Disney’s latest movie Onward comes with a big surprise that many of us didn’t see coming.
Onward, starring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, follows two brothers on an epic journey in a world that’s both fantastical and modern. The two elven brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot, Holland and Pratt respectively, receive a wizard’s staff in a world where magic was thought to be lost. The staff was a gift from the boys’ father who died before Ian’s birth. Along with the item comes a single spell to bring their father back to life for 24 hours. Unfortunately, things go wrong and only his legs return. The boys then go on a quest to retrieve the rest.
During this adventure, the two come across Officer Spector, a cyclops cop voiced by openly lesbian producer, screenwriter, and Emmy-award winning actor Lena Waithe. Even better, the character is openly gay as well. In the film, Officer Spector mentions that she’s in a relationship with a woman after pulling over a driver. Specifically, she says, “My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out.”
Talking to Yahoo, film producer Kori Rae said, “It just kind of happened. The scene, when we wrote it, was kind of fitting and it opens up the world a little bit, and that’s what we wanted.”
Director Dan Scanlon then added, “It’s a modern fantasy world and we want to represent the modern world.”
Unfortunately, the only mention of the character’s sexuality or relationship in the movie, but early reports say that the moment still comes across as meaningful. Plus, this creates history as the character is one of the first openly gay characters in a Disney movie. Disney has had a few goes now in trying to have an openly gay character. For instance, there was the therapy group extra in Avengers: Endgame or LeFou in Beauty and the Beast. But even then, many fans still don’t count those inclusions as good enough.
But is Onward different? Is Officer Spector’s one line enough to excite LGBTQ fans and fans of LGBTQ media? Will viewers celebrate this moment for days, months, and years to come? We’ll have to find out when the movie hits theaters on March 6th.