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Pixar Director Angus MacLane on his ‘Lightyear’ Pitch

The director explained the origins of Lightyear at Pixar

Full disclosure, I have been hiding under a rock for much of October and November. Hey, I have three kids and back-to-school and in-person activities and, after a nearly two-year absence, a commute!

So, I might as well have been in outer space during the first few months of the school year. And that seems pretty appropriate. Because, as I started to pull together the pieces of my avocation, part of the rebuild included a re-watch of the Lightyear trailer.

Let’s start there with you, too:

Fantastic, right? But how did we get here?

MacLane’s Pitch to Pixar

Well, if you dig hard enough on some of the big Disney sites, you can find the answer to most of your most burning questions.

For example, asked how he developed the pitch for Lightyear, Director Angus MacLane told Pixar’s Tina Pollock:

Lightyear
Screenshot: Pixar on YouTube.

[T]he world of Buzz was always something I was excited about. In the world of Toy Story, [once Buzz] woke up from being a space ranger, you never got to go back to that world. For me, I thought, “I just want to know about that world.” So the question when I pitched this movie was, “OK, well, what was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear [toy]? Why don’t we just make that movie, and make it awesome?” That was the pitch. And now I’ve been developing it for 5½ years.

Lightyear Director Angus MacLane

And who better to help with that development than MacLane?

Buzz vs. Zurg

After all, he told Pollock that the “first thing I got to do at the Studio was help design Zurg. Buzz is something that I’ve always been really excited by on a really detailed level, and so much so that on Toy Story 2, [in] the opening scene, a lot of the Buzz vs. Zurg stuff was stuff that I got to animate on. It was a really great experience because I knew that this was a world that I was really into, because I was into sci-fi.”

For many kids, their first exposure to any type of space hopping character was Buzz Lightyear, so it seems fitting that one of the first to work on Buzz’s Space Ranger adventures should bring the “actual” Lightyear movie to the screen.

To infinity and beyond, kids. I can’t wait for June.

Lightyear poster. Image: Pixar.