Lightyear is Pixar’s first film to debut solely in cinemas - as opposed to on the streaming service Disney Plus - in more than two years.

Not since Onward, which launched right on the precipice of the pandemic in March 2020, has the studio enjoyed big screen adulation and what a tragedy that is.

While Onward was a rather middle of the road affair, Soul, Luca and Turning Red have each proved triumphs worthy of far greater audience reach than streaming can as yet achieve.

There’s no denying that Lightyear marks a thoroughly entertaining return to cinemas for Pixar but it’s neither groundbreaking nor in the same echelon of success as were its direct predecessors.

Simply put, it’s better than Onward but no Toy Story, from which Lightyear spawns.

In a sense, Lightyear serves as something of a prequel to the Toy Story saga.

From debutante feature director Angus MacLane, the film tells the story of young astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who will one day inspire the spaceman toy beloved by Andy.

After being marooned on a hostile planet with his commander and crew, Buzz must try to find a way back home through space and time.

Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.

While Tim Allen leant plastic Buzz his voice in the Toy Story films, Lightyear sees Captain America star Chris Evans bring life to the “real” space ranger.

Along for the mission, Keke Palmer plays Izzy Hawthorne, Titanic’s James Brolin is Emperor Zurg with the ubiquitous filmmaker, actor and comedian, Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison.

Watch out too for none other than Britain’s own astronaut Tim Peake in an out of this world cameo.

Lightyear’s look is breathtakingly cinematic, with visuals and audio cues designed to recall mid-twentieth century science fiction and the space opera stylisations of Star Wars.

It is, truth be told, very commercial, with action figures and play set potential very much factored into the narrative agenda.

That said, younger audiences will likely bask in the adventure of it all, neatly embodied with Buzz’s wildly popular catch phrase: ‘to infinity and beyond’.

There are tidy and winning takeaway morals and messages to comfort parents and room for more adventures to come if the film proves successful.

As the character has a ready made fan base at the doors, it surely will.