The Toy Story spinoff doesn’t come out until next summer, but it’s already flying its way to infinity and beyond thanks to its star-striking Lightyear trailer. Deadline has reported that the teaser trailer for Disney and Pixar’s upcoming film about the origin of Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) blasted off to 83 million views worldwide in the first 24 hours since its debut on Wednesday. That’s a mind-blowing new record for the animation company that introduced Buzz Lightyear to millions of young fans in Toy Story back in 1995. You can add to the record yourself by watching the trailer below.
To put that number in perspective, the Lightyear trailer flew ahead of those for the last three Pixar films released in the last two years, including Toy Story 4 (62 million), Soul (32 million), and Luca (28 million). You may notice that the day-one traffic numbers declined for each movie trailer. But the numbers for the trailer of the film centered on the Space Ranger soared astronomically, beating even the trailer for Marvel’s Eternals, which racked up 77 million views globally, and Cruella, which was seen by 71 million viewers.
However, the Lightyear trailer ranks second behind the trailer for The Incredibles 2, which punched up to 114 million views the day it dropped in 2017. To be fair, fans waited 14 long years for a sequel to The Incredibles to be made; Pixar promised they would stop producing sequels after Toy Story 4. That doesn’t seem to stop them from making short films spun off the original films as of late.
Chris Evans released a statement after the Lightyear trailer dropped, praising Pixar for the opportunity to become a part of something he’s enjoyed since he was a kid. “The phrase ‘a dream come true’ gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve never meant it more in my life,” he said. “Anyone that knows me knows that my love for animated movies runs deep. I can’t believe that I get to be a part of the Pixar family and work with these truly brilliant artists who tell stories unlike anyone else. Watching them work is nothing short of magic. I pinch myself every day.”
Director Angus MacLane recently spoke to Fandango about how Lightyear is somewhat connected to the Toy Story series. He explained that Buzz, as a toy, endured some serious character development starting with denying that he’s a child’s plaything but coming to terms with reality later in the first film, telling his enhanced clone that he is a toy in the second film, regressing into the toy-denying astronaut (plus speaking Spanish) in the third one, and monologuing with himself in the last one — all while maintaining his orderly demeanor.
“Buzz is somebody who takes his job very seriously, and is very much a rule follower. And has a steadfast belief in himself,” MacLane said. “There’s these tropes of that kind of hero that we’re recognizing, feeding on, and playing with. But he’s such an amalgam of weird sci-fi cliches. How do you make that more than a punchline? That was really the charge of the film.”
Based on the testimonial from the actor, the director, and the thousands of memes on Twitter comparing Buzz Lightyear’s new and improved face to that of his original plastic toy version, Pixar seems to be taking a bold risk with Lightyear. By telling the origin story of the real Buzz Lightyear — who is named after the real astronaut Buzz Aldrin — and showing that he wasn’t just a toy in the Pixar universe, the animation company is branching out to making animated films for an adult audience, mainly Millennials and Gen Z kids who grew up watching its films since the 1990s. It made its attempt to relate to adult viewers with Soul, since it touches on the topics of the afterlife and existentialism, and it has succeeded in doing the same thing with the Sparkshort film Twentysomething. It proves that animation is for everyone, not just children.