Pixar’s newest animated movie, Elemental, is the production company’s first-ever film to feature a non-binary character.
Now, Pixar are without a doubt one of the forerunners in the world of children’s movies. From Toy Story and Inside Out, to Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo, Pixar has made some of the most iconic movies of the last century.
However, that doesn’t mean that the company is without its faults. In recent years, Pixar has come under fire for a lack of representation when it comes to LGBTQ+ characters, as well as those from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
But it seems the company’s latest movie has made a huge move in terms of progress for non-binary people, as their latest flick, Elemental, features their first ever character to use they/them pronouns.
The movie’s synopsis reads: “The film journeys alongside an unlikely pair, Ember and Wade, in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. The fiery young woman and the go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common.”
It is Wade’s younger sibling, Lake Ripple, who goes by they/them pronouns, and is voiced by non-binary actor Ava Hauser.
Hauser took to their socials to share their excitement at Disney’s move.
“BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I got to play Pixar’s first nonbinary character! Meet Lake,” they wrote on Twitter. “I voice Lake in the new movie #Elemental! I’m seeing it in theaters tonight with my friends, so you can catch it in theaters too if you wanna see them.”
Fans have taken to social media to react to Disney and Pixar’s progressive move.
“I speak for everyone when I say that this is a massive W for everybody. Checkmate, conservatives. Respect those who use they/them pronouns,” one person wrote.
Another commented: “It’s the subtlety of how Lake is introduced to Ember that makes my heart sing. We don’t need to treat LGBTQ+ characters any differently from straight characters. Pixar knows true allyship.”
However, others have found issue with the claim that this is Disney and Pixar’s first ever non-binary character, and pointed out multiple examples from past films.
One person asked, in reference to the character from A Bug’s Life: “So we just gonna pretend like Francis never existed?”
“I think we’re forgetting about them,” a second wrote alongside a photo of some of the toys from Sid’s room in Toy Story.