American computer animation giant Pixar has released a short film "Out," its first-ever short film to feature a gay main character.
"Out," the nine-minute film released on Disney Plus on Friday, follows a man named Greg, who struggles to come out to his parents as he gets ready to move to the city with his boyfriend, Manuel. Greg's inner turmoil rises as his parents have paid a surprise visit to help him pack for his move.
Through some magical mishaps, Greg accidentally switches bodies with his excitable dog Jim and attempts to hide a picture of him and Manuel from his mom and dad. He soon realizes he shouldn't hide who he truly is from his parents.
Spark Shorts aims to "discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows," in the words of Pixar president Jim Morris. "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."
Technically, this isn't the first gay character in a Pixar film, although it is certainly the first gay main character. The "Toy Story" franchise and this year's "Onward", have featured minor gay characters, but this is the first time a same-sex couple has been at the center of the story.
It was written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter, who's worked on many Pixar films, including "Toy Story 4" and "Finding Dory," as part of Pixar's Spark Shorts series, which is designed to discover new storytellers and experiment with different techniques.
Despite having mostly failed in LGBTQ representation since 2012, as per LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, Walt Disney Studios (Pixar's parent company) is slowly featuring LGBT characters gradually in recent films.
A study released last year by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that only 18.4% of mainstream films released in 2018 included LGBTQ characters. None of Disney's releases that year had an LGBTQ character, according to GLAAD.
Some people raised concerns that this content is not appropriate for children. You can view people's reactions to this new film on Twitter with the hashtag #Picaro.