Pixar short ‘Out’ features the studio’s first gay lead character
David Williams, CNN
(CNN) — Pixar’s new short film “Out” is reminiscent of classic Disney body-swap comedies like “Freaky Friday” and the “Shaggy Dog” movies, but it’s also a first for the studio, because its main character is gay.
The story revolves around a young man named Greg, who’s afraid to tell his parents that he’s gay and is worried that they will see a picture of him and his boyfriend when they come help him move.
Thanks to some magic from a rainbow-riding purple sparkly cat and a pink dog, Greg switches bodies with his dog right in the middle of his parent’s visit.
There are wacky hijinks, as you’d expect, but the story focuses on the pain that Greg and his mother are experiencing.
Pixar is owned by Disney and the short, which is just under 10 minutes, debuted on Friday on the Disney+ streaming service.
It was written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter, who’s worked on many Pixar films, including “Toy Story 4” and “Finding Dory,” as part of Pixar’s SparkShorts series, which is designed to discover new storytellers and experiment with different techniques.
People shared their reactions on Twitter with the hashtag #PixarOut. Many said they cried watching it and wished that it had been around when they were growing up. A few people posted that they thought it wasn’t an appropriate message for children.
A study released last year by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that only 18.4% of mainstream films released in 2018 included LGBTQ characters. None of Disney’s releases that year had an LGBTQ character, according to GLAAD.
Disney has included LGBTQ couples in some of its blockbusters — Gaston’s sidekick LeFou was portrayed as gay in the live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” and there was a brief kiss between two female rebel fighters in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
Pixar’s feature film “Onward,” which was released earlier this year, also included a cyclops, unicorn police officer, who talks about her girlfriend.
A character also came out as gay on the Disney Channel series “Andi Mack,” which ran for three seasons before wrapping up last year.