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How 'Lightyear' director Angus MacLane used Lego to inspire the movie's spaceships (exclusive clip)

After a less-than-stellar theatrical run, Disney/Pixar's "Lightyear" has landed on the Disney streaming service and other digital platforms today where it hopes to recover with a more enthusiastic reception well into infinity and beyond.

This week, the time-twisting sci-fi adventure debuted on Disney Plus (opens in new tab) and it launch into the Home Entertainment marketplace on Sept. 13 with a splashy Blu-ray/DVD and 4K Ultra HD release packed full of deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews, and bonus features.

To celebrate "Lightyear's" leap out of the multiplexes and into our living rooms, Space.com is presenting an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip showcasing director Angus MacLane, Art Director Garrett Taylor, Character Designer Grant Alexander, Modeling Art Director Greg Peltz and other filmmakers as they reveal how Lego played an instrumental role in the production and development of the $200 million CGI-animated movie. You can even buy some of the Lego Lightyear models of your own now, too!

Box art for the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray editions of "Lightyear." (Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

MacLane utilized the vast world of Lego and his longtime love of the creative toy to spur his imagination and pitch ideas for some of the vehicles, machines, and spaceships that ended up in "Lightyear's" actual production. These hand-crafted models served to influence the modeling and animation teams in their process of building out the colorful universe of the "Toy Story" spinoff.

"As a thing to do to relax, a lot of times, in addition to watching movies, I spend a lot of time building in Lego bricks, because it's the antithesis of working in the computer," MacLane explains in the clip. "In between meetings sometimes I'll just do a step or two. It's a way to feel forward progress pretty easily."

Related: 'Lightyear' Review: Pixar's new Buzz Lightyear origin movie

Lego has unveiled a series of ships and sets that can also help you recreate your favorite Lightyear scene. You can check those out below.

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XL-15 Spaceship $49.99 at Lego.com (opens in new tab)

Buzz Lightyear's iconic spaceship is ready for flight in this new Lego set, meant to recreate scenes from the 2022 movie Lightyear.

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Zyclops Chase $19.99 at Lego.com (opens in new tab)

You can battle the evil Zyclops mech using Lego minifigures Izzy and Buzz Lightyear.

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Zurg Battle $29.99 at Lego.com (opens in new tab)

The evil overlord Zurg will be no match from Buzz and buddies during your Lego-fueled battles.

The high-flying prequel is set outside the "Toy Story" cinematic universe and depicts the actual movie that Andy saw to make him desire a Buzz Lightyear action figure in the first place. It finds Buzz on a time-jumping intergalactic adventure as he and his crew are marooned on a barren planet and must find a way to return to Earth and escape the evil Zurg and his imposing robot army.

Arriving on Home Video on September 13, "Lightyear" features Chris Evans as the voice of legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear along with Keke Palmer, Dale Soules and Taika Waititi as his three Star Command recruits. Buzz's robo-cat, Sox, is voiced by Peter Sohn, who's joined by the vocal talents of Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

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Jeff Spry
Jeff Spry

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.