Chris Evans Felt Like 'Kid in a Candy Store' Making 'Lightyear' : 'It's Unlike Any Pixar Movie to Date'

Lightyear, in theaters June 17, tells the origin story of the Space Rangers hero who inspired the Toy Story character

Buzz Lightyear is more than just an action figure.

Disney/Pixar's Lightyear, in theaters June 17, tells the origin story of the Space Ranger hero who inspired the toy, who was voiced by Tim Allen in the Toy Story films. Here, he's played by Captain America alum Chris Evans, who says he was a "kid in a candy store" getting to be part of the project.

"The movie Toy Story was such an impactful film. It's so iconic and the characters had such variety. They just offer something that's so relatable," says Evans, 40, in a Lightyear behind-the-scenes featurette shared exclusively with PEOPLE.

"This film is the origin story of Buzz Lightyear. It's the story that made Andy and his friends want to go buy a Buzz Lightyear toy," he adds. "I'm a massive Pixar fan. I was a kid in a candy store. It's unlike any Pixar movie to date."

Lightyear, which is directed by Angus MacLane, also stars Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Keke Palmer, Efren Ramirez, Peter Sohn, Dale Soules, Taika Waititi and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Buzz Lightyear

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Palmer, 28, says of the 1995 original, "I've been a fan of Buzz since the first time that I saw Toy Story. It was one of my favorite movies."

"Lightyear raises the bar," she adds. "It's an intergalactic experience."

Disney first announced that Evans would voice Buzz back in December 2020. After the news broke, the star explained on Instagram that he is a lifelong fan of Pixar.

"My team could barely contain their excitement when they told me that Pixar had a pitch for me. All they said was 'Buzz Lightyear.' I didn't know what that meant, since Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear, and no one could ever touch his performance. I needed to know how this character was different and why this story was worth telling," he wrote at the time.

Evans continued, "I can say 2 things with absolute confidence: 1. I didn't stop smiling through the ENTIRE pitch. Ear to ear. 2. Everyone can rest easy. And get very excited. Trust me when I say that they REALLY know what they're doing over there. This one is gonna special, and it doesn't step on a single thing. I can't even put my excitement into words. I smile every time I think about it."

Lightyear launches into theaters June 17.

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