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Pixar introduces first-ever LGBTQ protagonist in new short film 'Out'
It's almost June, and Pride Month is right around the corner. SYFY's about to go all out, so it makes sense that the LGTBQ+ love was going to spread to all corners of the genre world. Pixar has always been light on representation, with the most recent LQBTQ character in the animation giant's roster being Onward's tertiary lesbian cyclops cop, but now Pixar has broken ground with a touching new short film featuring a first for the company: a gay protagonist.
The star of "Out," a new nine-minute Pixar short that debuted on Disney+, is Greg. He's got a boyfriend, Manuel. Their relationship is the key to the plot, because Greg hasn't yet come out to his visiting parents. The tale, which also includes a body-swap plotline with Greg's dog, is all about finding the courage to be yourself — a touching, natural fit for a Pixar film. Fans can get a glimpse of it in the trailer below.
Take a look:
Written and directed by longtime Pixar animator Steven Clay Hunter in his directorial debut, "Out" is pleasantly straightforward about Greg (loosely based on Hunter, according to AP News). It's not a mere implication or afterthought added in by the cast during post-premiere interviews. It's the text. "Just look them in the eyes and say, 'Mom, Dad, I'm — this is my boyfriend, Manuel,'" Greg says in the short, holding a picture of the couple. Then there's a kiss.
GLAAD's director of entertainment media, Jeremy Blacklow, called the short "a huge step forward for The Walt Disney Company in establishing itself as a welcoming home for stories about all loving couples and families," while others around the world have felt the love:
And the person feeling it the most is, perhaps, Hunter himself. “The first time I drew Greg and Manuel holding each other in the bedroom, I was bawling my face off,” Hunter told the AP. “All this emotion came welling up because I realized I had been in animation for decades and I had never drawn that in my career. It just hit me.”
“The relationship of Manuel and Greg is something I went through,” the filmmaker explained. “I wasn’t out to my family, and I was in a relationship but they didn’t know about him. It took a toll on our relationship, and we ended up breaking up because of that. And that breakup led to me coming out to my family, over the phone in a conference room at Pixar.”
Now, thanks to the Pixar SparkShorts program (through which Hunter also worked on "Purl"), the story has come full circle. The short was greenlit, then completed last December. Fans can watch "Out" on Disney+ now.