Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins is a 2000 Disney animated direct-to-video film that acts as a pilot to the television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Canonically this movie inspired the existence of the Buzz Lightyear toyline that exists in the Pixar film series Toy Story.
Tim Allen reprises his Toy Story role as the voice of Buzz Lightyear, as do Wallace Shawn, R. Lee Ermey, Jeff Pidgeon, and Joe Ranft as Rex, Sarge, Squeeze Toy Aliens, and Wheezy respectively. Woody is voiced by Jim Hanks, the younger brother of original Woody voice actor Tom Hanks, and Hamm is voiced by the original Zurg voice actor Andrew Stanton from Toy Story 2 instead of John Ratzenberger.
When the movie was later edited into three episodes of the television show, the opening "Andy's Room" sequence was removed and Tim Allen's voice was replaced by the regular series' voice actor for Buzz, Patrick Warburton. Originally, Warburton recorded all of Buzz's lines for the movie, but they were redubbed by Allen when the movie was released. The edited TV version uses Warburton's dialogue.
Buzz Lightyear and his partner Warp Darkmatter (Diedrich Bader) are on a mission to find three missing L.G.M. ("Little Green Men", a noosphere-dwelling race who are the scientists of Star Command's Universe Protection Unit. They are the same aliens that were seen in toy form at Pizza Planet in Toy Story, (which are presumably based on the fictional show.) They discover the lost L.G.M. in a hidden outpost belonging to Emperor Zurg (Wayne Knight), directly underneath an enormous monster that has "crater vipers" for fingers. Once they enter, they find the missing L.G.M.s inside a torture tank. Some of Zurg's minions (such as Brain Pod #13 and a Grub) ask if there's anything. Zurg enters, planning to pick their brains. Buzz and Warp confront Zurg, and a battle breaks out with Zurg's robots while Zurg escapes. Zurg starts the self-destruct sequence, leaving Buzz and Warp with 60 seconds to escape before the hideout explodes. Warp and Buzz cheerfully pronounce sixty seconds to be "all the time in the world", but during the battle, Warp is pinned under the wreckage. As Buzz tries vainly to free him, Warp presses Buzz's emergency escape button, rocketing Buzz to safety, and grins in apparent satisfaction at seeing Buzz escape as the hidden base explodes.
Mourning Warp's brave and tragic death, Buzz refuses to take a replacement partner. Buzz is given a Star Command recruit, actually Princess Mira Nova (Nicole Sullivan), as his new partner. With the power to make herself intangible, Nova is nearly invulnerable, but Buzz reiterates his refusal to expose any more partners to danger, despite Nebula's forceful assertion that Buzz is not to work alone. Buzz later rescues a shy janitor named Booster (Stephen Furst) from being fired.
In Zurg's fortress, Zurg's workers create a new second-in-command called Agent Z, who is flesh and blood but has a robotic arm that can transform into a variety of weapons. Zurg learns of a huge orb on the L.G.M. homeworld called the Uni-Mind, which is responsible for the telepathic link between the creatures. Zurg sends assault forces to capture it.
Meanwhile, the L.G.M. have built a robot soldier called XR (Larry Miller and Neil Flynn) who can be rebuilt after almost any battle damage. XR's mind is a blank slate; therefore he can learn from Buzz Lightyear, to whom he is offered as a partner. The L.G.M. discover their planet has been invaded by Zurg in order to get the Uni-Mind. When Buzz and XR set off to defend the L.G.M. planet from invasion, XR mimics Buzz's actions. Buzz and XR are confronted by Agent Z, whom they pursue to a rooftop. Agent Z shoots a bomb and XR, not yet having mastered Buzz's combat savvy, is destroyed.
The Uni-Mind is stolen by Zurg; in its absence, the L.G.M. can no longer think clearly. They manage to rebuild XR, but because of their confusion, the new version is a genius.
While cleaning the floor, Booster asks what the space rangers are up to, but it's a secret and Booster walks away, sadly. Commander Nebula decides to launch a full-scale assault on Planet Z while the rebuilt XR suggests a time-share on the universe with Zurg. The L.G.M. leave XR with Booster. Mira says that a solo ranger could go to stop Zurg with the prototype Alpha-One. Nebula dismisses the plan and decides to launch the full-scale assault at Planet Z.
Zurg, when his technicians fail to do so, suborns the Uni-Mind so that he can use it to control the minds of others. Zurg's people thereafter begin constructing a "Mega-Ray" that will use the corrupted Uni-Mind to bend entire populations of people to Zurg's will.
Mira and Buzz each attempt to steal the Alpha-One prototype spacecraft; Mira, using her powers of psychokinesis, wins the face-off and leaves with the ship. Meanwhile, XR gives Booster a "VIP tour" at Buzz's craft and goes inside it. Buzz pursues her in his own craft, not realizing that Booster and XR are inside it, having entered it to play make-believe. Eventually, Buzz catches Mira and stores Alpha-One in his spaceship's cargo bay. At this time, Booster and XR are also discovered.
Zurg's Mega-Ray subverts several planets in quick succession such as Rizone and Bathyos. He then turns it on Star Command, enjoying the irony of watching his greatest enemies become his mouthpieces. Buzz, not too happy about this, is about to fire Booster, but the red alert rings. Buzz, Mira, Booster, and XR witness the Mega-Ray's beam strike Star Command, and enter it to discover its effects. This scene sequence features a reprise of Buzz's famous line from Toy Story ("Buzz Lightyear to Star Command: Come in, Star Command!"), which he uses to contact their communications receiving center.
When they discover that all of the Space Rangers have been suborned by Zurg, they flee in Buzz's Star Cruiser. Zurg sends his victims to destroy them, using Star Command's entire arsenal. When one of his men plant a bomb on the Star Cruiser, they use Alpha-One to escape, just as Buzz's craft explodes and Zurg leaves laughing.
Booster accidentally sits on the water landing button. The "crystallic fusion" stopped, the airbags went off, and the siren went off. In a slightly humorous manner, they land on Zurg's home planet, narrowly escaping the defensive "seeker drones". They crash-land the Alpha-One, which is mistaken by Brain Pod #13 for a weather balloon after one of the Hornets notices it crashing. There, Buzz insists on finishing the mission, alone. When they start to argue over who gets a nose-ring, Buzz orders them to leave him. Buzz fights Agent Z and arrests him, only to reveal he is Warp Darkmatter. Taking advantage of Buzz's momentary confusion at this, Warp renders him unconscious and delivers him to Zurg.
Warp tells Buzz that he was working for Zurg for years as a Double Agent. When Zurg mocks Buzz by playing the dramatic video of Buzz's funeral oration for Warp, Buzz responds by dictating his "final log entry". Zurg and Warp watch in amusement at Buzz's apparently futile adherence to official procedure, but Mira, Booster and XR hear Buzz's surrender and his final entry (which includes a coded plea for help) and return to Planet Z to help him.
Zurg is not going to kill Buzz, but use the mind-control ray to turn Buzz into a copy of himself. XR and Booster arrive just in time to rescue him as the Mega-Ray fires. Booster and Mira destroy Agent Z's mechanical arm after Booster lands on Warp. Buzz and Zurg face each other; Zurg thinks he has won, but Buzz and his three friends surround Zurg and pronounce him under arrest; but Warp escapes through a distraction when the brain pods shoot the Mega-Ray at "the Planet of Widows and Orphans".
Zurg manages to escape and says that if Buzz goes to any planet, he can hear his voice mocking Buzz. Booster and XR, under orders from Buzz, capture Warp Darkmatter and leap from Zurg's now-exploding tower. Buzz touches the Uni-Mind hoping to return it to normal, but it stays evil because Zurg rotted it to the core. Mira uses her "ghosting" power to take Buzz to the core of the Uni-Mind, where his aura of pure selfless good overcomes Zurg's contaminating influence. In moments the Uni-Mind is restored to normal, freeing the suborned peoples and leaving Zurg himself momentarily helpless. His last words before his space ship explodes are "Curse you, Buzz Lightyear!" The unity of the L.G.M. is restored and Warp is arrested, much to his chagrin.
The film ends when receiving an assignment from Commander Nebula (Adam Carolla), Buzz, having at last admitted that he cannot work alone, creates a new team called "Team Lightyear" with XR, Mira and Booster (all newly decorated with Star Command's highest commendation). They fly to the galaxy and shout "TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!", ending the film right before the screen cuts to black and the credits start.
- Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear (DTV version)
- Nicole Sullivan as Mira Nova
- Stephen Furst as Booster
- Larry Miller as XR
- Adam Carolla as Commander Nebula
- Patrick Warburton as Squeeze Toy Aliens
- Wayne Knight as Evil Emperor Zurg
- Diedrich Bader as Warp Darkmatter
- Jim Hanks as Woody
- Wallace Shawn as Rex
- Andrew Stanton as Hamm
- Jeff Pidgeon as Squeeze Toy Aliens (Andy's Room sequence)
- R. Lee Ermey as Sarge
- Joe Ranft as Wheezy
- This is only Pixar film to use 1990-2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo (instead of the original 1995 logo) before Pixar Animation Studios logo.
- Diedrich Bader and Nicole Sullivan also did voice-overs in the adult comic-strip-based TV series Baby Blues, as the voices for Kenny and Bizzy, respectively.
- This was the only time John Ratzenberger did not voice Hamm. Instead, he was voiced by Andrew Stanton.
- The opening segment takes place after the events of Toy Story 2.
- This was originally the only Pixar film not to have a theatrical release until 2020's Soul (which is debuting exclusively on Disney+, due to the coronavirus pandemic).
- However, Soul still premiered in theaters on territories where Disney+ wasn't available at the time of its release, while Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, never had a theartical release.
- In the UK, the movie premiered on Disney Channel on January 1, 2001 during an event called "Buzz New Year", followed by an airing of Toy Story.
- Like the TV series, there are various references to the Star Wars film franchise in the Buzz Lightyear movie.
- Mira and Buzz's plan to send a one man ship to slip through Planet Z's defenses is a reference to the plan to attack the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which involved "a small one man ship slipping through the defenses."
- Star Command is actually modeled after Space Station 77 (Space Mountain) from Disneyland.
- The claw used to grab the Uni-mind is identical to the claw at Pizza Planet in Toy Story.
- The Uni-Mind of the LGMs is based on the Uni-Mind of the Eternals, a fictional composite being from the Marvel Universe. The Uni-Mind of the Eternals is a collective intelligence in which the participants share in each other's knowledge. This is also like the Borg Collective first introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- While the LGMs (who were in disarray after the Uni-mind was stolen) were loading a rebuilt XR with a bunch of items, one of the LGMs was carrying a lamp that resembled Aladdin's lamp.
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