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The Controversial 'Lightyear' Remains Available In The Disney+ Library

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In this photo illustration, logo of Disney+ is displayed on mobile phone screen in front stock exchange screen, in Ankara, Turkiye on May 18, 2023. HAKAN NURAL/BENZINGA

Did Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) Disney+ remove the controversial and unsuccessful film “Lightyear” from its library? Not quite. Amid online chatter about the streaming giant allegedly removing the animated feature from its movie shelf, here’s what actually happened.

Disney classic IP Buzz Lightyear at an outdoor square in Shanghai, China, April 28, 2023. It is reported that this is a limited time event held by Sihe Bay and Disney official: “KIDULT PLAYGROUND Big kids club” theme activity. CFOTO/BENZINGA

Over the weekend, netizens started noticing that while the film Lightyear remains available for streaming on Disney+, the documentary titled Beyond Infinity: Buzz and the Journey to Lightyear has disappeared from the platform.

The news isn’t surprising, considering the company has decided to remove a wide range of content from the streaming platform as part of cost-cutting measures. 

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Lightyear told the story of Buzz Lightyear — the basis of the toy featured in the Toy Story” franchise. The movie featured Chris Evans as the voice of the title character. 

However, this animated Pixar film, released in 2022, is considered one of Disney’s biggest box office failures. As per reports, Lightyear grossed $115.8 million domestically and $97.8 million in international theaters. 

Disney lost an estimated $106 million after the release of Lightyear, with the film’s total expenses reported to be around $373 million, according to Deadline

Chris Evans attends the UK Premiere of Disney Pixars’ “Lightyear” on June 13, 2022, in London, England. GARETH CATTERMOLE/BENZINGA

It was likely that the ban on the movie in countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over a same-sex female kiss scene harmed its international box office result.

The same-sex kiss also resulted in a backlash in parts of the United States that included an Oklahoma theater threatening to fast-forward the scene.

Previously, Disney revealed its plans to cut costs by $5.5 billion. Earlier this year, Jeremy Doig, the company’s CTO at the time, departed, marking the development under CEO Bob Iger’s restructuring plans for the largest entertainment company.

At the time, Iger dissolved Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution, a division created by his predecessor, Bob Chapek, to oversee the streaming services.

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Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Sterling Creighton Beard

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