Disney gays, you’re getting another attempt at representation from Disney.
Yesterday, Walt Disney Animation Studios made an announcement at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In the showcase, Disney debuted 10 minutes of footage form their upcoming film Strange World. The movie will be coming out this November, specifically, November 23, 2022.
Strange World will follow a family of explorers called the Clades on a high stakes mission. Jake Gyllenhaal will voice Searcher Clade, a farmer who finds himself thrust into an adventure in a strange world. He will be joined by Dennis Quade as Jaeger Clade, Searchers’ larger-than-life father; Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan Clade, Searcher’s 16-year-old son who longs for adventure away from his father’s farm; Garbrielle Union voicing Meridian Clade, a pilot and natural leader who happens to be Searcher’s wife and Ethan’s mom; and Lucy Liu who’ll voice Callisto Mal, the head of the land of Avalonia.
For LGBTQ fans and fans of LGBTQ media, Strange World will pique your interest because of the Ethan Clade character. During the showcase, Disney reviewed that Ethan will also be dealing with a same-sex crush. As shared by Emmy-winning animation production designer Matthieu Saghezchi, who was present for the showcase, the clip showed Ethan openly flirting with another boy named Daizo.
“Just saw the very first glimpse into #Disney ‘s #StrangeWorld at the #Annecy2022 festival,” Saghezchi tweeted, “It features the first openly gay teen romance in a disney feature!!! #RepresentationMatters.”
He then wrote, “The scene describes the son being very shy in front of his boy crush, and his dad comes in and says ‘so nice to meet you! my son talks about you all the time’ and further embarrasses his son very cute.”
The scene describes the son being very shy in front of his boy crush, and his dad comes in and says “so nice to meet you! my son talks about you all the time” and further embarrasses his son 🙈😂 very cute.
— Matthieu Saghezchi (@MSaghezchi) June 17, 2022
Unfortunately, the Daizo character was not announced with the main voice cast. So, the character and romance will be like icing but not the whole cake.
Another plus to this story, however, is the fact that Jaboukie Young-White will be voicing the queer character. 27-year-old Jaboukie is openly gay himself. He has developed a career of delivering queer representation through his correspondent work on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In addition, White-Young has written and lent his voice to Big Mouth. The comedian has taken his stand-up routine on tours and has voiced in several Disney films like 2018’s Ralph Breaks The Internet.