Tim Allen has finally weighed in on “Lightyear,” the Pixar movie inspired by the character he made famous in four “Toy Story” movies. Chris Evans voices the title character in “Lightyear.” The film functions in the “Toy Story” universe as the movie that inspired the toy that Allen voices, which is why Evans stepped into the role and why Allen was not involved. If it all sounds confusing, well, it is.
“The short answer is I’ve stayed out of this because it has nothing to do [with my character],” Allen told “Extra” about the Pixar spinoff. “This is a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies.”
“Lightyear” is directed by Angus MacLane, who was an animator on “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3.” Allen said he spoke with Pixar years ago about a potential standalone movie for Buzz Lightyear. The actor also revealed he originally thought “Lightyear” was a live-action project and not an animated one.
“It’s a wonderful story,” Allen said of “Lightyear.” “It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy, and it’s a little…I don’t know. It just has no relationship to Buzz. It’s just no connection. I wish there was a better connection to this.”
Not everyone was happy to see “Lightyear” go in a direction without Tim Allen. The actor’s friend and “Everybody Loves Raymond” Emmy winner Patricia Heaton tweeted that Pixar “had made a huge mistake in not casting my pal in in the role that he originated, the role that he owns.”
Heaton then asked, “Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?” When she found out the movie was a different version of Lightyear, she tweeted, “The reason the character became so beloved is because of what [Allen] created. Why remove the one element that makes us want to see it? #stupidHollywooddecisions.”
“Lightyear” has underwhelmed at the box office since debuting earlier this month. The film grossed only $51 million during its opening weekend, far below expectations. For Pixar, “Lightyear” ranks as one of the studio’s lower starts, behind 2017’s “Cars 3” ($53 million) and ahead of 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur” ($39 million) and 2020’s “Onward” ($39 million). It’s also one of the rare Pixar films to not take the top spot at the domestic box office, landing in second place behind “Jurassic World: Dominion.”