Pixar’s experimental SparkShorts program has brought us some seriously lovely animated shorts. These showcase ideas obviously dear to their creators’ hearts, with stories featuring a non-verbal autistic character in Loop, dealing with workplace sexism in Purl and the adorable Academy Award-nominated Kitbull. But its latest is proving more contentious.
Out, which was released on Disney+ on May 22nd is about a gay man struggling to come out to his parents. The twist is that as his parents arrive, he swaps bodies with his dog Jim and must prevent them from discovering the truth. It won critical adulation for its nicely-observed and realistic story (well, realistic except for the body-swapping), but not everyone is happy about it. A petition was launched by Tradition Family Property Student Action and claims that:
“The days of Pinocchio are gone. Now Disney wants children to accept homosexuality. Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of Disney, released an animated short film called OUT. The production promotes homosexual behavior and threatens the innocence of our children. Shame on Disney! Shame on Pixar!”
And also that:
“God and the sacred and natural institution of marriage and family must be respected, not mocked. Therefore, I urge you to remove OUT from your platform, end the promotion of homosexual ideology in your films, and cease attacking the innocence of our children.”
First up, it’s a bit rich for Christians to start preaching about attacking children’s innocence given what we generally read in the news about what pastors and priests get up to behind closed doors. I mean, c’mon guys, you ever heard the expression about throwing stones in glass houses?
But I have to admit they’re right about something. Disney does actually want children to accept homosexuality – which is a good thing. Newly appointed Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said that he wants the Mouse House to “reflect in our creative content the diversity that we find in our fanbase and our audience.”
The fruits of this philosophy have so far been questionable, but hey, at least their hearts are in the right place. Even if Disney‘s hearts aren’t in the right place and they’ve simply concluded its more profitable to support LGBTQ causes than oppose them, that’s still a positive.
It’s win/win for everyone! Well, except for homophobes, I guess.