“To infinity and beyond” goes beyond Buzz Lightyear. It even goes beyond “Toy Story”. The phrase practically jumped off the screen and became an unofficial motto for Pixar. “Lightyear” would obviously make use of it – but the writers found a nice way to subvert expectations.
Throughout the film, Buzz doesn’t say the entire line by himself. Rather, it becomes part of a call-and-response ritual between teammates. Buzz or Hawthorne says half the line and sticks out a finger, and the other person completes the sentence with “…and beyond.” Then they touch fingers and metaphorically connect the two halves of the catchphrase.
When Buzz teams up with Hawthorne’s granddaughter Izzy, he tries to perform the same ritual on her, but the gesture doesn’t go through. It is not until the end of the film that Izzy and Buzz complete the line together. That’s right, Pixar found a new way to give us goosebumps with a line that’s now old enough to drink.
We don’t cry – you cry!