The Zurg Twist of Lightyear repeats the cliche of the worst villain from Disney movies


Warning: Contains spoilers for Lightyear.

Lightyear has a twist associated with the image of Zurg, which ultimately repeats the worst cliche of a Disney villain: the villain of the turn. While there are more examples of Disney having a straight-up villain than not, Disney has still done a villain with a twist enough times to be seen as a definite studio cliche. Lightyear did it last, and its execution may be one of the worst.

One of the criticisms that has been made in many Disney films is that many of them will feature a villain with a twist in that a seemingly innocent character will be shown as the real villain of the story, rather than the one who was previously thought to be the villain. In addition to criticism for how often Disney has done this, especially with his later films like “Cold Heart,” “Big Hero 6,” “Coco,” and “The Incredibles 2,” there’s also how the twist usually leads to the villain or the conflict surrounding them, underdeveloped. because the movie has to keep them secret most of the run time. Although this trend has faded in recent years, and some Disney films don’t even have real antagonists, it is still connected enough with Disney to be considered a cliche of the studio’s films.

Related: Explanation of the end of the Light Year (in detail)

Unfortunately, Lightyear’s Zurg turns out to be the last Disney villain to follow the villain’s cliche with twists. Towards the end of the film, it turns out that Zurg is not a robot or an alien, but an older version of Buzz Lightyear from an alternate timeline, who returned to the past to try to keep his team from getting stuck on Tikan Prime. As is the case with other Disney villains, almost no time is spent preparing the disclosure, so Zurg has very few moments when he becomes a real villain; add the confusing and poorly explained mechanics of time travel in the film, and Zurg’s execution ends in failure.

Zurg Lightyear also loses as a villain compared to his previous incarnation of Buzz Lightyear from Star Command. Not only was this version of Zurg constantly active in the series, he was also a straightforward villain from day one, which means that in the series he always had enough time to interact with other characters and delve into his misdeeds. This creates a sharp contrast with the Zurg from the Disney Lightyear, who, being a villain, does not spend much time in the film as he does, and he has relatively few moments when he is engaged in real villainy.

However, the biggest problem with Lightyear’s Zurg is that the film does not show well what kind of villain he should be. Buzz objects to Zurg’s plan because changing the story could prevent Alisha from meeting her wife Kiko, which would lead to Izzy and the rest of her family never existing. Although Alisha attributes their predicament to meeting Kiko, there is no evidence that they wouldn’t have met under different circumstances, especially when they both work for the same organization and everyone constantly has to hide from giant bugs and plants that want to kill them, it’s hard to admit that James Brolin’s Zurg was wrong to try to fix it. There is an attempt to focus on the fact that Zurg refuses to live on, making him go crazy, but not enough attention is paid to it to make it work, probably because of how little time Zurg spends being a villain in the movie.

Lightyear repeats the Disney villain cliche with Zurg, and this ultimately destroys Zurg as a villain. Because he is a villain, he doesn’t have enough time to fully reveal his identity, and what is being done to him ends up complicating his character due to the confusing elements of time travel and undermines his villainy by poorly explaining why he is wrong. . Disney has pretty much moved away from the villain cliche with twists, so ultimately it’s a shame they came back to it with Lightyear from Disney Pixar.