outings from Pixar. Cars 2, released more than a decade ago, is the only film in Pixar's history to receive the negative "Rotten" designation on Rotten Tomatoes, scoring a meager 39%.
Chris Evans takes over the role of Buzz in Lightyear after the toy version of the character was voiced by Tim Allen for decades. The change in voice is just one signifier that this take on Buzz is different than the one you're used to seeing on-screen.
"Because he's a side character in Toy Story, we were going to try to figure out how to pour it into a main character, but we needed to keep a certain aesthetic, a certain sensibility to his lantern jawed squareness, but do it in a way that felt like it was motivated by something," Lightyear director Angus MacLane told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview. "That we spent maybe more time on trying to cause otherwise. We found pretty quickly if you watch Toy Story again, you imagine a whole movie [with that Buzz], which is the guy going, 'Well, I'm going over here. Look, I'm going over there. Oh no, look, monsters!' You get tired of that pretty quickly. And so the idea, some of the revelations of how we were able to thread that needle and making it more well rounded character were essential to maintaining a feature."
Lightyear arrives in theaters on June 17th.