Lightyear Cast & Character Guide: What The Actors Look Like In Real Life

Disney’s sci-fi film Lightyear boasts a cast of outstanding talent, and here is what its actors look like in real life. Directed by Angus MacLane in his feature debut, the movie follows astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who is hellbent on finding a way back home after being stranded on an uncharted planet. Ahead of its official release date, the film has already garnered generally positive reviews. While some critics point out its convoluted screenplay, which arguably drags out the narrative and subjects the characters to more obstacles than necessary, most of them praise its nostalgic, spirited atmosphere. They also acknowledge how Lightyear’s hyper-realistic animation is genuinely brought to life by its voice cast.

Although Lightyear is a spinoff of the Toy Story movies, it is still a fictional film within the universe. In the Pixar universe, it was the movie that originally inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure seen in the franchise. Consequently, Woody and the other characters from Toy Story don't appear. Regardless, if Lightyear becomes a critical and commercial success, it is highly probable that more Toy Story spinoff films will be created in the future.

RELATED: Lightyear Has Already Broken One Huge Toy Story Tradition

MacLane, who was a co-director on Finding Dory, pitched the idea of a Buzz Lightyear movie with the intent of bringing to screens the movie that Andy must have watched that made him become enamored with the space ranger action figure. As Lightyear presents the origin story of Buzz, it introduces a new set of characters who joined him on his adventures. Here is a cast and character guide for Lightyear, including where viewers might have previously seen them.

Chris Evans voices the titular character, Buzz Lightyear. The movie focuses on Buzz’s space mission and can-do attitude as he seeks out a way to bring his commander and crew home. It also hints there may be more to come, judging from Lightyear's multiple post-credits scenes. Evans, who is best known for portraying Steve Rogers/Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has also appeared in films such as Fantastic Four, What's Your Number?, Before We Go, Snowpiercer, Gifted, Knives Out, and The Red Sea Diving Resort. He is next set to appear in The Gray Man, Netflix’s most expensive production to date, and Ghosted, a romantic adventure film with Ana de Armas.

Alisha Hawthorne is not only Buzz’s commanding officer, but she is also his best friend and confidant. She is voiced by Uzo Aduba, who is popular for her role as Suzanne Warren on the true story-inspired Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She has also lent her voice to animated shows such as Steven Universe, 3Below: Tales of Arcadia, and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. Her future roles include a part in the thriller film Providence.

Keke Palmer joins Chris Evans as Izzy Hawthorne, the granddaughter of Alisha. Izzy accompanies Buzz on his mission despite lacking the skills and experience. She is voiced by Palmer, who first gained recognition for her work on Nickelodeon. She led the cast of True Jackson, VP, voiced Aisha in Winx Club seasons 3 to 6, and starred in the musical film Rags. Palmer then transitioned to mature roles by appearing in films like Pimp, Hustlers, and Alice, and shows like Scream Queens and Berlin Station. She is currently a part of Human Resources and the TV show revival The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. She'll soon be seen in the sci-fi horror film Nope.

Related: Lightyear's Early Reactions Show Why Pixar Will Never Let Toy Story Die

As Buzz adjusts to his extraordinary mission, Alisha gifts him with Sox, a robot cat companion. Sox is voiced by Peter Sohn, a voice actor and animator. He has been a part of Pixar’s story and art departments since 2033, having previously worked on films such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, Up, The Good Dinosaur, Coco, Soul, and Luca. Sohn is set to direct Pixar’s next original film, Elemental.

The two-time Golden Globe winner James Brolin is also involved in Lightyear. Brolin has numerous acting credits under his belt, with some of the most notable being television series like Marcus Welby, M.D., Hotel, and Life in Pieces, and movies such as Skyjacked, Westworld, and Traffic. He is most recently heard as the Narrator of Netflix’s breakout success, Sweet Tooth. Brolin plays Emperor Zurg, Buzz Lightyear’s archenemy who debuted in Toy Story 2.

Mo Morrison is a part of Izzy’s ragtag team who seeks to defeat Zurg and assist Buzz in the accomplishment of his mission. He is portrayed by Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner Taika Waititi. A New Zealand filmmaker, Waititi has directed the 2014 film What We Do in the Shadows and the 2019 show of the same name, the 2016 adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the MCU blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, and the 2019 Academy Award nominee Jojo Rabbit. His upcoming works include the fourth Thor film Thor: Love and Thunder, introducing Gorr’s tragic origin, and the sports drama Next Goal Wins.

Darby Steel, who is the final member of Izzy’s crew, is an ex-convict who can create bombs out of anything. She is voiced by Dale Soules, who is best remembered for her role as Frieda Berlin in Orange Is The New Black. Soules has also appeared in The Messenger, Motherhood, AWOL, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Her next projects include Midday Black Midnight Blue and My Love Affair with Marriage.

RELATED: How Much Lightyear Cost To Make (& How Much For Box Office Success)

Mary McDonald-Lewis as I.V.A.N.: Mary McDonald-Lewis lends her voice as I.V.A.N., the voice-activated navigation system used by Buzz Lightyear throughout the film. She is known for her work as a dialect coach on various television shows.

Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside: Commander Burnside replaces Commander Alisha Hawthorne in the middle of the divisively-reviewed Lightyear. He is played by Isiah Whitlock Jr., who starred in shows such as Lucky 7, ​​Veep, The Mist, and The Good Cop.

Efren Ramirez as Airman Diaz: Airman Diaz eagerly assists Buzz in his test flights. He is voiced by Efren Ramirez, who has appeared in shows like Eastbound & Down, the movie Napoleon Dynamite, and Perpetual Grace, LTD.

Tim Peake as "Tim from Mission Control": British astronaut Tim Peake cameos as the voice from Mission Control instructing Buzz Lightyear on his test flight. Peake is a former crew member of the International Space Station and the first British European Space Agency astronaut.

Bill Hader as Featheringhamstan: At the beginning of Lightyear, Buzz and Alisha get partnered with a rookie, Featheringhamstan. He is voiced by Bill Hader, who is best known for being a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Since then, he has worked on animated films like Inside Out, which broke a Pixar trendCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Sausage Party, The Angry Birds Movie, Toy Story 4, and The Addams Family 2. Currently, he's garnered accolades for his excellent work on the dark crime comedy series, Barry.

MORE: All 5 Pixar Movies & Shows Releasing After Lightyear



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