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How ‘Lightyear’ gives Buzz’s ‘To Infinity and beyond!’ quote from ‘Toy Story’ new emotional heft

  • June 17, 2022

“Toy Story” movie was released in 1995, Chris Evans was a 14-year-old, obsessed with Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, who dreamed of working at Disney and being a film animator. So getting to utter the famous quote “To infinity and beyond!” as an adult was a thrill almost three decades in the making.

But the saying boasts new significance in “Lightyear” (in theaters now).  Once a catchphrase for Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear (which he’d yell to fellow toys before showing them how he flies), it  now has emotional heft, reflecting the strong bond between astronaut Buzz (voiced  by Evans) and his mentor/commander Alisha (Uzo Aruba).

The space rangers say it to each other and touch fingers when they’re about to embark on a mission, and it becomes a much larger theme through “Lightyear” as Buzz also shares it with Alisha’s daughter Izzy (Keke Palmer).

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“What was really great watching it in this movie is you understand that it’s a pact between friends. It’s a promise. And I think that’s wonderful,” Aduba says.

Adds Evans: “You knew that Pixar was going to have fun with all of those origins, those reasons for why he says the thing he says. That line in particular, (it) was really satisfying to know that it was actually part of this connection he had with this person.”

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Filmmakers originally considered just putting the well-known quote in the “Lightyear” finale: The thinking was, “He’ll just say that, and people will accept it because it’s the Buzz they know,” MacLane says. They already had the finger-touch idea for Buzz and Alisha as “their ‘it’s go time’ kind of thing,” and then one of the film’s editors suggested pairing that moment with “To infinity and beyond.” Once we had that, it was really clear that we need to carry that through the whole movie.”

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