How To Watch Lightyear: Where’s It Streaming?



Lightyear, the first Toy Story spin-off movie, has now gotten its streaming release date. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch Lightyear at home…


Given the enduring popularity of the Toy Story franchise and Disney’s never-ending thirst for cashing in on trends, it’s kind of insane that we had to wait this long for an expansion of Pixar’s Toy Story universe.

Either way, Lightyear is the first Toy Story spinoff of its kind. And it is the first Pixar movie to hit cinemas in a good long while as well. It didn’t do too during its cinema run, though, netting just $152.7 million at the box office – way short of what was expected.

Surprising everybody, Lightyear now owns the record for being the worst performing Pixar film to date. The film’s cause wasn’t helped by it being banned in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia and that its release in China was compromised after Disney refused to make cuts. Either way, a Pixar flop is a rare beast, so let’s take some time to bask in that.

How To Watch Lightyear

If you want to watch Lightyear, you will of course need a Disney+ account. Lightyear is now exclusively available to stream on Disney+, although the film can be rented and/or bought on other VOD platforms, including Apple’s iTunes, YouTube, Microsoft, and Sky Store.

How To Watch Lightyear
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With Lightyear’s streaming release date, Disney stuck to its now-predictable pattern of giving the film 47 days (it’s usually around 45 days) to breathe in the cinemas before plopping it on the Disney+ servers and making it available for subscribers to stream.

Of course, to access Disney+ you will have to be a paying subscriber and, given the amount of content it now has, I’d argue it is probably worth signing up for as well. Disney+ costs £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year, making it significantly cheaper than Netflix.

And keep in mind that Disney owns literally everything, so if you want to watch the hottest new films outside the cinema, Disney+ is the place to be.

Is Lightyear Coming To Netflix?

Lightyear will not be available to stream on Netflix. The reason for this is that Disney owns Pixar and, by proxy, the Toy Story IP which it uses, alongside things like Marvel, 20th Century Fox, and other studios that it owns to drive subscribers to its streaming platform.

By having exclusive rights to a huge chunk of all the biggest and best new films coming out, Disney has essentially started ruining Netflix’s grip on the streaming market – Disney now has more subscribers than Netflix overall, and this is ALL down to Disney’s massive investment in IP.

In this respect, you could argue that Disney is using its control of the film business to strangle Netflix out of the market, forcing Netflix to develop its own shows and films which, as we all know, is a seriously costly business, costing billions over a 12-month period.

And because Disney is in direct competition with Netflix, there is no way Disney will license any of its most important content and IP to Netflix and this is why millions of people are now ditching Netflix and moving to Disney+.

Lightyear Plot – What’s It All About?

As noted in the intro to this post, Lightyear is a spin-off of sorts of Toy Story but it isn’t set in the exact same universe per se.

The Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear is the Buzz Lightyear from Andy’s favorite movie in the first film, a film called Lightyear, so this is really a film within a film – it’s the movie Andy watches in the first Toy Story movie and the reason he wants a Buzz Lightyear figure in the first place.

Confused? You probably should be. I haven’t seen the movie but a good friend of mine took his four-year-old son to see it at the cinema. He said the film, while decent enough, wasn’t exactly great for kids, especially those under five.

He said it was too complicated and most young kids in the audience lost interest after 15 minutes or so which is pretty bad for a Pixar movie. My three-year-old loves Toy Story and will happily watch it for a good hour before getting distracted.

Either way, if you have Disney+ you can now watch Lightyear for free and make up your own mind.

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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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