The newest short film in Pixar Animation Studios' SparkShorts series, Out, began streaming on Disney+ on Friday. The 9-minute movie centers on a gay man named Greg, who is excited to move in with his boyfriend, Manuel. There's just one problem: Greg hasn't come out to his parents yet. When they show up unexpectedly on his doorstep on moving day, Greg (with the help of his dog) rushes to hide who he really is at first... but then a magical twist of fate turns everything upside down.
Out is the first Pixar movie to include a main character who is explicitly gay, and whose identity is key to the story. While plenty of characters in Disney and Pixar films have been interpreted to be coded as queer, most notably Elsa in the Frozen movies, actual visible LGBTQ+ representation has been incredibly thin on the ground. Which means Out has, unsurprisingly, received praise for its inclusive storytelling.
Wait, a LGBTQ person in a Disney property, who's a main character?! And not a background/supporting character who could be edited out or rewritten?
— Justin Thomas (@WolfmanJustin) May 21, 2020
Please watch Out on Disney Plus. It’s the new Pixar Sparks Short and is genuinely funny, moving, and so huge. A gay man struggles to come out to his parents and it’s done beautifully. Support this ❤️🌈 pic.twitter.com/tJr6h49T4V
— bri🌈⚔️ (@bricatloafs) May 22, 2020
Specific elements that have been singled out include its depiction of a loving, healthy relationship between two men (something which is hardly ever seen in children's media), and in its heightened portrayal of the experience of being in the closet.
"Out," the new Pixar SparkShort, is a fantastical glimpse into how wrong it feels keeping your true self bottled up inside. Highly recommend checking it out on Disney Plus! pic.twitter.com/J0aJV80qQb
— Brian Koch (@Thisisntflying) May 22, 2020
Pixar's next SparkShort, Out, has already really connected with me as this short is about a man trying to figure out how to come out to his parents that he's gay. It always makes me happy to see LGBT getting represented in animation! The short premieres tomorrow on Disney+. pic.twitter.com/lXfjOf0y9V
— Animated Antic (@Animated_Antic) May 21, 2020
Written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter, who worked as an animator on Pixar faves such as Wall-E, The Incredibles and the Toy Story movies, Out has been described by its creator as "inspired by a true story." Judging from the way the short seems to have spoken to so many viewers on a personal level (and ignoring the regressive a-holes who lose it at the idea of non-straight people existing), it's not unreasonable to suggest that Hunter's directorial debut is a hit.
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