Lightyear first reactions call Pixar film an "epic space adventure" with echoes of Star Wars

(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Following Lightyear’s premiere, the first reactions are in – and they're full of praise for the Toy Story spin-off.

The latest Pixar movie tells the story of a young Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans), an astronaut who finds himself marooned on a hostile planet. Joined by his commander, crew, and robot companion, he must find a way back home through space and time.

"Pixar’s #Lightyear is a BLAST & a half! Big, exciting, emotional & goofy sci-fi that’s got STAR WARS vibes and even BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE vibes," writes Fandango’s Erik Davis. "Truly, it is fantastical storytelling at its absolute best. Loved every second - top tier Pixar for me."’s Charlie Ridgely also praises the movie: "I expected to like #Lightyear. I didn’t expect to walk out of that theater thinking I’d just seen one of my favorite movies. One of the most gorgeous sci-fi films I’ve seen in years and I cannot wait to see it again."

Variety’s Courtney Howard calls out Chris Evan’s voice performance in the title role. "#Lightyear is an epic, breathtaking love letter to sci-fi & its imaginative, compelling capabilities," she writes. "Perfectly crafts a transportive, immersive, aesthetically appealing world & a poignant hero’s journey. @ChrisEvans does a terrific job coloring Buzz with a heap ton of heart."

Digital Spy's Ian Sandwell calls the film "visually stunning" in his verdict. He pens: "Does #Lightyear need to exist? Not particularly. Is it very good all the same? Yep. A throwback sci-fi adventure that's witty, emotional, and visually stunning, with yet another majestic Michael Giacchino score. Prepare to fall in love with Sox too."


(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Syfy Wire’s Josh Weiss is already hoping for a sequel: "I never thought the phrase 'To infinity and beyond’ could make me cry, but @PixarsLightyear managed just that. @AngusMacLane & @ChrisEvans deliver a sensational love letter to both Toy Story & classic sci-fi blockbusters of years past. I'm already raring for a sequel!!"

"Lightyear = visually stunning, epic space adventure, cinematic masterpiece." Screen Rant’s Tessa Smith writes. "So gorgeous you'll forget it's animation. Sox is hilarious, Zurg is full of surprises, most importantly, Chris Evans perfectly embodies Buzz Lightyear! You'll never look at sandwiches the same."

Not all the first reactions were glowing, as Discussing Film’s Aaron Fraggle tweets: "Surprised to discover that #Lightyear is Pixar’s safest movie of recent memory. Underdeveloped villain, lackluster supporting cast, I was left a little disappointed. Keke Palmer barely gets a chance to shine. This was Pixar’s chance to go bold, but instead they went by the book."

While film critic Sean Boelman writes: "Lightyear is my least favorite Pixar movie yet. That isn't to say it's bad – but it's merely alright. Moments of greatness here and there, and Sox is MVP for sure, but I couldn't help but feel like it was labored to even go through the motions. You'll watch it once and forget it."

Lightyear will be released in theaters on June 17. For more on the movie, check out Total Film’s chat with the movie’s director Angus MacLane about how it fits into the Toy Story universe. Check out our guide to all of the confirmed 2022 movie release dates coming up.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.