As fans get one more day and one more trailer closer to the release of Pixar Animation Studios’ latest animated feature film, Lightyear, this reporter has one question: Where are the Little Green Men (LGMs)?
While they were initially introduced in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story as prize-grabber toys from Pizza Planet and supposedly completely separate from Buzz Lightyear’s backstory, Disney and Pixar would later incorporate the LGMs into Buzz Lightyear canon, giving them their own planet in the animated movie and subsequent television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. The LGMs partnership with Lightyear and Star Command is also noted in the Theme Parks. They are featured in Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Park in California.
LGMs are a great Disney trope because they represent humanity’s ability to have relations with an alien race, and they also provide adorable comic relief.
As Buzz Lightyear and Star Command come to life on the big screen, one would assume that the LGMs would be included somewhere, right? In this reporter’s opinion, they could only improve and lighten what is expected to be a very dark, action-packed story.
Well, we are now several trailers into the build-up, and the LGMs are nowhere to be found. The argument could be made that the LGMs just do not fit in the story, and I am sure that a complete story can be told without them. But after seeing recent developments that have come to light, my bet is that Disney’s new “offense police,” the “Stories Matter” team, and its supporters are the bigger reason why the LGMs are missing.
After looking at the recent work done by the “Stories Matter” team, it does not take much time to see why they would quickly flag LGMs “offensive.” First of all, the name “Little Green Men” would be seen as offensive in itself. It is a label that defines an entire race by its physical features, and it is gender exclusive.
Earlier this week, we reported that Disney’s new group went about labeling several beloved classic characters as “offensive” or “problematic.” For example, the Sea Witch Ursula from Disney’s The Little Mermaid was flagged because “her dark color palette (lavender skin, black legs) could be viewed through a racial lens,” and Captain Hook could apparently “expose Disney to accusations of discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities because he is a villain.”
“Little People” is already widely seen as a derogatory term. Looking back at the Toon Disney show, LGMs were portrayed as being far less able than their human counterparts waddling around, and they have a tone of voice that makes them appear less sophisticated than Buzz and the other humans. They do show a level of technical genius, but that is “compromised” by their apparent complete subservience to the rest of Star Command.
So, we have race defined by their size and skin color, which displays short little differently-colored men as being physically and verbally inferior to larger, more able humans. They work bottom-rung mechanical jobs for humans. Oh, and they are all confirmed to be one gender: male. That is more than enough ammunition needed to earn this antagonizing group’s attention.
There is no official word why the Little Green Men appear to have been left out of Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear, let alone any proof that this platoon of Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” campaign is behind it. This article is purely speculation. But if it did come to light that the Little Green Men were left out because of their newfound “offensive” nature, it would not surprise this then-disappointed reporter one bit.
Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear is scheduled for a theatrical release on June 17, 2022. We at Disney Fanatic will continue to keep an eye on the movie and will update our readers as more developments come to light.
Disclaimer: The opinions and speculation expressed in this article are that of the writer and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.