Pixar head explains failure of Buzz Lightyear cartoon

Pixar head explains failure of Buzz Lightyear cartoon
Photo by Adam Nemeroff / Unsplash

Pixar studio head Pete Docter has offered his explanation for the failure of the Buzz Lightyear feature animated film, which is considered a spin-off to the main Toy Story series storyline.
He said animation studio management had conducted an internal investigation. "We have given a lot of thought to this because we all like the film. We like the characters and the premise. I suppose our conclusion about what went wrong is that we demanded too much from the audience. When they hear the name Buzz, they subconsciously ask, "Great, where's Mr Potato Head, Woody and Rex?" And then we show them a sci-fi movie and they're like: "What?" commented Pete Docter.
According to him, audiences didn't share the vision of the makers of Buzz Lightyear in terms of the visualisation of the story either. "The cartoon was too different, both in concept and in the way the characters were drawn and how they were presented. Everything felt much more like science fiction. Angus (McLain, the director), to his credit, took things very seriously and sincerely and wanted to present the main characters as real characters, not cartoon characters. But the characters in Toy Story are much more diverse and in-depth, and so there was a gap between what the audience wanted/expected and what we showed them," he added.
How much did the Buzz Lightyear cartoon make?
With a reported budget of $200 million, the cartoon grossed just $218 million worldwide, of which only $118 million came from North American cinemas.