Everything You Need To Know About Sox, The Robot Cat From Lightyear

If you're anything like me, your nostalgia won't let you not be excited about the upcoming Pixar film "Lightyear" — but one of the things I'm most looking forward to about the film is a newer element to Buzz's story as we know it: his extremely cute robot cat, Sox.

Director Angus MacLane opened up about the sweet orange sidekick during a recent virtual presentation for the film. He explained about giving Buzz an adorable accomplice:

"I couldn't leave without talking about the cute thing. Now, what is the cute thing? Well, you know what the cute thing is, it's the protagonist's little sidekick, it's the character that makes you go, 'Aw.' The cute thing has been around since the beginning of cinema throughout film history. The cute thing has shown up in all kinds of movies from action films to animation to superhero movies, to comedies, to still be in sci-fi, even horror films. And for 'Lightyear,' the cute thing is Sox. He's, as you saw, Buzz's robotic companion animal designed to be a constant during Buzz's journey through time. So where did Sox come from? Well, I should tell you I'm a cat person, but the idea really came from my love of limited animation."

MacLane went on to reveal that working with "limited characters" was a passion of his, and that he'd animated a lot of the more physically stagnated characters in the "Toy Story" universe like Wally and Can from the third film. 

He added:

"It's these movement limitations that provide much of the charm and comedy of these characters. And I wanted to have a character like that for 'Lightyear.' So for Sox, I wanted a robot character that had the limitations and charm of simple animatronic puppets. ... Now, never for one minute would you confuse Sox with an actual cat, his limited motion would prevent that. Sox is the true contrast to the other elements of the film, both in design and in motion, making him stick out in a good way. And although he has limited movements, Sox is by no means helpless, as you saw."

A worthy companion for Buzz Lightyear himself

Not only is Sox totally adorable — which is the main thing I'm looking for in a tiny non-human sidekick, let's be real — he's a fully-functional companion who can help his owner out of a sticky situation. The fact that he's a cat is just icing on the cake.

"He's got a welding laser, he's got long-range scanners, hollow projectors, short-range sensors, he's got a name tag, he's got an empathy chip, quadruped locomotion, magnet feet, self-writing mechanism, a data port in the tail, the ability to talk, he's got a ton of features. This isn't even half of them. There's a bunch I can't tell you about, but we can tell you is that he's a scene stealer."

The exciting new sidekick is voiced by Pixar favorite Peter Sohn, who is known as the voice of Emile from "Ratatouille" and Squishy from "Monster University," as well as being the director of "The Good Dinosaur." According to MacLane during the press conference, "Pete's natural warmth, charm, and humor made him the first and best choice" to play Sox.

"Lightyear" premieres in theatres on June 17, 2022.