Next week sees the release of Pixar’s latest effort, Onward, which follows two elf brothers, Barley and Ian Lightfoot (Chris Pratt and Tom Holland), who attempt to bring their father back to life for one day using a magical staff that he left for them.
It sounds like another great Pixar story that’ll no doubt tug at your heartstrings (see: Up, Inside Out and Coco) while still masquerading as a family movie. You’d think such a film couldn’t possibly be offensive to anyone, right? Sadly, that’s not the case in Russia.
You see, while on their quest, Barley and Ian encounter Specter, a cyclops and police officer, who at one point mentions her girlfriend. What should be an insignificant line of dialogue is actually quite “groundbreaking” because it’s the first openly gay character in an animated effort from the House of Mouse. And though here in the U.S. the film industry has simply been slow to include members of the LGBTQ community in their productions, Russia is going with the tactic of censoring the line of dialogue in the movie entirely.
According to the Russian film database KinoPoisk, some fans have already seen Onward and they say that the pic has been edited so that Specter says “partner” instead of “girlfriend.” Unfortunately, we’re not kidding.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Russia has done this. Just last year, the country edited out the counseling scene early in Avengers: Endgame where a male character talks about going on a date with another man. They also removed five minutes of footage from Rocketman that featured any reference to Elton John’s homosexuality which is, you know, essential to telling Elton John’s story. Even the almighty Star Wars was affected by threat of censorship.
Disney and Pixar have yet to comment on this, perhaps because they already knew it was coming based on the country’s stellar track record when it comes to this stuff. Or maybe they feared it would be banned in that region entirely.
In any case, Onward opens in theaters on March 6th and at that point, you’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about for yourself.