Buzz Lightyear Controversy- The Director of ‘Lightyear’ Defends the Film’s Lesbian Character

buzz lightyear controversy

Buzz Lightyear is a fictional character in Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story franchise, who is voiced by Tim Allen. He is a sentient toy action figure based on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, a “Space Ranger” superhero from the in-universe film and television franchise. He is one of the two major characters in all four Toy Story animated films, alongside his pal Sheriff Woody. In Toy Story (1995), Buzz, unlike most other toys, believes he is the “real” Buzz Lightyear and comes to terms with the fact that he is a toy; in Toy Story 2 (1999), Buzz meets other Buzz Lightyear action figures from the toyline, including Emperor Zurg, the fictional character’s in-universe archenemy and father; and in Toy Story 3 (2010), set ten years later, Buzz explores a romance with cowgirl figure Jessie.

The fictional character Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger, on which the toy Buzz is based, also appears in the 2000 direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, as well as the subsequent spin-off television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, both voiced by Allen and Patrick Warburton.

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As ‘Controversy’ Grows, the Director of ‘Lightyear’ Defends the Film’s Lesbian Character

buzz lightyear controversy

The effects of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ refusal to re-edit or alter depictions of a same-sex relationship in the new film “Lightyear” are still being felt, and they now include a restriction on the film’s release in Middle Eastern and West Asian areas.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Malaysia were among the countries that declared the $200 million films would be banned this week.

On Friday, June 17, “Lightyear,” the Emeryville studio’s first theatrical film since March 2020, will be released in the United States and other major markets. Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba), Buzz Lightyear’s fellow space ranger and best friend, and her relationship with a coworker who becomes her wife is a subplot near the beginning of the film. The couple kisses on screen at one point.

The decision is the latest in a months-long argument about LGBTQ themes in Disney films, a “controversy” that irritates filmmaker Angus MacLane of “Lightyear.”

Before the Middle East and Asian bans were announced, MacLane told The Chronicle, “The argument is whether or not you think it’s appropriate for individuals to love each other.” “Is that something that’s causing a stir?” I’m not sure where to start with that one. What matters to us is that these characters are fully realized and integral to the story.”

buzz lightyear controversy

“It’s tough not to be a little upset that it even has to be a matter of discussion,” actor Chris Evans, who voices Buzz Lightyear, told Variety before the bans. This is the type of ‘news.’ The idea is to get to a point where it is the norm, that this does not have to be some unexplored territory, and that it is simply the way things are. We make films in a way that reflects that representation across the board.” Pixar did not respond to a Chronicle request for comment on the prohibitions on Wednesday, June 15.

The Welcome and The Legacy

Buzz was chosen No. 1 among the Top 20 Greatest Pixar Characters by Empire readers in October 2007. He was also named the 94th best movie character of all time by them.

“To Infinity… and Beyond!” is a legendary statement from Buzz Lightyear that has been used by philosophers and mathematical theorists alike. Eli Maor’s book about the history of infinity, published in 1991 (4 years before Toy Story), has the term as its title. The Humanist Lucia Hall tied the film’s plot to a humanist viewpoint. She compared the expression to “All this and heaven, too!” which denotes someone who is content with both life on Earth and eternity and sends me to a destiny, to infinity and beyond,” Beyoncé sings in her quadruple platinum single “Single Ladies” from 2008.

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buzz lightyear controversy

The remark was spoken by astronauts as they launched the Buzz Lightyear figure into space. The action figure was utilized in zero-g research. In 2008, the phrase made international headlines when it was revealed that a father and son had been repeating it to maintain track of each other while treading water in the Atlantic Ocean for 15 hours.

Buzz Lightyear was addressed in Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber’s 2012 song “Boyfriend,” for example, in the lyric “I can be your Buzz Lightyear, fly around the globe.”

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I'm a researcher and behavioural therapist with a PhD in Social Media. I also love to travel and drink coffee. Follow my adventures around the world, or just know that I really need to be back at the library.