Lightyear uses NASA assets to help build its universe

Last week the latest film from Pixar – Lightyear – hit cinemas. The film follows Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear on an intergalactic adventure of his own.

Some in the office here at Hypertext weren’t too excited about the film until we learned that rather than living purely in fantasy, the filmmakers opted to ground the animated film in a slice of reality.

“Animators and artists on Lightyear used more than 3 000 images and footage assets to help create the cinematic universe seen throughout the film,” says Hollywood liaison for NASA, Bert Ulrich. “They also received an up close and personal view of space through the eyes of a NASA astronaut who served as a technical consultant on the film.”

One would think that an animated film could really get away with making things up, and while we’re sure the filmmakers took liberties, we’re glad to see there is a shred of reality here.

The NASA consultant on the film is Tom Marshburn who recently spent 175 days aboard the International Space Station as part of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission. The astronaut says that films such as Lightyear can help inspire a new generation of space explorers by creating a showcase of what our universe offers.

“Collaboration on films like this one helps NASA inspire the Artemis Generation as we prepare for human exploration of the Moon and Mars,” said Marshburn. “In doing outreach related to the science that inspired scenes in the film, this provides a springboard to share NASA content with a diverse audience of all ages”.

Not being a fan of cinemas (and recently noticing that tickets for a 2D film cost R98?!) this was one I planned on skipping, but I might just head out to watch this one now that I know NASA was involved.

[Source – NASA]


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