Wondering if it’s worth taking your kids to see Disney Pixar’s Lightyear? This spoiler-free Lightyear parent review should help you decide! 

Lightyear is the latest installment in Disney Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. This time focusing on the movie character the toy Buzz Lightyear is based off of. The movie blasts off with a fantastic first act that had all of us on the edge of our seats. Unfortunately the story arc plateaus and doesn’t ever quite recover. Stars out great and ends just fine. It didn’t have the emotional gut punch that so many Pixar movies have (this could be good or bad), but it does give you some feel good vibes surrounding teamwork, friendship, and loyalty. 

What I loved About Lightyear: Parent Review

Lightyear appropriate for kids
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Pixar is turning up the volume when it comes to diversity in their films. We got Soul, and Turning Red, now we get a beautiful cast of characters (albeit supporting characters) including a senior woman, beautiful Black women with gorgeous curls, an LGBTQ supporting character, and more! None of it felt forced or insincere. 

Sox is a highlight of the film bringing humor and wisdom. And the film is jam packed with positive messages about working together, working through mistakes, forgiving yourself, and others. In fact one could argue that you’re getting beat over the head with so many messages that it’s hard to fully grasp them all on first watch. I think the story would be more powerful had they decided to focus on one. And though the animation is absolutely stunning, it feels a little like it goes against the opening line in the movie. Which leads me to what I didn’t love.

What I didn’t love About ‘Lightyear’: Parent Review

Is lightyear appropriate for kids

Bottom line, Pixar has set the bar so high that it’s just hard to keep up with themselves at this point. I did adore Turning Red, and fully expected Lightyear to be a new spin on an old franchise which it is, but at nowhere near the quality as the others in the series. 

Overall we had less laughs, less tears, and just less emotion than we’ve come to expect. The complicated storyline involves some time travel which may be confusing for some viewers to follow, but if they’re young enough they might still be captivated enough by Buzz, Sox and friends to hang in there. My youngest (almost 4) got restless in the last quarter of the film where other movies we’ve taken her to see recently have held her attention longer. As you’ll see in my kids’ review. They liked it ok, but it’s not one they’re excited to go see again. 

Also, the whole idea that this was the movie Andy watched as a kid just didn’t feel realistic and may be our biggest (and most petty) gripe. 

Is ‘Lightyear’ scary or appropriate for young kids? 

Is Lightyear scary for kids Lightyear vs Zurg

Zurg does make an appearance in this movie, as well as some robotic characters trying to catch the heroes. There are moments with creepy spider-like alien bugs that could be frightening for some young kids. As well as some laser shooting and some scares around deep space. A woman announces her engagement and is later shown pregnant and sharing a brief kiss with her wife. There wasn’t any swearing but some arguing and conflict among characters including a pretty lengthy brawl. 

Enough about my thoughts, here’s what my kids have to say about Lightyear

Lightyear Kids Review

What did you think of the movie?

J: I thought it was a good movie. I just don’t think it would be something Andy would watch. 

T: I kind of liked it. Because I liked how they made new suits. It looked like the toy but he was a human. I also like how they fight Zurg.

Lightyear gay kiss scene explained

What was the funniest part to you? 

J: The pen and the cat. 

T: The guy with the pen. 

Would you recommend it to your friends? 

J: Yes. 

T: If they like the Toy Story movies and if they have a Buzz Lightyear toy and if they like it. 

Who would you recommend this movie to? 

J: To people who like Toy Story

T: Well, I don’t have that many friends. 

Lightyear parent review friends in space

What lesson did you learn? What message was the movie trying to get across?

J: That you can have help, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. 

T: It’s ok to make mistakes. 

Who was your favorite character?

J: Sox

T: Buzz

Do you think it’s for older kids? 

J: Both

T: If they like Buzz Lightyear, whatever.

Lightyear parent review gay kiss explained

Did you think it was scary?

J: No. 

T: No! It was not scary.

Would you want to watch it again? 

J: Yea, maybe not in theaters again. 

T: Yea, in the theaters a few more times. 

Lightyear parent review is it ok for kids

How would you rank it compared to other movies we’ve seen recently? 

J: I liked Sonic 2 more. I liked this more than Jurassic World Dominion. But I liked Toy Story 1, 3 and 4 more than Lightyear. I liked Lightyear more than 2. If I were to rate them it would go 1, 4, 3, Lightyear, 2. 

T: Sonic 2 more. I liked Jurassic World Dominion more. I liked Lightyear more than Toy StoryToy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. But I liked Toy Story 4 more. 

What was your favorite part? 

J: When Sox met Buzz. 

T: When Buzz fought Zurg. 

How many stars would you give it?

J: 2.5 out of 5 stars. 

T: 3 out of 5 stars

Is it worth going to the movies to see/picking it for movie night/paying $30?

J: No.

T: Just do whatever you want. 

Lightyear blasts into theaters Friday June 17th. Are you planning to see Lightyear with your kids?

Wondering how our review of Lightyear might compare to yours? Here are some other movies we’ve reviewed:

Like watching movies together as a family? We’ll you’ll LOVE our new Movie Night Journal! A Cherish 365 journal bringing families together with movies:

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It’s hard not to love a Disney Pixar movie. All have compelling stories that take us on emotional adventures, characters you learn to love, and teach us important lessons. Ranking our favorite Pixar movies hasn’t always been easy. Especially since the lineup has grown significantly longer over the last several years. But one fun way to do it is with a March Madness-style Pixar movie bracket.

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Millennials, grab your Tamagotchis, Nano pets, and get ready to Bop along with Pixar’s Turning Red. It’s a GenY2K paradise with so many throwbacks from the glory year that was 2002. I wasn’t expecting much going in, and this is the first Pixar movie I can remember them not being excited to watch. Now? They’ve all watched it multiple times and 2 out of 3 of my kids can’t wait to watch it exclusively streaming on Disney+ March 11th. So let’s get into it in this spoiler-free review.

There’s a lot to love, and to avoid any spoilers I’m going to keep this very high level for now. The animation style was just as beautiful as most Pixar movies, but infused with a familiar fun anime style. Avid Sailor Moon fans will recognize the often exaggerated emotions and features. My 3-year-old daughter Lee Lee loves some kiddie anime and I think that’s one reason she loves Turning Red so much. It’s hard not to get pulled into what the characters are feeling.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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