Disney’s “Lightyear” is the first flop by the usually creative filmmakers at Pixar that brought us blockbusters such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo.
That Lightyear is the first bomb for the studio is a clear sign that audiences are growing weary of Hollywood “wokeness,”, particularly in recent offerings by the “House of Mouse.”
Long gone are the days when audiences could count on Hollywood to give them great entertainment in a variety of genres. Cowboys, cops, and robbers, space operas, ghastly goals, whatever you were into – you could find it on the silver screen, sit back, munch your popcorn and escape for a while. Now it’s more like, “we’ll give you fun and excitement, but let me lecture you on social justice first!”
I don’t know about you, but that is just the thing I’d like to get away from when I dive into a movie!
Audiences are starting to push back at the box office — case in point, Disney’s “Lightyear.” You would think that Pixar, which can practically do no wrong, would have a major hit on its hands with a movie based on one of its most popular and enduring characters – Buzz Lightyear of the “Toy Story” franchise.
But this is not the Buzz you know from those films. No, in this iteration, Buzz is not the satirical happy-go-lucky toy, but supposedly the “real” character the toy was based on – and he and his fellow “space rangers” are “woke.”
To make this distinction, the producers rejected Tim Allen to recreate the voice of the character he gave life to – that was their first mistake, and their second and bigger one was having a same-sex couple among Buzz’s band of adventurers.
True, the lesbian couple depicted in the film is but a small part of the story, and no one should be bothered by the existence of gay people, even in a kids’ movie, but the shocking underperformance must-have Disney wondering whether people stayed away because they thought that “Lightyear” was yet another in an increasing series of “message movies” being pumped out by Hollywood.
On the other hand, the Tom Cruise vehicle “Top Gun -Maverick” is literally exploding at the box office. In fact, it is the biggest movie of Tom Cruise’s career and probably the biggest movie of this year, and the main reason is most likely that it simply ignores all quarrelsome real-world issues, and like the “good old days,” it seeks merely to entertain, not to persuade you that the people who made it are virtuous.
Disney’s decision to spend a couple of minutes of screen time reminding us that it’s an LGBTQ-friendly company may well have cost it millions in ticket sales for what was supposed to be its annual Pixar mega-blockbuster.
Maybe they and others in the industry – like Netflix, which has seen a similar drop in subscription largely due to “woke” programing – will finely get the message – “Just shut up and entertain us.”