Human technology

The endless evolution of Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear has made multiple metatextual leaps since his groundbreaking 1995 debut, from fictional to real-life toy to cultural icon, and now, honest-to-god action hero. And now, with Lightyear adding yet another layer of existential complexity to the character, it’s time to take a look at what makes this little laser light up his wink. Where is Buzz from? How has it changed as Pixar’s genre-defining technology has advanced? And how does Lightyear manage to pull a Pinocchio to transform this toy into a human being? Let’s dive into the endless evolution of Buzz Lightyear! The first seeds of Toy Story were planted in 1988 with the short film “Tin Toy”, featuring a self-aware toy soldier being terrorized by a truly horrific baby. The short’s success caught Disney’s attention, and they approached Pixar about the possibility of making films entirely from computer animation. After toying with the idea of ​​a Christmas TV special, they decided to go all-in on a feature film instead. The original drafts involved “Tinny” as a beloved new toy who bickers with the bitter old favorite, the dummy of a ventriloquist named Woody. But even in 1995, it was hard to imagine a little kid getting super excited about a mechanical toy soldier, so they turned Tinny into an astronaut named “Lunar Larry,” bearing little resemblance to the Lightyear we know. Instead, he was a dark red Raygun Gothic 1930s throwback, more Flash Gordon than GI Joe. After a few more iterations, they came to the obvious conclusion: Andy needed the most impressive figure imaginable. Add a spacesuit straight out of NASA with neon accents and a name inspired by the second man on the moon, and boom: Buzz Lightyear is born. Watch the full video to witness the evolution of Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear!