Lightyear Director Angus MacLane Opens Up About His Approach To Telling The Story Of Buzz

Technically, the idea for a standalone Buzz Lightyear movie is as old as “Toy Story.” As recounted by D23 writer Zach Johnson, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, Pete Docter, actually revealed during the initial “Lightyear” announcement that the “Toy Story” team always knew the toy version of Buzz Lightyear was based on a blockbuster movie character of the same name.

With that in mind, director Angus MacLane — who describes Buzz Lightyear as a character he’s “always been pretty close to as a fan” — pitched his idea for “Lightyear” as a movie that might exist in the “Toy Story” world. “I said, ‘Maybe there was a movie starring Buzz Lightyear, and that’s what Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Why don’t we just make that movie — and make it awesome?'” MacLane recalled.

The director then went on to explain how the first step towards determining the film’s visual look came from Buzz’s ship, a real-life model of which was built by a former Industrial Light & Magic employee. According to MacLane, the film’s aesthetic emerged, in part, from an effort to adapt the look of that ship for animation. “I also wanted to make the world feel really tactile and chunky,” MacLane said. “There’s a lot of different sci-fi design aesthetics, but especially in that era that, the ships and the materials were very chunky and the industrial design for them was really robust.”

Fortunately, fans will get to see exactly what MacLane means when “Lightyear” opens in theaters on June 17, 2022.

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