The new short film, available now on Disney+, features Pixar’s first gay main character
Diversity and inclusion are critical in all forms, and none more so in entertainment geared towards children. Kids want to know they are represented and understood. They want to see themselves in cartoons, toys, movies, and clothing — and now, with the help of a new Pixar short, kids struggling to come out to their parents may see themselves, too.
Out, the latest Pixar short released through Disney+’s SparkShorts series, was released this week. It tells the story of Greg, who is moving in with his boyfriend, Manuel; but Greg has been keeping his sexuality from his parents, who show up at his door —casserole in hand — ready to help him move out of his old house.
Greg quickly hides a picture of he and Manual together, trying to hide all evidence of his relationship. Enter a pair of fairy god-pets who pull up on a rainbow to help Greg talk to his parents by swapping bodies with his dog, Jim. Soon, though, Greg learns he may have nothing to hide after all.
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While not every coming out story ends happily with acceptance and understanding, movies like Out show the bravery it takes for people to open up to family and friends and live the life they deserve regardless of what other’s responses may be.
Before Greg swaps bodies with Jim, he asks himself, “What is wrong with me?” then answers his own question after his mom sees him acting like a dog, saying, “Nothing.” The trailer ends with a tense moment when Greg’s mom finds the framed and it shows the stress Jim (Greg) feels in the moment.
This is Pixar’s first attempt at featuring an openly gay character in a central role, though there have been hints in other movies about homosexuality in Zootopia and Brave. Directed and written by Steven Clay Hunter, the short is “based on a true story,” according to an opening title card.
Pixar’s Onward, which was released on Disney+ in March, became the first feature film to include an LGBTQ role via cyclops cop Officer Spector (voiced by Lena Waithe), who mentions her girlfriend.
While same-sex couples haven’t been prominent in Disney movies, the release of Onward and now Out shows a marked step in inclusion and a view into what may be to come.
Out is available to download now and is a must-watch for all families who want to teach inclusion to their kids.