Finding Dory features a lesbian couple as Pixar goes into sequel mode with four of its next five projects continuing with existing series rather than beginning with new ones. But some fans say “not so fast” because it might just be a marketing campaign by Disney.
The movie, to be released next month, may also be the most anticipated: “Finding Nemo” has been among the studio’s most beloved projects since it was first released in 2003, Gulf News reported. Its newest trailer suggests that it may also be the most progressive, with one scene hinting at the first lesbian couple in Disney/Pixar history.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment just over one minute into the new trailer, a toddler drops her sippy cup after being knocked over by a stroller. One of two women walking in front of the little girl picks up the cup and says, “Poor baby, let me get that for you.”
Observant viewers immediately picked up on the brief scene, which follows on the heels of social-media campaigns to feature more LGBT characters in tentpole movies: #GiveElsaAGirlfriend advocated for the Disney princess to have a female love interest in the next “Frozen” movie, while #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend proponents are hopeful that Cap will finally get over Peggy Carter.
However, not everyone was convinced, with some suggesting that the women could be friends, or that the character that stooped down to pick up the child’s cup was simply a passer-by. Others wondered if the clip was simply a clever piece of marketing, Newsday reported.
While the brief appearance of two possibly lady-loving-ladies - both of whom appear to be one-off characters - might appear to be insignificant for some, some pointed out how their cameo is essentially a paradigm shift. It is one that essentially subverts the traditional trope that any non-heteronormative character can never be overtly labeled as such, and instead only be subtextual coded.
The speculation comes amid growing calls for animated films to include gay and LGBT characters. Disney has been criticized by GLADD for not featuring one gay character in the 11 feature films it released in 2015.
The hit film has been credited with depicting the Disney/Pixar’s first gay relationship, between kiosk-owner Oaken and his husband. Fans have also called on Marvel to #giveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend.
Cinema Blaze said “Finding Dory” is directed by Andrew Stanton and features the voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres in the title role as well as Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Willem Dafoe, Idris Elba and others. Disney will release it on June 17.