August 26, 2008

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000)

I think you know my thoughts on Disney’s line of direct-to-DVD films. But once my 5-year-old saw the preview for Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins on our rented copy of Toy Story 2, I knew I’d be watching it sooner than later.

But guess what? It wasn’t awful.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command follows Buzz (Tim Allen) as he tries to stop Emperor Zurg (Wayne Knight) from stealing the Unimind. I know, isn’t that just pure evil?

Oh, what’s the Unimind? It’s this large, Saturn-looking brain thing that the Little Green Men use to think as one (remember how they thought and acted in the first two Toy Story movies?).

After the supposed death of his partner Warp (Diedrich Bader) at the hands of Zurg, Buzz swears off partners until he’s forced to team up with a new rookie, Mira Nova (Nicole Sullivan). From there, we follow Buzz and his ragtag bunch of do-gooders as they attempt to stop Zurg’s plan to make the Unimind “bad” and control the thoughts of everyone in the galaxy.

With its lightweight plot and rubbery, 2-D animation, it’s hard to believe that Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a Disney•Pixar property. In fact, I wonder how much say Pixar had in allowing a film like this to be made with one of their flagship characters.

That being said, the movie did its job of entertaining my 5-year-old son. And it pains me to say it, but I did catch myself chuckling a few times. Consider some of the Airplane!-esque captions that appeared in the corner of the screen:

[Long shot of galaxy] SPACE. DUH.
[Shot of Zurg’s hideout] ZURG’S TOWER. NOTE BIG GUN ON TOP.

And get a load of this evil command by Zurg: “Target the planet of widows and orphans!”

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command ends with a deux ex machina, just-like-that finish that allows good to triumph over evil (sorry, did I spoil the end of a Disney movie?). The film spawned a short-lived TV series on the Disney Channel – which I should’ve seen coming, since the final credit of the film actually says, “Produced by Walt Disney TV Animation.”

BONUS: The song playing over the closing credits is “To Infinity and Beyond” by William Shatner, sung in his unique spoken-word style: “To…INFINITY…andbeyond.” Much like Buzz Lightyear, the Shatmaster knows no bounds.

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5).

Will your kids like it?
  • My 5-year-old son ate this movie up, and laughed quite a bit. Not to stereotype, but I bet boys would be drawn more to this movie than girls – though there is a strong female character in the form of Mira Nova.
  • The film did have healthy doses of laser gunplay, though only once was a human character hit (he survives) – the rest were all robots of one sort or another.

Will your FilmMother like it?

Hard to say. I know my FilmMother was fine with me watching this film with our son while she was out shopping. Draw your own conclusions from there.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins
* Director: Tad Stones
* Writers: Mark McCorkle, Robert Schooley, Bill Motz, Bob Roth
* Stars: Tim Allen, Nicole Sullivan, Larry Miller, Stephen Furst, Wayne Knight, Adam Carolla, Diedrich Bader
* MPAA Rating: G

Buy this movie for less at >>


Gemma said...

Very cleverly written, FilmFather! I do so enjoy reading your writings. Glad our boy enjoyed it so much. I'm guessing the little one was napping?

FilmFather said...

Big Bro and I try to do "Movie Night" at least once every weekend, as soon as Little Bro hits the sheets. Such was the case here.

Steve G said...

Buzz Lightyear's great! Haven't seen this one yet, but it's on the list now.


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