Pixar Boss Gets Honest About Lightyear's Disappointing Reception

Lightyear was expected to be a huge hit last year. After all, it centers on a beloved Toy Story character and it is a spinoff of that franchise. It's also an animated science-fiction film that could be appealing to the general audience. Most importantly, it is a Pixar film that has a proven record in terms of quality and success.

Unfortunately, it ended up receiving disappointing results as it only grossed $226 million worldwide against a $200 million production budget (marketing not included). While it has a 74% Rotten Scores score, it was nowhere near some of the top-tier Pixar films and failed to receive any major nominations.

Speaking recently with The Wrap, Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter reflected on Lightyear's disappointing results and shared his thoughts regarding why the film didn't end up becoming a huge hit amongst the audience.

"We’ve done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie. We love the characters and the premise. I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience," he said.

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"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?"

Docter continued, "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. It was much more of a science fiction."

"And Angus [MacLane], to his credit, took it very seriously and genuinely and wanted to represent those characters as real characters," the Pixar CCO added. "But the characters in Toy Story are much broader, and so I think there was a disconnect between what people wanted/expected and what we were giving to them."

We will never know why exactly Lightyear did not end up becoming a huge hit at the box office, but Docter offered some plausible theories that might be true. Despite the disappointing reception, it is still great to hear that the team at Pixar was satisfied with its creative results.

Now, the animated studio is moving forward with a fifth Toy Story film which is currently in the works although they remain mum regarding the exact details of the franchise's next installment.

Also Read: Toy Story Fans Beg Disney To “Stop Milking” The Franchise With Fifth Movie

Lightyear is available to stream on Disney+.

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