'Lightyear' Review: Sandy Kenyon says Buzz Lightyear origin story not just for kids

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Friday, June 17, 2022
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A movie inspired by the "Toy Story" franchise from Pixar is out now, and "Lightyear" features the iconic Buzz Lightyear character we know and love.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new movie inspired by the "Toy Story" franchise from Pixar premieres Friday, and "Lightyear" features the iconic Buzz Lightyear character we've come to know and love.

But this film is not a sequel, rather it is an origin story to explain how Buzz came into being.

Fans of the original movie will recall a boy named Andy, who got an action figure named Buzz after seeing a movie. This is that movie.

"It's the story that made Andy and his friends want to go out and buy the Buzz Lightyear toy," said Chris Evans, who provides the voice of Buzz, replacing Tim Allen who plays him in the original movies.

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This time, Buzz is not playing around. He gets stranded on a hostile planet and works to perfect a fuel that will get save everyone, but time is quite elastic as whole decades -- even a half century -- go by in minutes.

It doesn't help that robots have landed on the planet during one of his trips away, but he has help from a gang of misfits led by Keke Palmer's character and an adorable new personal companion robot named Sox.

It was this character that 17-year-old Sydney O'Malley warmed to when she accompanied me to a recent screening of the film.

"I fell in love with not just Buzz Lightyear himself, but the Sox cat and the other characters within the movie," she said.

She's a graduating senior at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, and she was joined by a rising senior at the school, Tawfiq Abdallah.

"I wasn't expecting to see what I saw," he said. "It was very comedic and heartwarming."

Both teens were surprised to find out "Lightyear" is not just for kids.

"After I finished watching it, I realized, wow, this is kind of touching to my experience and touched what kind of life I've lived," Abdallah said.

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Both students plan to highly recommend "Lightyear" to their friends.

"This movie is for anyone," O'Malley said. "Because there's so many different aspects of different stories being told that it's really not set for any specific age group."

We met the two during a recent program at our station. "Get Reel" was conceived by Eyewitness News anchor Sade Baderinwa, who hosts every year.

The idea is to gather students from our area and get them together with industry professionals to introduce those local young people to opportunities in the media and entertainment business.

"Lightyear" is from Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, both are owned by the same parent company as WABC-TV.

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