Pixar's 'Lightyear': Critics pan the film for lacking 'emotional weight', call it just 'perfectly ok'
The initial reactions of 'Lightyear' praised the animation and cast, however, storytelling takes a back seat in this voyage
Animation movies have evolved in the last 20 years or so, and apart from catering to the little ones, they now also have a good market in the young adults' section of society as well. When it comes to quality animation projects, we always have Disney and Pixar on the top of our minds. The production houses are known for delivering extraordinary animated movies, including ‘Wall-E’, ‘Up’, ‘The Incredibles’ and many more. However, the ‘Toy Story’ franchise has been undoubtedly the most popular franchise from the production house. To expand the ‘Toy Story’ universe, Disney and Pixar have teamed up for a spin-off, titled ‘Lightyear’, based on iconic astronaut Buzz Lightyear.
The movie serves as an origin story for the character and sees the Space Ranger getting marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and his crew. Lightyear tries to find his way back home through several tricks and fight the team of enemy robots. It has already created a lot of buzz and now, the first wave of reactions has also started pouring from the critics who have already seen the movie.
As always, critics praise the Pixar movie for having stupendous animation and a stellar voice cast. However, they had one massive problem with the movie and they didn’t shy away from expressing their disappointment in their review. Most of the critics felt that the film’s story is just “okay” and a bit generic as compared to the other ‘Toy Story’ movie.
Forbes’ Scott Mendelson in his review wrote, “Pixar's 'Lightyear' is just good enough to justify its artistic experience despite obviously crass commercial motivations.” Meanwhile, Robert Daniels from Inverse said that if viewers will be entering the theatres hoping that it will “conjure the imagination” in the same way ‘Toy Story’ did, then they’ll be “disappointed”.
Rolling Stone’s David Fear said, “It is, in essence, a light, breezy, better-than-average Disney movie that just happens to feature a most-valuable Pixar player, while barely feeling like a Pixar movie at all.” Cheat Sheet’s Jeff Nelson said that the movie “lacks the emotional weight and meaning Pixar moviegoers expect.” On the other hand, The Playlist’s Carlos Aguilar gave the movie a rating of C+ and wrote, “In the end, ‘Lightyear’ reveals that today, given Disney’s business model, “to infinity and beyond” really only means to the inevitable sequel.”
The Wrap gave it a mixed review and said that the movie is just “perfectly ok”. The review noted, “As an adventure-comedy for kids, this movie is perfectly OK — but “perfectly OK” falls far short of what the studio (and the “Toy Story” movies) can do.
Even though the aforementioned reviews called the movie just “okay”, everyone praised the animation and voice cast, including Chris Evans (Lightyear), Keke Palmer (Izzy Hawthorne), Peter Sohn (Sox), James Brolin (Emperor Zurg), and Uzo Aduba (Alisha Hawthorne).
As of now, ‘Lightyear’ holds a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of Disney/Pixar’s lowest-rated movies. It’s the first movie in the ‘Toy Story’ franchise that doesn’t have a 90%+ score on the aforementioned review website.
On the other hand, 14 countries, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, and others have banned the movie because it features a scene of two female characters kissing. Recently ‘Doctor Stranger: Multiverse of Madness’ was also banned in Saudi Arabia because one of the movie’s characters, America Chavez, was gay.
'Lightyear' is scheduled to release on Friday, June 17.