Review: Pixar’s ‘Out’ beautifully depicts the anxiety and acceptance of LGBTQ+ issues in a lighter manner

Pixar rolled out its new animated film under the SparkShorts programme, Out earlier this week on Disney+Hotstar which is Pixar’s first project with a homosexual protagonist. And I must say, it’s made with a lot of heart and sends out the message in a fun, light-hearted way. Directed by Steven Clay Hunter, Out revolves around Greg (voiced by Kyle McDaniel), who is going to move in with his boyfriend, Manuel (voiced by Caleb Cabrera) and fears to ‘come out’ to his parents about it. But things go topsy-turvy when his parents show up on the moving day. What follows is a hilarious ride as Greg has his body swapped with his dog Jim with some divine intervention. This 10 minute animated short shares a lesson of living authentically though it’s easier said than done. Our gay lead decides to come clean to his parents only after listening to his mom’s confession. The film ends on a positive note and hopefully will make parents realise and understand that it’s ‘normal’ and isn’t a ‘disease’ to be ‘cured’ or ‘rectified’. The animation style has a traditional 2D look with the entire canvas filled works of chalk art and colours inclined to the season of fall. The style is similar to that of Kitbull,yet distinct. The short also brings in the pride colours to the collar connoting it as a LGBT+ symbol. Greg’s dad is silent and withdrawn throughout which might be the reason for the anxiety to come out to his parents. The body swapping has made the tone a lot lighter, and the coming out easier, which would have been a little melodramatic if not treated and executed well. But Pixar surely does know their craft. It hits the right chords and spreads the word it intended to share. Acceptance for LGBTQ+ communities and same sex relationships still have a long way to go. We, as a society have started taking baby steps towards it. In an overtly conservative country like India, we come across different and opposite situations and stories.
Lately, a 21-year-old queer woman from Kerala committed suicide after being taken to multiple de-addiction centres over three months against her will, in an effort to ‘cure her’ of her non-heterosexual orientation. This has drawn attention to the dubious practice of conversion therapy that’s still going on even after the revoking of Section 377. On the other hand a homophobic father shares a heartfelt message of coming to terms with and finally accepting his son the way he is on his son’s wedding day. Films like Out, coming from legendary animation companies like Pixar will definitely have its positive effects on parents as it will make them think and understand that there shouldn’t be any ‘love laws – whom to love, how and how much.’ Let’s keep the pride flying high!