Wondering if Pixar’s LIGHTYEAR movie is ok for kids? This animated sci-fi adventure is a family-friendly flick for those curious about the origins of Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films. While there may not be inappropriate content, some kids may not be entertained by the lack of Woody and friends. However, Sox the Cat is a worthy star. Here’s what parents need to know in this LIGHTYEAR Parents Guide.
LIGHTYEAR Parents Guide
Lightyear is the origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the toy character from the Toy Story films. At the beginning of Lightyear, it opens with the statement that this is the movie Andy saw in 1995 that made him a Buzz Lightyear fan. And the Director of Lightyear has stated that he believes it was a live-action film that Andy watched. Then Buzz Lightyear, the toy, was inspired by the cartoon spinoff that was inspired by this movie. You with me so far?
Chris Evans voices Buzz, who does sound similar to Tim Allen. Some kids may wonder why Tim Allen is not the voice of Buzz Lightyear in this film. Disney used a different voice, because this Buzz is not the toy Buzz that Allen voices. The movie opens with Buzz and his best friend, Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) as Space Rangers trying to complete a mission to get them off an uninhabitable planet.
Why is Lightyear Rated PG?
Lightyear is rated PG for action and peril which means some content may not be suitable for all kids.
Is Lightyear Kid Friendly?
With a running time of 109 minutes, some young kids may be bored at the lack of action, but overall, Lightyear is a kid friendly film with a lot of humor.
Parents can expect some animated action and violence as well as a kiss between a married couple. Some themes can be a little dark.
Language in Lightyear
There was no profanity in Lightyear.
Some scenes show characters in danger, possibly getting dragged underground by vines or captured or in a ship crash.
Violence is at a minimum. There are some weapons used like lasers. Some characters/monsters are scary and there are a couple of jump scares.
There is a kiss between two married women that is not overtly sexual.
A death of a character could be hard to watch for sensitive kids.
Is Lightyear Appropriate for Kids Under 8?
While Lightyear doesn’t necessarily take a ton of risks, Buzz has more emotional layers than his toy counterpart. While Buzz in Toy Story has the one-liners, the funny jokes, and the suave quality that perhaps Woody does not have, Buzz in Lightyear faces more complicated decisions.
As he blames himself for getting everyone stuck on their current planet, Buzz Lightyear vows to finish the mission to get them back home. However, while he tries to achieve hyperspeed, each 4 1/2 minute test he attempts results in a loss of over 4 1/2 years time. So while he stays the same age, others are growing older, including Alisha.
There are some sad scenes for kids in Lightyear as Buzz realizes the life he’s missing out on, but also feeling defeated for failing in his eyes.
Lightyear is appropriate for most kids. I’d say 6 years old and up, but some younger kids may not be all that interested. There are parts that are a little slow and redundant.
The visuals and animation are incredible, making one feel as if they are in space, too. And no, not really a comedy, there is plenty of humor with the imperfect crew that Buzz is left with to defeat Zurg including Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer), convict Darby (Dale Soules), Mo (Taika Waititi), and a robotic cat Sox (Peter Sohn).
This ragtag group has their issues, and this is where the story is familiar, unlikely bunch of heroes and all that, but they do have some funny scenes that will appeal to kids. And yes, it’s all true, Sox is great, Sox is wonderful, we all love Sox.
Buzz doesn’t have as much personality or wit as in the Toy Story movies, and I’m ok with that, because they are different people. As he grapples with being alone and a failure in his eyes, he’s trying to work it out and trust a new crew. But really he doesn’t want to let anybody else down. He realizes his choices effect more people than himself, and he’s not the only one who lives with the consequences.
Lightyear is a sci-fi for kids, while also taking us on an intergalactic journey through life and our choices, teaching us that we don’t have to do it alone.