Pixar Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Offs Like Lightyear

"Lightyear" is officially out in theaters, giving space ranger Buzz Lightyear a $200 million moment in the spotlight. Earning comparisons to "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and other triumphant journeys into space, "Lightyear" is a sci-fi epic that shoots for the stars, using the "Toy Story" franchise as a jumping-off point to tell an entirely new story. In case you missed out on all the memes, allow me to clarify: the movie isn't about Buzz Lightyear the toy, it's the origin story of the human that the toy is based. All of which are fictional. It's weird, vaguely confusing, and oddly enough, it works. It sort of feels like Pixar wanted to make a space adventure but with the safety net of a familiar face, some established IP, and Captain America's voice. So if that's the game, then we here at /Film are certainly ready to play ball.

After 26 feature films, Pixar has created many different worlds for us to choose from and even more standout characters to shove into the spotlight. What follows is a list of opportunities for Pixar to let some of its lesser-acknowledged stars shine. Here are seven movies that the studio could make under the guise of a spinoff, while secretly testing some creative boundaries.

Frozone (The Incredibles)

As far as spinoff potential goes, "The Incredibles" must be high on the Pixar list. Well, minus the part where director Brad Bird isn't interested. But other than that, the two films came packed with so much lore and intriguing characters that there are endless options for expansion. Maybe it's all just a side-effect of our superhero-obsessed reality, but I struggle to think of a character from these movies who I wouldn't jump at the chance to spend more time with. That said, there's one man in particular who should've had a solo movie in the works ages ago.

As we all know, Lucius Best (aka Frozone, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) hasn't been given the screen time he deserves. There's certainly something to be said about a guy who can skate into a scene and be so awesome that he immediately becomes one of the movie's most quoted characters ("Where's my super suit?!"), but why not just give us 100 more minutes of him? Frozone's solo outing would be a chance to dig into the world's superhero golden age and actually spend some time in the transition period that the first movie breezes through.

The Pitch: This is the story of how Lucius tries to leave his superhero past behind, by tying up a few loose ends. It would be Pixar's take on a moody crime thriller with a stylish, noir aesthetic. We'd see Lucius go from the highs of the superhero glory days to being forced underground with the "super" crackdown. But before settling into anonymity, he'll have a few supervillains to take down. And who might have a thing or two to say about that? His wife, of course. Honey's days of being an offscreen voice could finally be over! Naturally, she would be a major onscreen presence in the movie, and we'd learn why she's so resistant to Lucius donning the supersuit in "The Incredibles." Obviously, Jackson would reprise his role as Lucius. As for Honey? Taraji P. Henson has extensive experience when it comes to reigning in husbands named Lucius, so she's obviously up to the task. 

4*Town (Turning Red)

4*Town takes inspiration from real-life boybands who've inspired similarly ravenous fanbases, including One Direction, BTS, the Jonas Brothers, *NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and more. Y'know what each of those bands also has in common? Concert films! No boyband can exist without the obvious yet ingenious cash grab of a behind-the-scenes doc that compiles their greatest live performances while letting fans see the antics they get up to while embarking on a world tour. So why would 4*Town be exempt? They simply can't be. In the world of "Turning Red," there is absolutely a concert film that Mei and her friends camp out at a midnight premiere to attend. It's our god-given right to experience said film with our own eyes and ears, please.

The best part? There's already lots of extensive band lore to build off! And with the band getting its own manga series, it's clear that there are already some story ideas in the ether. 

The Pitch: Shot in a documentary style, the movie can overlap with the events of "Turning Red." Let's see what great footage the band videographers got of the giant monster transformation and Kaiju battle. Then, a la "Popstar: Never Stop Stopping," this could become a great opportunity for poking fun at boyband/celebrity culture. Dangling in the air while a giant red panda attacked definitely changed them and after using their music to defeat a kaiju, I bet those sweet singing boys think they can solve all the world's problems with their voices. Let's see them try! And interspersed with all the found footage and interviews would of course be the onstage performances featuring Robaire (Jordan Fisher), Jesse (Finneas O'Connell), Aaron T. (Topher Ngo), Aaron Z. (Josh Levi), and Tae Young (Grayson Villanueva).

Is this all just an elaborate scheme to get FINNEAS and Billie Eilish to write a full-length 4*Town album? Absolutely. But if Pixar can bring life to the space epic that inspired young Andy's love for Buzz Lightyear, then they can totally make a mockumentary-style exploration of 4*Town. Let us meet Tae Young's doves, you cowards!

The Witch (Brave)

The unnamed witch from "Brave" caught Merida's attention when the Scottish princess came to the false conclusion that magic would solve all her problems. Four accidental bear transformations and a very traumatic experience later, Merdia learned an important lesson and managed to repair her relationship with her mother. Things went horribly wrong before they went right, but in the end, everything worked out. All the while, the Witch was nowhere to be found and Merida had to solve the problem on her own. So... let's do more of that, please. 

The Pitch: If Bruce Coville's "Magic Shop" books played any role in your childhood, them you'll understand this vibe very well: There's a mysterious magic supplier who appears and disappears from various locales — be it the Scottish countryside, a present-day bustling city, or a small island community — introducing strangers to the wonders of magical problem-solving. We know for a fact that Merida isn't the Witch's first unhappy customer; the whole reason she doesn't want to help is that she's already received so many complaints. Her solo movie would delve into the past, almost like an anthology, focusing in on different customers as they make their strange requests, purchase mysterious items and attempt to solve their personal troubles with magic. At the same time, we can get the lowdown on The Witch and finally see more of her woodcarving side gig.

The witch's tale would be a real mishmash — smoky and atmospheric when we're in her cottage, but bringing the whimsical vibe of magic delights to whichever locations she arrives in. For this one, Pixar can poach — ahem, borrow — Andy Coyle from Netflix's "Hilda" to direct. Julie Walters will return as the older version of The Witch, sharing the role with a beloved British actress guaranteed to get some butts in seats: Daisy Ridley. For the sake of maxing out the wholesome vibes, the various unsatisfied customers will be voiced by Ariana DeBose, Manny Jacinto, Laura Dern and Lupita Nyong'o.

Duke Caboom (Toy Story 4)

Keanu Reeves Evel Knievel movie, when? Not to steal Chris Evans' great Buzz Lightyear bit, but this movie won't be about Duke Kaboom the toy, it'll be about the real (fictional) person that the toy is based on! Yes, Keanu Reeves IS Duke Kaboom, the man, the myth, the legend, the Canadian daredevil with a penchant for posing and dangerous stunts. Is Canada's greatest stuntman half the legend that his plastic version thought he was? Probably not! But there's definitely a reason he got a plastic recreation, and it's time for us to learn it. This could certainly be another movie-within-a-movie, or maybe Duke Kaboom is a real (but still fictional) figure in the "Toy Story" world, which would make this cinematic universe a million times more confusing. As it should be. The important thing is we'd get roughly 100 more minutes of Keanu Reeves being Duke.

The Pitch: Duke Caboom is on a mission to make himself a legend. Once upon a time, he was a young stunt prodigy, but with his 15 minutes of fame in the past, Duke is desperate to build a better future. But first, not only does he need to impress the world, he desperately needs to bolster his reputation amongst his fellow daredevils — none of which take him seriously. So in the lead-up to some epic stunt showcase, Duke goes on his underdog journey which includes an intense training arc and a wise, older mentor figure, some kind of an eccentric, retired daredevil. The grand finale is an incredible stunt that cements his fame. It's a hilarious, action-packed adventure for the whole family that's secretly about the passage of time and the anxiety of finding your place as you get older. So who better to helm the movie than "Cars 3" director Brian Fee?

As for the rival daredevils? Karl Urban stars as Duke's gruffest, meanest rival, Andrew Garfield as his more stylish, effortlessly cool foil, and Janelle Monae as an absolute badass who leaves everyone else in her dust. And you know what, what the hell, why not have Tom Cruise get animated as the former stuntman who takes Duke under his wing.

Concetta and Pinuccia Aragos (Luca)

At the end of "Luca," the grumpy old ladies Concetta and Pinuccia Aragosta are revealed to also be two seas monsters in disguise, whose apparent unhappiness might be a result of their efforts to blend in above land. In reality, they're loosely based on two landlady sisters that "Luca" writer Jesse Andrews once rented a room from, but this is fiction, and those of us who see the allegorical resonance behind the movie assumed them to be a couple. So a couple they shall be!

The Pitch: How did Concetta and Pinuccia come to leave their underwater home for Portorosso? Let's go all "Romeo and Juliet" on this sun-kissed Italian Riviera, with two sea monster families who don't want their daughters to stray too far from home. But Concetta and Pinuccia's friendship and eventual love pushes them to find a way to be together, even if it's away from the sea. I nominate Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson to star as young Concetta and Pinuccia, wrestling with their respective family obligations and their desire to run away. The movie would also throw us further into the past — "Luca" was already set in the 1950's, so this tale would toss us into the 1900's or earlier, showing us a new version of Portorosso soaked in similar layers of emotional depth as a new duo come-of-age. McKenna Harris was story lead on "Luca" and returned us to the world with "Ciao, Alberto," so naturally, they're the perfect person to direct the spin-off.

Randall Boggs (Monsters Inc.)

Randall Boggs, chameleon or eldritch abomination? Only time will tell. When we first met Randall, he was very clearly an antagonist who was jealous of Sulley's scare-record in "Monsters Inc." Randall went dangerously far to come out on top and instead ended up banished from the monster realm. In the prequel, "Monsters University," we learned that the monster who tried to use something called a scream extractor on a tiny little girl was once a timid, freckle-faced teenager. After years of bullying and being ignored, Randall went down a dark path. But does that mean he's beyond saving?

The Pitch: In the spirit of "Clifford The Big Red Dog" and  "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile" comes another movie where a child defies all logic and befriends an objectively terrifying creature that clearly doesn't belong in their world. Except this time, there's a dark twist. Now that Randall has been tossed into the human world, he'll have to make a new life for himself. This probably won't come easy to him, given all that bitterness he's been holding onto. But before it can consume him, he crosses paths with a freckle-faced kid who reminds him of himself and slowly helps him change. Keyword: slowly. Because while it's very in the spirit of Pixar for Randall to become a better person (err, monster), I also really enjoy how scary he can be. So let's get a little bit of both. 

Think "Chucky," but it's kid-friendly and with a lot less blood. Boy meets monster, uses the monster to terrify his bullies, and then, instead of facing off against monster in a terrifying fight to the death, realizes that friendship is more powerful than fear and they can defeat their demons together. Yay! Because I make the rules, Randall and his new child-friend — whose name is, I dunno, Andrew? — will be voiced by (a G-rated) Brad Dourif and some random child actor like, for example, Zackary Arthur.

Edna Mode (The Incredibles)

Last but certainly not least, there is no better example of a breakout character than Edna Mode. The MVP of the whole "Incredibles" series, the eccentric fashion guru not only steals the show with her sass and brutal honesty, but she continuously saves the day by giving Parr family their signature super suits, along with sage advice that they desperately need to hear. Plus, she's proven herself to be the world's best babysitter, and what more could a family with three children ask for? But enough of all that side character nonsense — Edna only gets to shine for a fraction of the two "Incredibles" movies, when anyone with eyes can see that she deserves to be a leading lady.

The Pitch: Honestly, the plot possibilities are endless: we could go the "Cruella" route and get the Edna origin story, or we could simply remain in the movies' present timeline and catchup with Edna's latest adventures. No matter where in Edna's life we start, there's certainly a story to be told. A woman of her talents (and with her connections) has surely become a target for supervillain attacks — which would certainly explain her fortress-like home. Plus, she has ridiculously valuable tech, the mind of a mastermind and a database of heroes' secret identities, powers and weaknesses. So what happens when supervillain makes her a target? I'm guessing they get wrecked pretty badly. 

So here's what I propose: a flashback to the life and times of Edna Mode in the Golden Age of superheroes. Skip the basics of the origin story — or maybe do a "Birds of Prey"-like doodle to get us through the basics — but jump right into her successful days of taking on new clients and fending off villains. The movie should be as snappy and eccentric as she is, chaotically colorful and occasionally interrupted by explosions. Brad Bird should return as both the voice of Edna and the director, but the side characters are where we'll have some fun. Toss in a scorned hero who goes full villain on her (voiced by Olivia Colman), a new assistant who's still finding her footing in the superhero fashion world (Zendaya), and a rival supersuit designer who regularly engages Edna in passive aggressive insult battles (Aubrey Plaza). You're welcome.