Skip to main content

Onward brings a lot of firsts for Disney and Pixar. It’s the first non-sequel created by the company in a few years. It’s the first story that takes place in a half-fantasy-half-modern world. It’s also the first Disney and Pixar film with an openly LGBTQ animated character, Officer Spector. Surprisingly, LGBTQ Disney fans aren’t rooting for this character in Pixar’s upcoming animated film. Here’s why.

‘Onward’ features Disney and Pixar’s first openly LGBTQ animated character

Sure, there’s unicorns and dragons in Disney and Pixar’s Onward. There’s a purple cyclops, named Officer Spector, who is voiced by Lena Waithe. The character runs into the protagonists, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, on their quest. Buzzfeed reports that this character then casually comes out with the line, “my girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out.”

This makes Officer Spector Disney and Pixar’s first openly LGBTQ character. Much to the surprise of some Disney and Pixar fans, LGBTQ Twitter users aren’t exactly happy with this representation.

Director Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae of 'Onward' took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019
Director Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae of ‘Onward’ took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019 | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Fans on Twitter responded to Disney’s first openly LGBTQ animated character

While this is a huge milestone for Disney’s animation and a big step towards inclusivity, the response from Disney fans wasn’t exactly positive. Some were concerned because this character only appears for a short period of time, while others commented on the fact that this character is a cop.

“I didn’t intend to become a person with opinions about movies for children but, Onward has this… manticore and yet the canon ‘gay’ character they gave us is a cyclops cop? Come on. You know Disney gays would buy merch of her,” one Twitter user said.

“The cop is a disposable character as an attempt to get woke points. They’ll appear once and reference their girlfriend once, which can easily be edited out for foreign markets like China. I personally do want to see more cool gay characters that aren’t just pawns for woke points,” another Twitter user wrote.

The Twitter user was referencing what recently happened with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. There was a brief kiss shared between two LGBTQ characters. However, because the scene lasts less than five seconds, some movie theaters cut it out.

In Alabama, some theaters refused to show Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, where LeFou became Disney’s first LGBTQ character. Due to the fact that Onward features Disney’s first animated LGBTQ character, some suspect a similar occurrence in some countries and states.

Disney and Pixar featured openly LGBTQ characters in the past

Aside from Beauty and the Beast and The Rise of Skywalker, Disney has slowly, but surely, added LGBTQ characters to their television shows and movies. That includes Seb and Carlos from the Disney+ original, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

One of the first LGBTQ moments for Pixar came with the 2016 release, Finding Dory. Two mothers are spending a day at the Marine Life Institute when they come across Dory and Hank. This moment, again, only lasted seconds.

“The gay cyclops cop in Onward looks like a random ugly background character that someone would point to and go ‘don’t worry everyone, here’s our ten frames of gay rep’ as a joke to mock Disney,” one Twitter user said.

Disney and Pixar’s Onward premieres in theaters on March 6, 2020. Until then, fans can stream other Pixar films, including Finding Dory and Coco, on the streaming platform, Disney+.