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'Lightyear' Teaser Takes Us To Infinity, And Beyond

For some time it seemed that Pixar's reign as the most successful (commercially and critically) animation studio in the world was going to last forever. But nothing lasts forever, and with a resurgent Walt Disney Animation Studios giving them a run for their money, Pixar entered an era of almost back-to- sequels (and prequels)- it seemed their golden age was over. More recently we've been experiencing a streak of original films including Onward, Soul and Luca. Next March's Turning Red is also an original movie.

After that though comes something a bit different- next summer we will see Pixar's first spin-off. Taking us back to the very beginning of the studio's success story Lightyear is spun off from the Toy Story series. However, it may not quite what you are anticipating. This isn't a solo adventure for the space faring toy... this is an origin story for the 'real' Buzz Lightyear.

Essentially that means Pixar is going full sci-fi and featuring the lantern-jawed spaceman on his first adventure. We've been intrigued by the idea since it was announced, but with the release of the first teaser, we've a slightly better idea of how this is going to turn idea... although there is still much we don't know.

That includes what exactly the plot entails. From the teaser, we see Buzz launched in his ship on a mission from Star Command, and apparently running into some sort of trouble. Presumably, this is following the old plot from the in-universe commercials in the Toy Story movies that see him in 'uncharted space'.

With almost no dialogue, the teaser creates a brilliant atmosphere that is reminiscent of the best sci-fi movies. A planet we see briefly looks a lot like Dagobah from Star Wars.. and we doubt the references are going to stop there. Even based on what we see here, it does feel like tonally this is new ground for Pixar, and a long way from the Toy Story films. Lightyears away, you might say.

Whether Buzz's nemesis Emperor Zurg is going to feature is one of the big questions, but the only threats we see him go up against here is some sort of a tentacled monster... and possibly a robot cat, but we're not sure whose side he is on. It's all terribly effective and the use of a well known David Bowie track is just a perfect finishing touch.

Lightyear is the solo feature debut of Angus MacLane, a Pixar veteran who has helmed a number of shorts and was co-director on Finding Dory, and Galyn Susman will produce.  Former Captain America star Chris Evans will be the voice of Buzz.

Lightyear will be released in cinemas in June 2022.