A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this cartoon series is based on the popular Buzz Lightyear character from Pixar's Toy Story, although the computer graphics of the original film have been dropped in favor of standard two-dimensional animation. The series is based on the usual sci-fi formula and doesn't really offer any educational content, although positive social decisions are made in the name of justice.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Buzz Lightyear is cool in the Toy Story movies however He is amazing and awesome in this super cool show
What's the story?
A spin-off of Disney/Pixar's hugely popular movie Toy Story, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR OF STAR COMMAND follows Buzz's adventures in Gamma Quadrant galaxy, which is "very, very, very far away." Joined by his friends Princess Mira Nova (voiced by Nicole Sullivan), Booster the big alien (Stephen Furst), and sarcastic robot XR (Neil Flynn), intrepid space ranger Buzz (Patrick Warburton) patrols the galaxy for evildoers and troublemakers. In between the daily routine of keeping the galaxy safe, Buzz and his friends must protect Gamma Quadrant from being taken over by evil Emperor Zurg (Wayne Knight).
Is it any good?
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a typical sci-fi adventure, filled with action sequences, quirky aliens, and -- of course -- trademark Disney humor (although the banter isn't as good as it could be). But, like most spin-off series, it completely lacks the exciting, awe-inspiring spirit of the original. The show doesn't have any real relation to the film except for the Buzz Lightyear character -- though that will be more than enough of a connection for some fans.Mira Nova, Booster, and XR have their moments, but Buzz seems at a loss without Woody and all the other toys.
Basically, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a perfect example of how studios can beat a franchise to death in the pursuit of merchandising gold. But despite its mediocre writing and characters, Buzz Lightyear isn't entirely terrible. Even though it lacks any kind of interesting pull, it's certainly not the worst thing kids could watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between entertainment and marketing -- i.e., how companies like Disney use entertainment franchises to sell toys and other merchandise. Does this series seek to entertain or to sell? What kind of messages is it sending to viewers? How can you tell if a television show is trying to sell something? On the lighter side, parents can ask their kids which other Toy Story/Pixar characters they might like to see in their own TV shows. What kind of show do you think each would have?
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