Heading into Memorial Day weekend, Pixar has debuted Out, a new animated short film featuring its first-ever lead LGBTQ storyline.
As part of its SparkShorts animated shorts series, Out follows Greg, a gay man who’s about to move in with his boyfriend Manuel, but who’s not yet out to his parents. When his parents come over to help him out with the move, he at first tries to hide his relationship, thinking his parents won’t be accepting. But after a magical Freaky Friday-like incident sees him trading bodies with his dog Jim (thanks to a helping paw from a sparkly purple cat and a pink fairy dog who descend from the heavens), a comedy of errors ensues before he eventually realizes he had nothing to hide after all!
“Out represents the best of Disney and Pixar’s legacy as a place for heartwarming stories about finding one’s own inner strength in the face of life’s challenges,” said Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Media.
“The release of Out on Disney+ represents a huge step forward for The Walt Disney Company in establishing itself as a welcoming home for stories about all loving couples and families, including LGBTQ ones. GLAAD is thrilled to see Out’s debut today on Disney+ and we’re excited about its power to further LGBTQ acceptance for Disney fans around the world.”
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) May 21, 2020
Pixar’s SparkShorts program highlights passion projects from their story editors and animators, which exist outside of the studio’s big box office blockbusters. Steven Clay Hunter (an animator on Finding Nemo and WALL-E) wrote and directed Out and Max Sachar (who has worked on Coco and Toy Story 3) produced it.
Although Out is the first LGBTQ storylines from Pixar, Greg isn’t Pixar’s first LGBTQ character. In March, Lena Waithe voiced a cyclops cop named Officer Specter in its feature film Onward, marking the first time a Pixar film has had an identifiable LGBTQ character with lines in the script that clearly identify them as part of the LGBTQ community. When Specter and another officer pull over one of the lead adventurers, Specter sympathizes, saying, “My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out.”
In 2019’s Toy Story 4, two moms are seen dropping off – and again later, picking up – their daughter from daycare. The scene was notably protested by One Million Moms. (which is actually just one meddling mom)
If you have a Disney+ subscription, you can watch Out now, here!