Bruce Fretts
August 11, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
70 minutes
performer
Tim Allen, Adam Carolla, Stephen Furst, Wayne Knight, Larry Miller, Nicole Sullivan
director
Tad Stones
distributor
Walt Disney Pictures
author
Mark McCorkle
genre
Animation

We gave it a D+

Once upon a time, Toy Story 2 was planned as a direct-to-video cheapie in the tradition of the Aladdin sequels. Then Disney wised up and retooled Buzz and Woody’s encore into another big-screen gem. But the Mouse House couldn’t resist the cheese forever. Hence, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, a straight-to-tape travesty that flattens Tim Allen’s puffed-up space ranger into … a cartoon! While it is produced by Pixar, Buzz trades the costly, eye-popping computer images we’re used to for shoddy drawings better suited to a Saturday-morning series (which, not coincidentally, it’ll soon become on ABC).

Even with Allen resupplying his pipes, this less animated Lightyear seems strictly two-dimensional. Instead of a deeply felt tale about an unlikely friendship between an old-fashioned cowpoke and a newfangled astronaut, Buzz offers sub-Pokémon laser fights against Zurg, who’s reduced to a stock supervillain. Our hero spends more time with lame-oid newcomers like a Jabba-the-Hutt-size janitor called Booster than with old friends like Woody — who does make a cameo, though he’s voiced by Tom Hanks’ less expensive brother, Jim.

Wise viewers will fast-forward to the end credits for ”To Infinity and Beyond,” a Priceline.com-worthy anthem intoned by William Shatner. He generates the video’s only real buzz. D+

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