Pixar And Why LGBTQ Representation Is Important

LIGHTYEAR, slated to open in theaters on June 17, 2022, is a sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans)—the hero who inspired the toy. The film reveals how a young test pilot became the Space Ranger that we all know him to be today. © 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

After being taken out of the film, it is being reported this morning that Pixar is restoring a same-sex kiss to the upcoming Lightyear.

Variety reports that a female character. Hawthorne, is in a relationship with another woman. After last week’s events, a kiss between the two of them is now back in the film. This is not only huge for Pixar but animation in general. Such films are targeting families with younger children. If a film has any LGBTQ representation, you would not notice unless you were paying close attention. It is not uncommon in adult animated comedies but rare for films targeting families. The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of the studio films that is the exception to this long-standing rule. Of course, we do not learn that Katie is LGBTQ until the final moments of the film.

When it comes to on-screen LGBTQ representation, Disney is not ahead of the pack like they should be. You won’t really find the representation in their films, at least not in a major kind of way. In previous years, such LGBTQ representation is more of a throwaway line or a brief scene. All of these lines do not make it beyond censors. If you want to see any kind of representation, you have to turn to the likes of Freeform or FX. To be fair, FX is a former Fox channel. Whether it is film or television, LGBTQ representation should feel natural. LGBTQ representation should not be a gimmick under any circumstance. If a character is LGBTQ, it should be because that’s who they are. It should not be a case of a movie or series making a big deal about it.

Bit is a great example of LGBTQ representation in movies. Nicole Maines plays a woman who gets bit and transforms into a vampire. Even though we know her character is transgender, the film never makes a big deal about it. This is what representation should look like!

The news today about Lightyear, in theory, should not be so surprising. But when it comes to Pixar, they are largely behind the curve. If not for the recent backlash, it is highly likely that the kiss would be left on the cutting room for. I applaud the Pixar employees for fighting back and getting results. Obviously, it should not have come to this but hey, that’s Disney for you!

It is no secret that it took until my early 30s to come out as transgender. Imagine how early my coming out would be if there were better representation. I would certainly not have spent so many years repressing and lying to myself at night. If you would like to know more about my experience, I wrote nearly 3000 words about it in August 2016.

Maybe this is a sign that The Walt Disney Company will start making films without worrying about censorship in other countries.

Disney-Pixar will release Lightyear on June 17, 2022.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.