Lightyear Director Doesn’t Believe Spin-Offs Are Pixar’s Future

These days, it feels like everything is a spin-off of a spin-off. It doesn’t matter what franchise you’re dealing with, or what platform its based on, every character in every story seems primed to headline their very own movie or TV show–and, really, it isn’t hard to see why, when entertainment dynasties like Marvel Studios and Star Wars are dominating streaming viewership and box offices around the globe, though not every major spin-off has to involve superheroes or Jedi.

This weekend, Pixar’s latest offering (and their first trip back to theaters since 2020), Lightyear, spins out of their beloved classic Toy Story, taking a look at the movie that Andy would have seen back in 1995 to inspire him to buy the Buzz Lightyear toy. And this is far from Pixar’s first dalliance with indirect sequels and spin-offs. Movies like Finding Dory and Planes (though not technically under the Pixar banner) have each taken a swing at growing their respective narrative universes by featuring new corners of the world or pivoting side characters into the hero spot. It wouldn’t be too far a reach to see the possibility for a pattern beginning to emerge with Pixar’s future being tied to the breakout hits of its past–but, according to Lightyear director and co-writer Angus MacLane, it probably isn’t a great idea.

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