Strange World review

Ready to embark on an adventure? Good because Disney is back at the cinemas with their newest animated feature: Strange World , and I had the privilege to attend the multimedia screening for the film over the weekend. It's been a while since most of us last experienced the magic of a Disney animated film at the cinema due to covid, so get ready to embrace Strange World . Strange World is the perfect adventure movie that will leave audiences feeling like an explorer, whether you're a child or an adult you'll be inspired to discover hidden wonders and fulfil your dreams. It's so good to have Disney back on the big screen! Read on for my full spoiler free review. Join the multigenerational Clade family, there's the explorer grandfather Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quad), his farmer son Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal), Searchers wife and pilot Meridian Clade (Gabrielle Union) and their son Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) as they venture to save their planet Avalonia. The f

Lightyear Review

In 1995 Andy saw a movie, which became his favourite movie - Lightyear is that movie. Which is why in Toy Story (1995) Andy received a Buzz Lightyear toy. Pixar was once known as the most innovative animation studio, in recent years they have become the studio of sequels, but with Lightyear they have taken it one step further and created a film that exists within Pixar's most popular franchise Toy Story. The concept alone is rather clever, although it could have done with a little extra framing than a few caption cards at the start. I will admit, it's easy for me and my generation to be highly critical of anything Toy Story related, after all we grew up with the first two films (1995 and 1999) and the third (2010) came out as we, like Andy moved from childhood to adulthood. But I went into Lightyear with an open mind, all thoughts of Toy Story 4 (2019) disappointment erased from my brain. So, does Lightyear soar ‘to infinity and beyond’, ‘fall with style’ or simply fail to launch? 

Narrative wise the film makes no attempt to highlight it exists within the Toy Story world, in fact you could watch Lightyear without ever seeing Buzz Lightyear in anything prior. We join Buzz (Now voiced by Chris Evans) as he travels through space on a mission, the mission takes a detour to an inhabited planet. Buzz and his commanding officer, fellow space ranger Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) disembark their space craft leaving hundreds of scientists in sleep pods. The detour ends in disaster when the space craft is attacked and the hyper speed fuel core destroyed. From this moment on Buzz becomes obsessed with getting home, sacrificing any potential life he could have on this planet. Eventually he must face Emperor Zurg (James Brolin) and open himself up to accepting help from Izzy (Keke Palmer). Throughout his mission Buzz is joined by the cutest of companions a robotic cat named Sox (Peter soon). Pixar is known for its ability to convey emotion, and Lightyear certainly does this within the first ten minutes, however it fails to leave a lasting impression throughout the film - for example remember how in Finding Nemo (2003) the tragic events at the start turn Marlin into an overprotective father? Well Lightyear doesn't have that follow through. It’s an okay narrative, with some heart and a fun twist, but the jokes often fall flat, and the film fails to get deep even on a subliminal level for adults. 

Whilst I did go into Lightyear open minded, I could not get over the voice change. Now I love Chris Evans, I think he is a great actor. However, Buzz Lightyear is synonymous with Tim Allen. Without Allen it didn’t feel like I was watching Buzz, it’s clear the voice change was meant to further highlight that this is a film within a film and it’s not the Same buzz. But it just did not feel right, that’s not to say Evans didn’t do a great job because he did, but it should have been Allen. Elsewhere the cast was great, Keke Palmer’s Izzy is a cutesy well-rounded character. It’s great to see Zurg again, and the father joke is great for those in the audience that are big fans of Toy Story 2 and Star Wars. Sox steels the show, he is cute, funny and integral to the plot, I can see there being a Sox spin-off at some point. The film also plays with big reveals, such as hiding Zurg with a combination of deceptive shots, which is fun to watch. We are also given two great female characters: Izzy and Alisha however they are massively outnumbered by male characters. There are some perfect things about Lightyear, such as the pristine animation and the well-matched score, which combine to make this worthy of a cinema viewing.


Overall, Lightyear is a decent film, it’s engaging for its hour and a half run time but fails to capture the magic and emotion of the first three Toy Story films. This failure to impress is something that Pixar have been struggling with over recent years, it is as if they can’t make that push to greatness. It’s a shame, because if they had gone deeper with Lightyear, it would have had the potential to be a top tier Pixar creation. Part of me feels that the change in voice and the standalone film is a way to introduce a new generation of children to the wonderful character that is Buzz Lightyear, which is great. However, for the adults watching this film fails to take us to infinity and beyond, the Pixar brilliance just out of reach. 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Thank you for reading xx

Comments

  1. Really good content here. Believe me when I say so because I am also a movie blogger

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