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The Subtle Reason Buzz Seems So Different In Lightyear

Pixar's "Toy Story" became an instant classic when it arrived in theaters back in 1995, and the huge love for Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) has kept audiences coming back for three sequels. "Lightyear" is the most recent movie in the franchise, but it takes a completely different approach to the universe. Essentially, "Lightyear" is the movie that Andy (John Morris) would've seen as a young kid that starts his obsession with Buzz Lightyear, which is why he gets the iconic toy in the original 1995 movie.

Chris Evans voices Buzz in "Lightyear," and the actor told Variety that it was difficult to make the character his own. He explained, "The first time you have to do that iconic line, 'To Infinity and Beyond...,' you kind of just do a shameless Tim Allen impression. It's intimidating." He added, "Eventually you feel comfortable enough to make your own tracks in the snow and find your own interpretation, while still using Tim Allen as the blueprint."

However, because the spin-off follows a completely different version of Buzz, Evans wasn't the only person working behind the scenes to distinguish the two. The filmmakers had to make some small changes to the hero to make him fit in with the in-universe story. Here is the subtle reason that Buzz seems so different in "Lightyear."

Director Angus MacLane says this Buzz isn't as dumb

Although Woody and Buzz are double acts in the "Toy Story" franchise, the cosmic hero has a fish-out-of-water element to him because he doesn't initially understand living with the rest of Andy's (John Morris) toys. This presented Angus MacLane with a difficult problem when he started working on "Lightyear." When speaking to Beyond The Trailer, he explained that they had to change smaller elements of Buzz's character in the film so he wasn't just the generic hero that the toy version thinks he is.

MacLane revealed, "So we had to figure out a way to take the side character and make him a main character. And one of the big things was making him have an emotional hook and an emotional understanding of what was driving him and why he was doing what he was doing. He could be funny, but he couldn't be as dumb, honestly, as the other Buzz." It's a fair point because the toy Buzz makes some pretty terrible decisions, especially in the first film, which probably wouldn't translate very well into the in-universe movie.

The director went on to say that "Lightyear" explores the reasons behind Buzz's actions, adding, "He had to have faults that made him make bad decisions, but we had to understand it was hubris that was driving his poor choices or his driven nature that was making him be oblivious to certain truths that would be obvious to other people." It'll be interesting to see if fans pick up on those changes on the big screen when "Lightyear" arrives in theaters on June 17, 2022.