If I were to title this review conclusion, I would call it, The story of two light years.
Firstly, Light year is exactly what we expect from the creative gang at Pixar that brought us toy story nearly three decades ago. Not only does this prequel deliver a frenzied sci-fi origin story, it affectionately nods to many classic films of the genre along the way. Older fans will smile at the nods to films such as 2001, The black hole, Wall*E, star trek, star wars, Battlestar Galactica, Apollo 13 and of course –toy story.
Along the way, Light year tells an engaging and satisfying story about the fine line between determination and learning to accept help from others. We are also challenged to see that even when we think we have made irreparable and horrible mistakes, good can still come out of them, even if it doesn’t look like what we originally intended.
Toilet humor and fake swearing here are at the bare minimum refreshing. The threatening looks of the robots are almost the only thing, really, that might give parents of sensitive youngsters pause.
I wish I could end my review here. But, alas, I cannot.
Earlier this year, controversy erupted in Florida when the state passed a law banning teaching about LGBT issues to public school children in kindergarten through third grade. The law was quickly criticized by many in Hollywood and left-leaning political circles. Pressure is mounting on Disney to make a statement, as the company’s iconic theme park, Walt Disney World, resides in Orlando, Florida.
Disney did not initially respond. But according to multiple reports, Pixar reinstated a gay kiss in the film in response to Florida law, using film to comment on political and cultural conversation and controversy over LGBT representation. Deadline.com’Dade Hayes writes:
“Pixar was one of the loudest voices criticizing Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of the Florida bill, and said in a leaked letter to the press that the company had removed gay elements from Pixar projects.”
In recent years, we have seen the increasing inclusion of LGBT characters in films and television shows aimed at children. Disney has actually been criticized for its reluctance to participate in this trend.
Yes, we’ve had flashing and you’ll miss images of two mothers with a child in the background, or verbal hints of same-sex relationships. But Light year’The depiction of the same decades-long relationship and marriage catapults Disney to the forefront of this cultural controversy.
In my opinion, what’s most remarkable here isn’t really the kiss we see, but the fact that the film portrays everything around it as completely normal and mundane. Buzz obviously knows that Alisha is gay. The couple then get married, have a child (the biological details are never explained there), and live decades together, all without ever suggesting that this is anything other than the way things are supposed to be.
This worldview is, pardon the pun, Light years beyond LaFou’s chuckling innuendo alluding to his attraction to Gaston in 2017 The beauty and the Beast remake. Instead, he fully adopts a perspective on those issues in direct conflict with what Scripture teaches about the purpose and place of sexuality in marriage between a man and a woman.
For many Pixar fans and toy story, Disney’s deliberate, intentional and political taking of such a radical and militant stance on this issue will be a huge disappointment. Buzz Lightyear is a beloved iconic character. And that issue aside, its origin is a story that many families would have otherwise enjoyed.
But just as Disney feels it must take a particular stance on this cultural issue, many families with equally strong and heartfelt biblical convictions will likely choose to pass on Light year’s advocacy of the LGBT agenda here.