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Lightyear | Director Angus MacLane On Lightyear’s Defining Trait To Connect The Toy, The Man, And All Of Us


Through a variety of films, we think we have gotten to know Buzz Lightyear fairly well. But how does his toy personality that we have been following for almost twenty-seven years compare to Buzz Lightyear the man? This summer thanks to Disney/Pixar we are going to finally get the definitive answer to that question in the new feature film, Lightyear.

This new feature animated film is led by director Angus MacLane. He served as co-director on 2016’s Finding Dory. He has been with Pixar Animation Studios since 1997. Throughout the years he has worked on many of our favorite Pixar classics. Bringing the story of one of our most beloved Pixar characters could be quite the undertaking. How would he connect the Lightyear toy to the man he is based upon?

This is a challenge as both the man and the toy need to feel as if they are the same yet very different. When we first met Lightyear he was having an identity crisis as Woody and the rest of the gang had to convince him that he was a toy. Lightyear the man would not have that problem. In a recent press event attended by LRM Online, MacLane talked about Lightyear’s ‘definitive trait” that both the man and the toy shared that connects them as one.

“He’s a character who is at odds with his surroundings. Or to put it another way, Buzz always has a disagreement over the nature of reality.” Said MacLane. Simple right? Not really, but he elaborates on his statement. “In Toy Story, Buzz thinks he’s a space ranger, Woody disagrees. In Toy Story 2, Buzz thinks he’s the Buzz Lightyear, the other Buzz Lightyear disagrees. We had Spanish Buzz in Toy Story 3.”


So for Lightyear, MacLane then goes on to explain that he wanted him to do something very specific that everyone in the audience could relate to. Something that no one can ignore or defy, Time. He explains how his job at Pixar for 25 years inspired him to reach that decision for the film.It’s universal for all of us, never more acute than in the production of animated films. So I’ve been working in this building since November of 2000. It’s kind of a strange place to work in a building for that long. The building stays the same, but the details change. People, they come and go. These halls, for me, are filled with ghosts. They’re memories of successes, triumphs, joys, and setbacks.”

© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Due to his job, Buzz would have to travel through time. While that wouldn’t change, the people and society in general would. This would ultimately separate him from everyone and everything that he loved. Once again putting him at odds with his surroundings. Thus connecting the man and the toy as the one and only Buzz Lightyear.

Here is the synopsis for Lightyear which goes into infinity and straight to your theaters on June 17th, 2022.

A sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Dale Soules and Taika Waititi), and his robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). Also joining the cast are Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That TimeForgot”), “Lightyear” releases June 17, 2022.

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