2020 has been full of shockers, but one last-minute plot twist has certainly set the internet abuzz this weekend. Pixar announced it is making a Toy Story spin-off film based on everybody's favourite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear. So far, so exciting – but when it revealed a first glimpse of Buzz's new character design, fans were a little confused by his unsettlingly realistic face.
The announcement (below) revealed that the new film, Lightyear, will be released in June 2022, with the titular character voiced by Chris Evans. Not only were fans unhappy to hear that Tim Allen wouldn't be returning to voice the character, but many were left wondering what had happened to Buzz's toyish good looks. (Check out our character design guide if you're looking for inspiration.)
Here’s a first look of the young test pilot that became the Space Ranger we all know him to be today. Lightyear launches into theaters June 17, 2022. pic.twitter.com/QfXnHsBLcODecember 11, 2020
So, what's causing the controversy? One word: hair. Not only does the new Buzz have realistic, bushy eyebrows, but he's also sporting a distinct five o'clock-shadow. The same hilariously square jaw is present and correct, but if there's one thing we don't associate with Buzz Lightyear the toy, it's designer stubble.
We know nothing is sacred in 2020, but messing with Buzz Lightyear does seem a step too far. And judging by the response on Twitter, many Toy Story fans agree.
Why does he have realistic eye brows? Isn't he a toy?December 11, 2020
THE NEW BUZZ LIGHTYEAR MOVIE LOOKS SO TERRIFYING IT LOOKS TOO REALISTICDecember 11, 2020
Anyone gonna bring up the fact that making buzz light year a real person is... weird. Like who looks like that? What kinda human has a deformed head like that? And that chin.... anyone else in the toy story universe that is human looks *ahem HUMAN. https://t.co/0RlJfnp5GSDecember 13, 2020
But it seems there's an explanation for those strangely human features. As Chris Evans himself later explained on Twitter (opens in new tab), "this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on".
Wait, Buzz Lightyear is based on a human? Nope, we didn't know that either. It could well be the biggest plot twist of 2020 (unless we're about to discover that Mr Potato Head is also based on a real person). And it seems Twitter has been having some fun with Evans' slightly convoluted (and very deadpan) explanation of Buzz Lightyear the man vs. Buzz Lightyear the toy:
And just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on pic.twitter.com/lSKE39hABZDecember 11, 2020
“And just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on!” pic.twitter.com/OYP1kGGfGJDecember 11, 2020
Let me be clear: this isn't Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on. pic.twitter.com/7vFU30KoSQDecember 11, 2020
If we're honest, we're relieved to know that the toy version of Buzz hasn't grown real eyebrows or a beard. But what we really want to know is what the inevitable Lightyear-themed merchandise is going to look like – will the toy version of human Buzz look like toy Buzz or human Buzz? The mind boggles.
Still, if you're alarmed by Buzz's realistic facelift, wait till you see what the character nearly looked like in this recently revealed original Toy Story concept art. And if you prefer your toys to just be, you know, toys, here's how to get 15% off Disney Plus, where you'll find all 4 original Toy Story films.