Pixar “Fixed” Buzz Lightyear In The Worst Way

August 11, 2022 0 Comments

Warning: Contains potential SPOILERS for Lightyear,Pixar’s changes to Buzz Lightyear in the 
Lightyear movie may have been intended to fix the character, but the end result is actually incredibly disappointing. Throughout 
Lightyear, the titular space ranger behaves very differently from his original 
Toy Story counterpart. However, while there’s no doubt that some of these revisions add greater complexity and depth to the character, an inadvertent side effect actually undermines one key aspect of his personality – how he comes across as a hero.,In each of his various onscreen iterations, Buzz Lightyear has had a potentially toxic hero complex. Whether it’s Tim Allen’s pompous, oblivious and naive caricature from the first 
Toy Story movie, the more humble evolution that takes center stage in 
Toy Story 2, or Chris Evans’ updated version from 
Lightyear, Buzz’s heroism has always been tainted by occasionally questionable motivations. In 
Lightyear, for instance, his need to be the one responsible for saving everyone from a hostile planet is actually born out of a sense of insecurity and inferiority. Similarly, his ego and need to prove himself was one of the major sources of conflict with Woody in the original
Toy Story. This complex motivation is consistent across each of his five big-screen appearances and helps make him such an iconic figure.,Related: Toy Story 2 Already Teased Lightyear 2’s Story,Buzz’s flawed heroism creates a connective thread between 
Lightyear and previous 
Toy Story entries. However, his depiction in 
Lightyear actually unnecessarily reinvents one of the character’s most historically endearing qualities – his charming, bumbling oafishness. The Chris Evans update, which reflects the overall tone of the movie, is significantly more sincere, embodying many more stereotypical heroic attributes such as stoicism, loyalty and bravery. Not only were these already ably depicted by Tim Allen’s original Buzz, but the 
Lightyear version of the character has been stripped of much of the blundering, oblivious comedy that made him such an icon. The end result is a Buzz Lightyear that feels stripped down and hollowed out, instead of being “fixed”.,In many ways, the problems with “fixing” Buzz to make him a more traditional hero figure are exemplified by the actor chosen to play the character. Unlike Tim Allen, whose voice brought both a sense of gravitas and a twinkle of knowing humor, Chris Evans is an actor primarily known for his straight-laced action credentials. His version of Buzz arguably has much more in common with his rendition of the MCU’s Captain America than it does with the good-hearted, yet occasionally clownish original. Chris Evans is arguably the ideal choice to depict a more straightforwardly heroic version of Buzz. Yet, by going down this route, 
Lightyear loses much of the charm and humor that made the 
Toy Story series’ version so popular. As a result, the attempt to “fix” Buzz by making him a more realistic, human character actually ruins one of his most essential character traits.,In previous 
Toy Story entries, Buzz’s sincerity has been a key source of humor. For example, the activation of Buzz’s ”
Spanish mode” provided some much-needed relief during 
Toy Story 3‘s intense escape sequence, while
Toy Story 2‘s utility belt Buzz created some iconic farcical moments during Woody’s rescue. The juxtaposition between Buzz’s natural self-seriousness against the farfetched hijinks of the rest of the 
Toy Story crew has historically made for some of the series’ funniest moments. Yet, in 
Lightyear, the revisions made to the character to focus more on his heroism than his innate humor actually makes him a weaker figure. As such, many of the movie’s more lighthearted moments are reserved for characters like Sox the robotic cat. By contrast, this version of Buzz retains his problematic toxic hero complex, without benefitting from the comedic relief that previously made him such a successful and indispensable character.,Perhaps the most important thing that 
Lightyear fails to grasp is that Buzz’s inherent charm was in his identity as a man trapped inside a toy’s body. Particularly in the first 
Toy Story film, Woody’s exasperation that Buzz clearly couldn’t do all the things he claimed made the arrogant action figure both endearing and immensely frustrating. By necessity, 
Lightyear removes this central conflict. In Chris Evans’ version, there is no tension between the reality of life as a space ranger versus being a ”
child’s plaything” – he is a real man facing relatively real problems. Ironically, compared to the toy, this makes the Chris Evans Buzz feel much more two-dimensional and almost less human. In part, this change is impossible to avoid, given the nature of the story. Nevertheless, in “fixing” Buzz and turning him into a clichéd action hero,
Lightyear loses some of his greatest strengths as a character.,More: Lightyear’s Zurg Twist Repeats Disney’s Worst Movie Villain Cliché