after four Toys Story films, audiences will get to know a new version of Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s latest film, Light-year, which tells the story of the man who inspired the iconic action figure voiced by Tim Allen. In this story, Buzz is a space ranger embarking on an intergalactic adventure, leading a team of recruits in a fight against invaders.
Chris Evans, who takes over from Allen as the voice of Buzz, has some experience playing a character from his years as Captain America, and his former role as a Marvel hero has seeped into his portrayal of Lightyear.
“The characters themselves have a lot of similar overlaps in terms of their sense of responsibility and leadership,” Evans said. The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “But they’re very different men, so you take the things that are useful and leave the things that make Cap, Cap.”
Although the star says he didn’t meet or talk to Allen throughout the film’s process, he does feel some connection as the two share the same birthday. “Actually, that’s how they chose me. They said, ‘Who has a birthday?’ And that was it,” he joked.
On this decision to bring a new voice to Buzz, director Angus MacLane explained: Toys Story and it was a little more goofy and a little more comic relief. For Buzz to be a main character, he needed a little more seriousness, a little more vulnerability, he needed to be funny, but not in a goofy way that would detract from the drama. Chris embodied all those things.”
Bringing Allen back in some capacity was also not considered during the creative process, as producer Galyn Susman said: “Tim really is the personification of the Buzz toy, and this isn’t the toy world, so it really doesn’t make sense. There really isn’t a role. It would only cause more confusion for the audience instead of helping them understand the movie we are trying to tell.” MacLane added that he would also link the film very closely. Toys Storywhen the film aims to be its own independent story.
A notable part of this new story is an LGBTQ storyline around the character of Uzo Aduba, a close friend of Buzz’s and fellow space patrol. The film features a brief same-sex kiss, which was reportedly cut during the production process and later restored following protests by Pixar employees over Disney’s response to the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Representation is very important to us and very close and dear to our hearts as a reflection of the world around us,” said MacLane. “We are pleased that it is in the film and we are very proud of it.” Aduba added to the storyline: “I think it’s pioneering and I’m happy to see a house like Disney Pixar opening that door wide so that all the voices, faces, stories are included in their narrative. I think it’s great that so many kids can look at the screen and see the world.”
The film also features prominent black female characters, which Keke Palmer – whose character stars alongside Buzz for much of the film – said “is just ushering in the normalization of all these things that have been going on for a long time. I think in film and television that’s always been the hope, that as we continue to grow as a society, we need to allow these stories to grow, stories that we can tell adults, children, all of that. I’m glad we’re showing the world as it is and has always been. It’s a beautiful thing.”
the escape star Light-yearhowever, it could very well be Buzz’s robot cat companion Sox, which even renowned dog lover Evans said made him “really like cats”.
Sox is voiced by Peter Sohn, who previously voiced in Ratatouille and Lucas and directed The good Dinosaur. When asked about the Sox’s outburst of love, he joked, “I’m not ready for this.” But he is excited about the idea of a robot cat toy in the hands of children all over the world and “giving them emotional support. ‘You can!'”
Light-year hits theaters on June 17.