Pixar’s chief creative officer Pete Docter attempted to explain why “Lightyear” flopped at the box office. However, the Pixar executive refused to address boycotts by conservatives surrounding Disney’s spinoff of the massively successful “Toy Story” franchise.
Last June, “Lightyear” made nearly $20 million less in its opening weekend than Disney anticipated.
Docter gave an interview to the entertainment website The Wrap this week. Docter was asked why the $200 million-budgeted “Lightyear” animated movie flopped at the box office. The Pixar executive claimed the movie tanked because fans of “Toy Story” – an animated movie about toys coming to life – couldn’t understand that action figure toy Buzz Lightyear is a space ranger from a fictional galaxy where he battles Emperor Zurg – a robot alien villain.
“We’ve done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie,” Docter began. “We love the characters and the premise.”
Docter said, “I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience.”
He continued, “When they hear Buzz, they’re like, ‘Great, where’s Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex?’ And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they’re like, ‘What?'”
“Even if they’ve read the material in press, it was just a little too distant, both in concept, and I think in the way that characters were drawn, that they were portrayed,” Docter said. “It was much more of a science fiction.”
Docter said the characters in “Toy Story” are “much broader,” and there was likely a “disconnect between what people wanted/expected and what we were giving to them.”
Docter failed to mention that conservatives boycotted “Lightyear” because there was a same-sex lesbian kiss in the animated movie for children.
“Lightyear” originally had a same-sex kiss, but then was reportedly removed before the movie was released. However, the lesbian kiss was reinstated after Pixar employees demanded the LGBTQ validation gesture be restored as a pushback against the Parental Rights in Education bill being passed in Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The bill prohibits teachers from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity to students in kindergarten through third grade.
Pixar also replaced the iconic voice of Buzz Lightyear. Tim Allen had been the voice of Buzz Lightyear since “Toy Story” was released in 1995. Pixar replaced Allen, who is a conservative, with liberal actor Chris Evans.
Tom Hanks, the voice of Sheriff Woody, slammed Pixar for making the change.
Speaking about “Lightyear,” Allen declared, “It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy. There’s really no ‘Toy Story,’ Buzz without Woody.”
Evans previously said people who are “trying to hold on to what was before” will “die off like dinosaurs,” and anyone against “representation” and “diversity” are “idiots.”
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