LGBT controversy: before Buzz Lightyear, another Pixar film made a queer character invisible…

While a gay kiss was reinstated in Buzz Lightyear, after being cut, a queer character did not have a place in Luca’s final script, available on Disney+.

The issue of the portrayal of LGBTQIA+ characters in Pixar films is front and center as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill is currently being considered by the State of Florida.

Studio employees have openly criticized the lack of response from Disney, whose studios are in Florida, to the proposed bill to ban discussion of sexual orientation and gender identities in schools, and have staged protest marches ever since.

Buzz Lightyear: after the controversy, Disney restores a gay kiss in the Pixar film

The reactions at Disney were late and the representatives ended up affirming their support for the LGBTQIA+ community and their desire to show queer stories and romances in their films and series, in particular via a tweet. This response to the controversy also went through the reinstatement of a kiss between two women in the next Buzz Lightyear film, which was initially cut during editing.

A queer character in Luca?

The action of Pixar employees therefore made it possible to move the lines and soon offer the public the first kiss between two people of the same sex in a Pixar animated film. A chance that other feature films have not had since we learn in varietyvia two unnamed sources working at Pixar, that the movie Luca, available on Disney+, should have an openly LGBT character.

And it’s not about Luca or Alberto, the two heroes whose friendship has often been questioned and sometimes thought of as “a pre-romance”. The relationship between these two sea creatures, the questions of difference, of accepting the other, of hiding one’s true identity and of fleeing the family cocoon to be who one really is had found great resonance within the LGBTQIA+ community.

The director Enrico Casarosa had also explained to The Wrap that discussions had taken place on the sexuality of the two main characters but he had preferred to focus on a relationship of friendship and pre-romance:

“We’ve talked about it and I think the reason we haven’t made it a topic, – and to some extent we’re slightly surprised by how many people are talking about romance – is that we really wanted to focus on friendship and therefore pre-romance.

But it’s a kind of love, isn’t it? We present a fairly physical relationship that involves hugs and my experience as a straight man was far from that. The things we’ve talked about a lot is the metaphor of difference through sea monsters.

And some people get mad that I don’t say yes or no [quant à la relation amoureuse ou non entre Luca et Alberto]but I still feel like the film is about being open to all differences.”

Lgbt controversy: before buzz lightyear, another pixar film made a queer character invisible...
Disney/Pixar

The character in question who had to be queer was therefore their friend Giulia, the intrepid young Italian girl who comes to the aid of Luca and Alberto. And the reason that didn’t happen in the final version of Luca was because the film crew didn’t know how to bring up his sexuality without including a romantic relationship.

And it seems that this question is a recurring one at Pixar: “We often ran into the question, ‘How can we do this without giving them a love interest?'”

We don’t know if there were other reasons that prevented Giulia from being queer in Luca, but Pixar employees had recalled in their statement that they had difficulty integrating LGBTQIA+ characters into the films:

“At Pixar, we have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, shattered […] following Disney reviews. Almost every moment of openly gay affection is cut by Disney, even when Pixar’s creative and production teams object. […] Even though creating LGBTQIA+ content is the answer to discriminatory legislation, we are prohibited from creating it.”

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