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How to watch Lightyear

Sox and Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear
(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Come in Star Command. The new Buzz Lightyear inspired movie, aptly titled Lightyear, has landed. The latest movie from Pixar and one of the biggest family summer blockbusters of the 2022 movie slate is now playing worldwide, so fans are probably wondering about their best viewing options for this new take on a beloved  Toy Story character. Well, we’ve got you covered on that.

With Lightyear officially premiering on Friday, June 17, here is everything that you need to know about how to watch Lightyear.

How to watch Lightyear in movie theaters

With Lightyear’s debut in the US and UK on June 17 (a few days earlier in other parts of the world), the animated adventure is playing exclusively in movie theaters for the first part of its run.

To find showtimes for Lightyear near you (including on Thursday, June 16, as many theaters in the US and UK are going to have advance showings), check your local movie theater’s websites or Fandango (opens in new tab).

If you’re excited about Lightyear but not the movie theater ticket price, a way to get a discount or save on trips to the movies is through a movie theater subscription or membership deals. These offerings from theater chains in the US and the UK allow for participants to get a certain number of movies a month for a flat fee and/or provide discounts for tickets and concessions, as well as additional movie experience perks.

Is Lightyear streaming?

No, Lightyear is not available for streaming at this time. This actually makes it an outlier for Pixar over the last couple of years.

Since lockdowns began in 2020, Pixar has opted to stream all of its new movies on Disney Plus right away and skip a run in movie theaters. This included Soul, Luca and Turning Red. Lightyear marks the first Pixar movie since Onward to play in movie theaters and not immediately be available on Disney Plus.

Though don’t fret Disney Plus subscribers, Lightyear is all but assured to stream on Disney Plus whenever it makes its streaming debut, we just don’t know when that is yet. We’ll update this page with that info as soon as it is announced. We’ll also provide updates when info is available on how to purchase/rent Lightyear through digital on-demand.

In the meantime, if you want to sign up for Disney Plus in anticipation of Lightyear and have access to past Pixar movies as well as everything else that Disney Plus has to offer, you can do so by signing up for the streaming service by itself, as part of the Disney Bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus or with Hulu with Live TV, where Disney Plus is a standard feature.

What else you need to know about Lightyear

Though it’s based on Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, Lightyear isn’t a space adventure following the toy. Instead, director Angus MacLane has described Lightyear as the movie that would have inspired the toy Buzz Lightyear. Check out the trailer for Lightyear right here:

Chris Evans jumps into the Space Ranger suit in place of Toy Story’s Tim Allen, who has voiced Buzz Lightyear from the beginning. Evans is joined in the voice cast by Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Peter Sohn, Uzo Aduba, Bill Hader and James Brolin. 

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.