Lightyear – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Lightyear

When I reviewed the film in June, I said that Lightyear “doesn’t quite come close to the same level of quality as the pitch-perfect Toy Story series. It’s not even on the same level as some of Pixar’s best.” After repeated viewings, my thoughts on the movie remain relatively the same.

As a Pixar film, it hits all of the checkmarks. It has some heartfelt moments, stellar animation, and iconic characters. Unfortunately, the movie still feels and doesn’t reach the same level of excellence as other Pixar films. It feels generic, and that’s not something you say when describing a Pixar film.

Nevertheless, Lightyear‘s voice cast is the primary reason it’s as good as it is. Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi are all super in their respective roles. However, it’s Peter Sohn that steals the entire show. SOX is a fantastic and fun character that is also adorable to boot.

Overall, Pixar’s first “action” film isn’t the kind of Pixar film people expect, for better or worse. There’s a generic “it’s okay” feeling when you watch the film, and that’s usually not the case with a Pixar movie. 

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

Video

Lightyear - Peter Sohn and Chris Evans

Lightyear hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR10 transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The black levels are incredibly inky, with no murky shadows or bleeding. Also, the black levels provide lovely darks and contrast to bring out some beautiful shading in the animation. At the same time, the HDR delivers richer and bolder colors depending on the varying lighting conditions. Also, the skin tones look fantastic in this film. The detail in Lightyear is spectacular, even by Pixar’s standards. The unkempt and dirty details of the suits and environments of T’Kani Prime are crisp and distinct. Wider shots of the spaceship and the robots look incredible as well. 

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Lightyear - Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, and Chris Evans

Audio

Lightyear hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Lightyear‘s Dolby Atmos track. The volume is on a bit of the low side. So, you’ll need to raise the volume dial a bit. Even then, you probably won’t have the kind of zest you’re expecting from an Atmos mix. Nevertheless, this is an intricate mix with some nice layering and dynamics in this mix. There is also a focused attempt to bring every environmental noise to life.

The sound effects are nuanced and well-balanced with good directionality. Sound travels with decent power as it rolls around from all over. Unfortunately, as I said, the volume isn’t as loud as it should be. For the overhead speakers, you get so many fun and accurate effects—like ships flying over, lasers blasting around, debris falling, and more. The ambiance is consistent as well—with some nice unique sound effects filling up the soundstage. The vocals are clear and crisp.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Lightyear - Chris Evans and James Brolin

Special Features

Lightyear‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Building the World of Lightyear
  • The Zap Patrol
  • Toyetic
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Introduction
    • The Dump
    • Polly
    • Meet Izzy
    • Up in the Lair
    • Tilted Ship
    • Fathership
  • Filmmaker Commentary
Features Assessment

Building the World looks at the production and set design of the film. The featurette also shows the research done at the Johnson Space Center and the Lucas Museum Archives. Zap Patrol examines the side characters in the movie and the voice cast. Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, and Dale Soules discuss their dynamics, relationship, and growth throughout the film.

If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us, you may have heard of the term “toyetic.” If you haven’t, “toyetic” is a term in the toy industry which determines whether a movie or television show can lend itself to becoming toys. The featurette delves into how director Angus Maclane made several models for the objects he wanted to see in the film and how those got translated into Lightyear.

Although you can get a sense as to why these scenes were cut from the movie, they’re still fun to watch. As for the filmmaker commentary, director Angus MacLane, director of photography Jeremy Lasky, and writer Jason Headley provide a fun and informative commentary track that gives some insight and information on the making of the movie.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms


Overall, Lightyear is a generic Pixar movie that is neither the studio’s worse nor its best. The video presentation is spectacular, and the audio mix is, too—despite a lack of oomph in the mix. Unfortunately, the bonus features are severely lacking compared to the other Pixar releases.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

Lightyear is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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