“These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare,” he said.

Out introduces viewers to Greg as he gets ready to move to an unnamed city with Manuel.

“On an average day, Greg’s life is filled with family, love and a rambunctious little dog — but despite all of this, Greg has a secret,” reads the film’s description.

Greg and his dog Jim.

Greg and his dog Jim.Credit:Disney/Pixar

The secret? Greg is not out to his parents.

When his parents surprise him on moving day, he gets some help from his dog, Jim. In a magical turn of events worthy of The Shaggy Dog (1959), Greg and Jim temporarily switch bodies. In doing so, Greg learns the importance of being true to himself.

GLAAD, the LGBT advocacy organisation, applauded the film’s gay narrative.

“Over the past few years, LGBTQ characters and stories have become common in the kids and family entertainment space with little controversy, but with large celebration from LGBTQ families with children who have longed to see themselves represented,” Jeremy Blacklow, director of entertainment media at GLAAD, said Sunday. “By centring on a young gay man, Out just raised the bar for inclusion in kids and family programming.”

Kimberly A. Taylor, an associate professor of marketing and logistics at Florida International University in Miami, said Disney and Pixar recognise that “representation matters” on the big and small screens.

“To see oneself, one’s community, onscreen helps one to feel valued and validated and gives an expanded sense of what’s possible,” she said Sunday. “And on Disney-Pixar’s part, it’s also just good business. They obviously recognise that their audience, or potential audience, includes the LGBTQ community, just as it includes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions and so on.”

Donald Glover said his Star Wars' character Lando Calrissian was pansexual.

Donald Glover said his Star Wars’ character Lando Calrissian was pansexual.Credit:Jonathan Olley

Disney and Pixar have made strides in diversity and inclusiveness in some of their biggest franchises over the years.

In March, actor Lena Waithe voiced Officer Spector, a secondary character who is referenced as a lesbian, in the animated film Onward. As a result, the movie was banned in some Middle Eastern countries.

In last year’s Toy Story 4, viewers saw two mothers dropping off and picking up their daughter from a day care centre in the background.

Donald Glover, who played Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise movie Solo, said in an interview with HuffPost that his resistance leader character was pansexual, although that did not figure into the plot. In the 2019 Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame, a gay character made a brief appearance.

And in the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick played by Josh Gad, was presented as gay.

In December, a brief kiss between two female characters was removed from screenings of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in Singapore. Disney removed the kiss to preserve the film’s PG-13 rating in that country, according to reports.

The New York Times

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