4/10 Disney/Pixar continues its downward spiral following the underwhelming “Luca” (6.5/10) and now one of the worst movies that they’ve put out in years (probably since “Cars 2” all the way back in 2011). Before I get to why this movie falls so short from Pixar’s usually high standards, I will give credit where credit is due. As with every Pixar movie, this does look fantastic. Pixar never spares any expense on how their animation looks and the visuals continue to impress throughout the movie. The voice cast is also perfect, which is another staple of essentially every Pixar film. The pacing works well since this movie (without the ending credits) is roughly an hour and a half so you and your kids will be entertained from start to finish. The movie starts off moving incredibly quickly but manages to keep the energy levels up for its entire duration. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie falls flat, particularly due to the script. By far the biggest problem facing the movie are two of its lead characters. Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) is the lead, teenage protagonist and Ming Lee (voiced by Sandra Oh) is her overprotective mother. The problem is that we spend the most time with these characters but they are just awful. Mei Lee is annoying and extremely grating and Ming Lee’s overbearing and suffocating nature makes her a chore to watch onscreen (she was also insanely over the top). I can’t think of any other Pixar protagonist(s) that are this unlikable and annoying. It makes me never want to rewatch the movie again, not only because this ends up being forgettable but because what I will always remember is how annoying the leads were. Another problem is that no male characters get any development. Mei Lee’s father and Mei’s classmate Tyler are essentially the only male characters even in the movie and they don’t get much screen time, making this an extremely one-sided movie. There are many scenes that make no sense or are inconsistent. Mei turns into a red panda when she becomes emotional early on in the movie, before she can better control it. Yet extremely emotional moments happen early on and she remains herself and then a scene or two later, something minor happens that makes her change. This is all done for the sake of the plot and not because it is consistent with the rules the movie has established. Mei’s strength while in panda form is also wildly inconsistent, making this movie feel like they made it up as they went along in many respects. Finally, for a movie aimed at young children, there was a disturbing amount of adult oriented content or content that was aimed at least at teenagers. A lot of time is spent on talking about menstruation, there is a reference to strippers, scenes of twerking and blatant cat calling, which I’ve been informed is a form of sexual harassment. But the female characters do it to the male characters in this movie, so I guess that makes it ok. In the end, the unfunny and inconsistent script (they rip off the “It’s so fluffy” line from “Despicable Me”) riddled with annoying characters and forgettable music paired with inappropriate content makes this one of the worst Pixar movies ever made. The last great Pixar film was 2020’s “Soul” so go back and watch that and pray to God that “Lightyear” is a step up from this. I can now see why Disney ripped it from theaters a month before its release and shoved it straight onto Disney+.
#RedHeadRedemption / #ItsGonnaBeMei / #MusicByPanda / #SandraOhWhatADisappointment / #BoyBanned / #ChoreTown

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