After helping save civilization as part of The Avengers (as Captain America), portraying the equally iconic Buzz Lightyear might be intimidating for some actors, but Chris Evans is more than up to the challenge. One battle Evans probably didn’t expect to enter though, was the one between extremists and Disney over the bigoted ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. In the film a kiss between another lead character named Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her wife was cut. Following a response from employees and allies at Pixar (who sent a letter to Walt Disney Company leadership) the kiss was promptly included back into the film
Evans asked by Variety about the very kiss between Alisha and her wife, which was removed and then reinstalled by Disney. Sharing the perspective of both Disney and the majority of the country, Evans feels it is much ado about nothing. He said “I mean, it’s great. As great as it is — and you know, I’ve been asked the question a few times — it’s nice, and it’s wonderful, it makes me happy. It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of “news.” The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is. That representation across the board is how we make films. Look, it’s an honor to be a part of something that is taking those steps, but the goal is to look back on this time and just be shocked that it took us this long to get there”.
In the almost thirty years of filmmaking, Pixar has showcased blink and you might miss them moments of LGBTQ representation in films like 2016’s Finding Dory, 2019’s Toy Story 4 & 2020’s Onward, the first film to feature prominent LGBTQ representation was almost the 2021 Pixar release Luca. While many already strongly suggest/assume that the film about two precocious and mischievous sea monsters (who morph into human boys on land) told a story that was parallel to a coming out story, what many don’t realize is that one of Luca’s beloved supporting characters was almost a fully fleshed out LGBTQ character. There was apparently heavy discussion as to whether Luca & Alberto’s friend Giulia should be gay, with the creative team being unsure as to how do it without giving Giulia her own love interest. “We very often came up against the question of, “How do we do this without giving them a love interest?” one source tells Variety who worked at the studio. “That comes up very often at Pixar.”
Just saw the very first glimpse into #Disney ‘s #StrangeWorld at the #Annecy2022 festival – it features the first openly gay teen romance in a disney feature!!! 🏳️🌈 #RepresentationMatters pic.twitter.com/H1bEjyrSV1
— Matthieu Saghezchi (@MSaghezchi) June 17, 2022
The ongoing progress by Pixar for LGBTQ representation though, looks to be changing. Disney announced this week that in the upcoming film Strange World, it will include Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan Clade as a young member of explorers (including characters voice by Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal) who finds himself with a same-sex crush of his own. The clip was shown at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and showcases Ethan being very shy in front of his crush, which many viewers, both LGBTQ and otherwise, will no doubt be able to relate to. #RepresentationMatters indeed…
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