By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
To infinity and … streaming services.
“Lightyear,” which originally released in theaters on June 17, is now available for streaming on Disney+. The film features Palisadian Bill Hader in the role of Featheringhamstan/The Rookie, who is a new recruit partnered with titular character Buzz Lightyear.
This is not Hader’s first foray into the “Toy Story” universe, as he previously voiced Axel the Carnie in the fourth movie in the series, released in 2019.
“Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby and his robot companion, Sox,” according to a storyline synopsis on IMDb. “As this motley crew tackles their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work together as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army that are never far behind.”
The computer-animated science fiction action-adventure was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. It was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
It is billed as a spin-off of the “Toy Story” film series, marking the fifth installment in the franchise. Though it features the character of Buzz Lightyear, it does not take place within the same fictional universe as the main films where he is a plastic toy. It is, instead, a film that the characters within “Toy Story” have watched, where Buzz is a human “space ranger.”
Lead roles in the film include Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear, James Broline as Zurg, Peter Sohn as Sox, Keke Palmer as Izzy Hawthorne, Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison, Dale Soules as Darby Steel and Uzo Aduba as Alisha Hawthorne.
Missing from the film was the voice of Tim Allen, who played Buzz in the previous iterations. Producer Galyn Susman reported that the team did not consider bringing Allen in, as they wanted to separate the film as a stand-alone story.
“Tim really is the embodiment of the toy Buzz, and this isn’t the toy world, so it really doesn’t make sense,” Susman shared in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s not really a role. It would just cause more confusion for audiences instead of helping them understand the movie we’re trying to tell.”
“Lightyear” was directed by Angus MacLane, who crafted a screenplay alongside Jason Headley. Maclane previously co-directed “Finding Dory,” which released in 2016.
The film is rated PG with a run time of one hour and 40 minutes.
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