Pixar’s Lightyear failed to take the number one slot at the box office this weekend, either because its premise was oddly confusing to the general public, or the world has caught genetically-engineered locust fever and just can’t get enough of Jurassic World: Dominion and its stupid, stupid bugs. But here’s a thought: Lightyear should have been rated R. Really.

We realize this sounds crazy, and we certainly aren’t suggesting that every kid-friendly franchise needs an R-rated entry, the way some people insist that dropping F-bombs would somehow improve the Star Wars universe or the world of the Minions. But injecting Lightyear with adult content, as weird as it may sound, actually would have made the whole project make way more sense. 

According to director Angus MacLane, the premise of Lightyear it’s that it was Andy’s favorite movie – not a new movie as some of the advertising has suggested,  but his favorite “VHS that he wore out.” As MacLane further explained on the Movies That Made Me podcast, the idea is that Lightyear is “one of those movies that was not necessarily for kids in the ‘80s, but then they decided to do a cartoon show. And then from the cartoon show they made toys.” Which makes it sound as if Lightyear is, in the world of Toy Story, kind of like Robocop; a sci-fi movie for adults that was spun into an animated series and eventually a toy line (despite the fact that the character once graphically shot a dude in the balls).

Perhaps the more appropriate comparison is James Cameron’s Aliens, which is heavily referenced in Lightyear. Aliens, incidentally, was almost a Saturday Morning Cartoon – and it too spawned a bunch of toys that presumably would have disemboweled Woody and his pals. 

So really, Lightyear is harkening back to something it can’t fully embrace as an animated kid’s film; a time when sci-fi blockbusters weren’t sanitized for all audiences. And if we’re to follow the logic of the premise, Andy’s favorite movie probably should have similarly been full of gore, nudity, and other stuff he never ever told his mom about. 

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Top Image: Disney/Pixar

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