Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear.

Tim Allen Speaks Out About Not Voicing ‘Lightyear’ With a Pointless Take

When can we love Lightyear in peace?
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It’s been a long battle to explain why Chris Evans is voicing Buzz Lightyear in the new Toy Story spinoff Lightyear and not the longtime voice of the character, Tim Allen, and it seems as if the war rages on. After not talking about it publicly, Allen has “broken his silence” in a new interview with Extra, where he talks about his Buzz and ignores the facts about the people behind Lightyear.

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“The short answer is I’ve stayed out of this ’cause it has nothing to do [with my character],” Allen said, which is already wrong and has been proven as much by the explanation of what Lightyear is in relation to the universe of Toy Story. But Allen then went on to talk about those behind Lightyear. “This is a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies,” Allen said. Angus MacLane, who directed and wrote Lightyear, worked on Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.

Allen went on to continue to talk about the movie and how he thought it had no connection to the toy. “It’s a wonderful story,” Allen said of Lightyear. “It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy, and it’s a little… I don’t know. It just has no relationship to Buzz. It’s just no connection. I wish there was a better connection to this.” That’s easily explained by the concept that Lightyear is meant to be the “live-action” movie that Toy Story’s Andy watched and loved, and that the toy came from a cartoon that spawned from the Lightyear franchise—which Allen also seems to just not get. He talked about a meeting he had with the studio, years ago, about a movie on Buzz’s origin, and Allen thought it was going to be a live-action film about the toy.

So why is this a ridiculous take? Because it’s ignoring what we do know about his Buzz and making it a story about how he wasn’t asked to voice Buzz Lightyear in something and ignoring that Angus MacLane has been there throughout the years for Buzz (with the exception of Toy Story and Toy Story 4). The comment about how it “had really nothing to do with the first movies” also feels like an unnecessary slap in the face of animators because MacLane was an animator on those movies and clearly knew and loved Buzz from the start, as he talked about in our interview with him.

If you watch the interview with Allen, it’s not really coming from a place of malice, but seems more like someone who just doesn’t know what he’s talking about, which is fine. It’s not his movie. It’s just annoying given how Lightyear gives us a fun origin for why Andy would love this toy, and it’s constantly being ignored for questions about Tim Allen.

Why Lightyear works

I’ll compare this to Star Wars, since it is, basically, Andy’s Star Wars. So imagine that there was a toy of Sabrine Wren that came to life and befriended a toy of Indiana Jones. And that representation of that toy, in a movie where toys come to life, was held as the arbiter of “accuracy to the character” rather than the actor playing the character in the movie the toy is based on. That’d be baffling to say the least, right? Well, that’s essentially what this back and forth is. Allen is the Buzz Lightyear toy. There’s no fighting there. But that’d be like saying if someone else voiced Indiana Jones in toy form, that he’s the real voice and not Harrison Ford. Do you get it?

Because Allen certainly doesn’t. And sure, maybe he was saying this from a place of being upset that it wasn’t him in the role when, in the real world, he was the first person to play that role, but it makes sense that it isn’t! And his comment on the “live-action” thing is a fundamental misunderstanding of this universe because technically this is live-action within the Toy Story universe. It’s just still animated for us.

I don’t know. I think, for me, it’s just that Lightyear was the first time I actually cared about Buzz, so to say that this “isn’t” Buzz means that all those years I thought he was annoying and bad at being a space ranger were warranted. Anyway, Chris Evans’ Buzz Lightyear is hot, and I will go down in history as the number one Lightyear stan if I have to.

Buzz Lightyear looking at the stars in Lightyear

(featured image: Pixar)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.