Buzz Lightyear not trusting a robo cat. (Image: screencap from Pixar Trailer.) https://youtu.be/BwZs3H_UN3k

Who Is Buzz Lightyear’s Adorable, but Also Kinda Creepy Cat in Pixar’s Lightyear Trailer?

Pixar combines two sci-fi toy faves —cute pets and androids.
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On February 8, 2022, Pixar released the first full official trailer for their summer film Lightyear. In the trailer, we got to see more of the planet, the plot, the cast, and ZURG! In addition to Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear, Pixar announced Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi would play space cadets alongside Evans. Other cast members include Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramierez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

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This new take on Buzz isn’t a toy, but the man Andy would’ve known about probably from TV or films, a.k.a. the character who would’ve inspired the toy. Director Angus MacLane spoke with Alex Vo at Fandango about how they decided to handle the beloved character:

“There’s a core idea about Buzz that we noticed when we really drilled down looking at all of the Toy Story movies: That Buzz has a disagreement over the nature of reality… Buzz is somebody who takes his job very seriously, and is very much a rule follower. And has a steadfast belief in himself. There’s these tropes of that kind of hero that we’re recognizing, feeding on, and playing with. But he’s such an amalgam of weird sci-fi clichés. How do you make that more than a punchline? That was really the charge of [the] film.”

Sox the cat

Voiced by Pixar creative Peter Sohn, Sox appears to be Lightyear’s assigned companion pet. While space travel this far out in the galaxy may not be hospitable for even the best of Earthly creatures (or those on Capital Planet, for fans of the now-retconned animated show Buzz Lightyear of Star Command), Space Force came prepared. Throughout the trailer, Sox does cat-like things that calm people down, some handy wiring maneuvers, and even provides “sleep sounds.”

Making the comedic relief of the story a robot representation of a pet many people already have is also relatable from a marketing a toy standpoint. Yes, this is shallow, but how well toys will sell influences how many stories get funded and told (see Young Justice, Cowboy Bebop, etc.).

Buzz Lightyear in ship with three crewmates and Sox. (Image: Pixar.)

Allowing Sox to be this comedic relief keeps this role from Lightyear and at least one of his fellow astronauts, Hawthorne (we believe Keke Palmer is playing). It’s unclear if Steel or Morrison (in the back row of the image) with getting along Sox, but my money is on Steel, considering they already look annoyed.

Lightyear hits Disney Plus in the U.S. on June 17, 2022. It’s unclear if the film will also release in theaters.

(images: screencap and Pixar)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.