Pixar’s “Lightyear” takes one of the most popular animated characters of all time, Buzz Lightyear from his Toy Story franchise, and places him in a whole new setting.
The Toy Story movies, as fans know, star the toy version of Buzz Lightyear.
this new moviehowever, is presented like Andy’s favorite movie. It’s the one that made him fall in love and the one that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy.
During the press conference with the cast and filmmakers there was much laughter as they discussed the details of how Lightyear fits into the Toy Story universe, the voice of new versions of the iconic characters, the creation of the music for the film, and much more.
Participating in the interview Chris Evans (voice of “Buzz Lightyear”), Taika Waititi (voice of “Maurice Mo Morrison”), Keke Palmer (voice of “Izzy Hawthorne”), James Brolin (voice of “Zurg”), Peter Sohn (voice of “Sox”), Dale Soules (voice of “Darby Steel”), Angus MacLane (director), Galyn Susman (producer) and Michael Giacchino (composer).
Chris Evans talks about the new version of Buzz Lightyear Tim Allen has been Buzz Lightyear for years, even decades. So bringing Chris Evans into this role, it must have been a bit distressing for him.
The saving grace here is that this is a different version of Buzz, and not the one fans already know and love.
That Buzz was the toy, this is the man. When asked about the possibility of bringing this version of the character to the public, Evans said he was excited for being able to explore a character we all know, in a slightly more nuanced interpretation.
“The Buzz that we all know is obviously a toy. And as a toy, there are certain ways that he can move around the world without the weight that we can carry. A toy knows its purpose. A toy does not have to worry about diseases. The consequences of the decisions we make as people are a little more important, and it’s fun to put Buzz in that context,” Evans said.
Evans was also asked about two iconic phrases he has uttered: “To infinity and beyond” and “Avengers Assembled.” He said that it is impossible to choose a favorite, but that in his mind the first is Tim Allen’s line. Not from him.
“As honored as I am to be a part of this universe now, that line belongs to someone else. I almost felt like I was wearing someone else’s clothes or something. So you do your best to honor it and put your own spin on it, but let’s face it, it’s the Tim Allen line. So,
Personally, at least with Avengers Assemble, I was the first to jump in the pool for that,” he said.
What Keke Palmer admires about Izzy Hawthorne Keke Palmer says about her character, Izzy Hawthorn, she didn’t even have to think long to answer.
“Her love for her grandmother, Alicia, and the legacy she wants to uphold. He wants his family to be proud. And that’s something I think we can all relate to. And the fact that she’s not afraid to spin, I really admire that about her. I think he shows a lot of leadership qualities that are sometimes overlooked. She knows how to push her friends forward. She knows how to see something in someone so that she can do her duty, she empowers others.”
When you see Izzy on screen, you’ll know exactly what Keke is talking about, because that’s just plain Izzy.
Taika Waititi on Pixar cinema
Taika Waititi lends his voice to the character of Mo in Lightyear, but is no stranger to film himself. His latest film, Thor: Love and Thunder, It will be released less than a month after Lightyear. When asked if he had taken any notes from the way Pixar makes that movie that could lead to his own cinematic journey, he had nothing but praise for them.
“Especially with Pixar, it’s the relentless search for the perfect story. You see that over and over again in their movies. economy of storytelling and the way they write their scripts. Unfortunately, they always get it right, so I’m not afraid to copy those practices that they use. As a filmmaker, it’s inspiring to see these guys make perfect movies all the time.”
James Brolin on the creation of Zurg
When asked about bringing something new to an iconic character like Zurg, James Brolin admits knowing very little about Lightyear’s history helped him.
“I went in there cold. The night before they gave me a sheet with some of the dialogue. None of it made sense. It was one of five sessions. I figured I’d do it in half an hour, four hours of sweat after each session with Angus saying: try it like this,” he explained.
He then added: “Every day I learned more, of course, by common sense, about what the character was, but I had to put it back together.. I haven’t seen a polished movie yet. And I’ll see her tomorrow night to see what my character was about. I have no idea.” Including the same-sex kiss.
At one point, Pixar removed Lightyear’s lesbian kiss. But after a bit of a backlash, he’s back and he’s here to stay. This situation makes filmmakers very happy.
Producer Galyn Susman explained: “It was very important. That whole relationship is about showing Buzz what he doesn’t have. And we really wanted to show a loving and meaningful relationship. And have a kiss as part of that. We were very, very happy to be able to do it.”
Adds director Angus MacLane: “And certainly the performance was something we were excited about. But, above all, it is a reflection of the reality of the world in which we live. And we believe that science fiction has always been my gateway to a more diverse society. Starting with Star Trek, at the time, it was very diverse for a movie in a series of its time. And in that spirit we took from Star Trek trying to find as much diversity in our cast as possible.”
The composition of Lightyear’s music
Lightyear needed to have an iconic score because this is his favorite movie. In essence, it’s about Andy’s Star Wars.
Composer Michael Giacchino does a fantastic job, and is a great choice to compose the Lightyear score.
When asked about the elements that have been used, he explains that these are the kind of films he has grown up with.
“I grew up on these kinds of movies. I devoured them as a kid. When I was a kid, I used to sneak a little tape recorder into theaters. And I’d record the audio of the movie, and I’d have the audience response, all of that. And I’d listen to it. No there was VHS when I was growing up. There was nothing. There was no Internet. The only way to see a movie again, when it was no longer in theaters, was to listen to it. So I recorded them. And then I sat at home. And every night, I would put them under my pillow.”
On the subject he elaborated: “Because I loved hearing how the sound worked in these movies, and how the music worked with the sound effects and the dialogue and all that. So it’s like, ingrained in my head in a massive way. So that working on this was like someone asking me, at 12 years old, hey, you have to do your own one of these things. What do you want to do with it? That’s what I like about working with Angus, always we were left on the sidelines in some crazy conversation about whether it would be a movie from a certain era, or a character actor from a certain era, or whatever. We have so much love for what came before and what introduced us to everything that we’re playing now. It wasn’t hard to find the inspiration for this.”