Pixar’s Lightyear excited fans around the world in the months leading up to its release. Trailers seemed to tease this spinoff as a glimpse into Buzz Lightyear’s past, so many expected it to be about the beloved character from Toy Story.
However, the movie wasn’t like that at all. Millions of Disney fans were unsatisfied with this story because of the lack of connection between this story and the classic Toy Story characters. Ultimately, the movie was a bit of a flop compared to other Pixar films. Why? What went wrong? Pixar Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter recently explained.
An article by The Wrap tells us that Docter was clear about the downfall of the film Pixar producers worked so hard for. Ultimately, there was a “disconnect between what people wanted/expected” and what the movie ended up giving them.
“I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience,” Docter explained. “When they hear Buzz, they’re like, great, where’s Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex? And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they’re like, What?”
Lightyear ended up being just that — a science fiction that had virtually nothing to do with the classic Toy Story plot. Instead, it ended up being an entirely different film with all new characters and portrayals. One aspect that upset viewers was the fact that Buzz Lightyear was voiced by Chris Evans rather than Tim Allen, who has voiced Buzz in each of the Toy Story movies.
“Even if they read [about the movie] in press, it was just a little too distant, both in concept, and I think in the way that characters were drawn, that they were portrayed. It was much more of a science fiction,” Docter said.
Would this film have done better if viewers hadn’t set the high expectation that this would tie a nice bow around the Toy Story franchise? Maybe so! At least now we have Toy Story 5 coming soon to take care of that job for us.
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Did you love Lightyear? Let us know in the comments!
Michael J says
My issue wasn’t Chris Evans. My issue was Zerg being Buzz Lightyear was the dumbest premise they could’ve come up with.
The disconnect was the fact that the creators and contributors put adult content into a pretty much “disney” animated movie. There is always a time and place for such subjects, but when someone is paying real money to see something that is suppose to be entertaining and you get this – you want your money back. This guy has no clue as to what the average person wants. It really is a shame. Just ask a normal audience human. That is the same concept from the movie “turning red.” Again, Disney lost their target audience. Don’t blame Covid for your choices or the fact you didn’t cast Tim Allen. It was the movie script no the lack of former actors or characters. I’m getting a little tired of individuals thinking what I feel about a movie and the reason it flopped. You messed up. Own it and move on.
Joe S. says
Bad decisions lead to bad movies. This movie missed on so many levels.
I personally think it caught too much hate for not being a toy story movie and a lot of people dismissed it before even watching it. It was a solid film, and my kids absolutely adore Sox. The advertising for the movie was not on point at all, I don’t think anyone really knew what the basic plot was before they went to see it. Also, the time debt element of the story (from a sci FI nerd point of view) was a cool inclusion, but my kids had no idea what was going on. If anyone hasn’t watched it, it’s definitely worth a shot, but it should have been pitched almost totally separately from the toy story franchise
I disagree. The sci-fi wasn’t the problem, at least for me: It was the *type* of sci-fi. Leading up the film, I heard a lot about this being a 90s-style sci-fi action adventure. They even say that in the opening shot: This is the movie that got Andy into Buzz Lightyear.
And I was onboard with that – I figured it would be tongue-in-cheek, maybe poke fun at some of those tropes from like in Men in Black or Independence Day. THAT’S what I think when you say “90s action adventure sci-fi”. I didn’t need the other Toy Story characters. But Lightyear didn’t feel like a 90s movie – it felt like a 2010s moody, introspective sci-fi movie pretending to be a fun 90s sci-fi movie. Like… it was basically Interstellar for kids with a happier ending.
To be fair, I never thought it was all that awful either, I just… it wasn’t as fun as it could have been? Like, it was fine? So, Docter is maybe right about asking too much of the audience, but not for the reasons he thinks.
Ummm…nah. that’s not it, chief lol.
I’m fairly sure it wasn’t “the movie Andy watched as a kid” or however they put it.
The movie was barely even about Buzz in my opinion. I thought it was gonna be an action-packed movie not a (kind of?) Coming of age story. I wanted to see Buzz kick some butt like in that one animated series.
Not much fun for a boy in the 90s
If Pete Docter missed the points as to why this film bombed worldwide, then Disney execs need to bench him.
Tom M says
Loved the movie.
The movie panders to a small segment. Disney needs to return to traditional family style movies truth be told
Did Pete Doctor just blame us for not being smart enough to get his movie? Wow. I agree with the previous comment. Don’t blame us because you made a bad movie and tried to sneak in adult subject matter into a kids movie.
Is this guy delusional? Did he not read any of the comments about the movie, need I say more?.
The premise that Buzz has been fighting himself all these years fell flat for me!
I think the tone and concept of the movie was really “out of left field” as they say. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t seem like a movie that kids would watch repeatedly and like so much they’d want to have toys from it. I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that audiences can’t handle the idea of an origin story for a toy, just something that fits the light-hearted vibe or just don’t advertise it like it’s for little kids.
This movie was a flop from the beginning because Disney has lost their way on what topics are acceptable to parents. Moral standards and beliefs are principles that should be taught to children by parents not “family” movies.
I personally liked the movie and had no issue with it, it had a good story and it was funny. I understood that it was a stand alone movie not directly connected to Toy Story, so why some people thought it would be another Toy Story movie doesn’t make sense to me.
Sarah De says
Disney seems to care more about pushing social agendas than creating content that the audience wants to see.
And, It seems we’re being blamed for not yet being sophisticated enough to embrace their vision.
Kevin Crawford says
It appears everyone except Disney knows why Lightyear bombed.
Docter is completely wrong. We did not expect this movie to have any Toy Story characters. I was even glad that the voice actor was Chris Evans. We wanted to see the movie that made Andy & supposedly millions of other kids fall in love with Buzz Lightyear. There was absolutely nothing in this movie that would make a 6 year old child in 1995 think Buzz was the coolest man in the galaxy. There was nothing to make a 6 year old from today fall for this character. This was completely the failure of Pixar and not those of us who bought tickets.
Randi Briggs says
If that is why they think this movie failed, then they have lost complete touch with their customer.
Typical out of touch elitists , calling the audience too unsophisticated to understand the movie. No we got it , we just didn’t like the movie. This is what happens when political agendas take over entertainment. The Disney elites are just a sad sorry group of little people that have lost any idea of what the average American viewer wants to see. We go to the movies to be entertained, you failed ! Maybe ask Tom Cruise to give you a few pointers on how to make successful entertaining movies.
Sox was the best part of this movie. Don’t let him fade away.
GL Josh says
I agree that if Andy watched this movie, he would have asked for a Sox action figure.
Just wow. Blaming the audience for your flop of a movie. Maybe stick to producing family-oriented films and not your woke agendas.
That is NOT why it bombed…