Hollywood anymore is all about pre-existing intellectual property. Which sucks as a movie goer and a dad of boys who love movies because they won’t get to discover anything that isn’t already in their lives. Nothing showcases this trend more than the newest Pixar movie Lightyear.
Let me be clear–I am going to see Lightyear in a movie theater because my kids love Toy Story. And I enjoy Pixar, this isn’t the first piece I’ve written about the studio… but what the fuck is this movie. It’s just another bullshit IP grab. Again, I love Pixar movies (I’m still mourning Bing Bong, RIP). But there is no reason that this movie has to be about Buzz Lightyear. They already had a Buzz Lightyear cartoon show that was well received and is still canon. This easily could have just been a fun Pixar space movie.
So lets break down what exactly this movie is (this is from tweets I am too lazy to track down). This movie is NOT the movie Andy watches to make him want to go get a Buzz Lightyear toy. It’s a CGI movie made years after the original CGI movie that this CGI movie is based on. Does your brain hurt yet? And then Andy watches the movie and then gets the Buzz Lightyear toy for his birthday. I mean they might as well go full Marvel and have the mid-credits scene be a young Andy sitting in the theater clutching Woody and Woody’s eye go wide because he understands Andy no longer loves cowboy stuff.
Editors note a new tweet has surfaced to explain “Lightyear” better but Ted’s main point still stands
Honestly, this just showcases a greater problem in the movie industry, Hollywood mining existing IP for movies instead of new and exciting movies. And I get it, I am part of the problem. I saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and didn’t find time for Everything Everywhere All at Once the week it came to my theater. I look at the summer movie slate and I see exactly two movies that have the potently to be money makers that don’t involve pre-existing IP. The first is Jordan Peele’s Nope (and one could say Peele himself is a IP since audience members are invested in his specific brand of twisted shit he makes after the success of Get Out and Us). The second movie is Bullet Train, starring 58-year-old Brad Pitt as hitman. Fifty-eight fucking years old. I am not looking this up, but I bet that is how old Liam Neeson was when Taken was made (editor’s note: Neeson was 56 when “Taken” was released). Hell, Ryan Reynolds is in his 40s…also not looking that up (editor’s note–Reynolds is 45). Hollywood is stuck in the past and I really don’t know how to get out of it. Because most of the riskiest movies, especially comedies, end up on a streaming service.
Like I said I am guilty as hell, because Jurassic World, Lightyear, and even Minions will all get my money this year because my boys love all three franchises. It just makes me so damn sad that they wont get to walk into a theater and experience the joy of not knowing who the characters are in a movie and coming out of something like The Matrix, The Hangover, or John Wick stunned like I did. They go to the theater and get force fed a pop culture buffet of stuff they have already seen.
I don’t know how I got here from talking about Lightyear, but here I am. Hollywood, do better….