We are now two days away from the theatrical launch of Disney/Pixar’s latest feature-length film, Lightyear, and it does not bode well for the Computer Animation Studios’ first return to theaters since before the pandemic.
After early reviews praised the Sci-Fi adventure, unfriendly international reception has started to come to light, prompting full bans and ratings for “adult-only” movies.
Several months ago, Disney and Pixar confirmed that Lightyear would include overt homosexual content. The 30-minute behind-the-film Disney+ documentary, Beyond Infinity, revealed that content to be not just a kiss shared between a lesbian couple but also that lesbian couple in a family setting with children. Unlike previously-reported cases where any homosexual content was edited out for international markets, the powers that be in the Mouse House insisted on keeping it in. But it appears that several predominantly Muslim nations have taken action to ban the film’s showing entirely, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The United Arab Emirates, for example, shared the news on Twitter earlier this week, stating:
“The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, while is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards.”
The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification.
— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) June 13, 2022
Lightyear is also facing issues on the other side of Asia as well. China, which has also been extremely unfriendly to LGBTQ+ expression, remains in question, according to Reuters, and, although it is not banned, the family movie will receive an adult rating in Singapore.
According to channelnewsasia.com,
“Disney animated film Lightyear, which features a same-sex couple, will be released in Singapore with an NC16 rating for its “overt homosexual depictions”, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Tuesday (Jun 14).”
The IMDA stated that they appealed to Disney, asking for two versions of the film under a dual rating system. One with the lesbian scene and another without to, in their view, “open Lightyear to a younger audience.” Disney reported refused to do so.
“We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut,” Susman told Reuters at the movie’s red-carpet premiere in London.
It should be noted that Pixar has a history of adapting certain aspects of its films in order to reach particular markets. One subtle way it will do that with Lightyear is to noticeably include Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc in the Italian version. But it appears the studio will no longer humor the anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments of other cultures.
Chirs Evans, who voices the title character, said, “It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity, but it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.”
It should be noted that The Walt Disney Company stands by this decision to face international market rejection after its latest Marvel Studios film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, proved to earn over $400 million at the box office without the help of China or several middle eastern markets.
Disney Pixar’s Lightyear is set to tell the origin story of the Space Ranger hero who inspired the toy fans met in Andy’s room almost 30 years ago this week.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Movie news as more developments come to light.